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    Hi, does anybody know the module ratios per subject for a joint honours degree in English and French at Oxford?

    Ideally I'd prefer 50% English Lit, 30% French Language and 20% French Lit.

    Can a student tailor the course to their specific interests?

    Thanks
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    I can't answer your question but my understanding has always been that the French course is pretty much a literature-based course. You may want to take that into consideration when thinking about whether to apply or not
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    Thanks for responding I'm fine with having a literature based course, naturally there has to be some language work within that too. I'm not sure whether to go for this course (which I imagine will be more of a challenge to get into?) or just go for straight English Literature. If I somehow got in to read that subject then I could read French literature and improve my French in my spare time.

    I wondered about the ratios because in the case of other universities joint honours programmes, the subject they name first has the most weight on the course.
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    French at Oxford = very lit-based, so maybe look into the course more and see if it matches your needs, rather than just applying because it's Oxford and hoping for the best. A little story for you: my aunt (back in the late 70s) accepted an Exeter offer and was all set to go there to study French and Italian. She didn't apply for the Oxford course because it was too literature-based. To everyone's shock she got three A grades at A Level (she was the only student to ever achieve this from her school, and when the school closed down some years later, still nobody had ever equalled it). Her family and teachers were therefore understandably keen for her to take a gap year and apply to Oxford - seeing as she already had the grades and seeing as three A grades was much rarer then than it is now, her chances of getting in were probably fairly significant at this time in British university history. And yet she refused and went to Exeter because she knew she wouldn't enjoy the Oxford course that much. It's just not worth compromising your course interests, and if you feel that other universities can offer you what Oxford cannot (in terms of course content) then perhaps you need to reconsider your choices.
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    (Original post by Yosso)
    I wondered about the ratios because in the case of other universities joint honours programmes, the subject they name first has the most weight on the course.
    Certainly seems to be that way in the first year:

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...nd_modern.html

    Have a read through this, plus the individual Faculty websites to get a better idea of what the course structure is like
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    (Original post by Angelil)
    French at Oxford = very lit-based, so maybe look into the course more and see if it matches your needs, rather than just applying because it's Oxford and hoping for the best. A little story for you: my aunt (back in the late 70s) accepted an Exeter offer and was all set to go there to study French and Italian. She didn't apply for the Oxford course because it was too literature-based. To everyone's shock she got three A grades at A Level (she was the only student to ever achieve this from her school, and when the school closed down some years later, still nobody had ever equalled it). Her family and teachers were therefore understandably keen for her to take a gap year and apply to Oxford - seeing as she already had the grades and seeing as three A grades was much rarer then than it is now, her chances of getting in were probably fairly significant at this time in British university history. And yet she refused and went to Exeter because she knew she wouldn't enjoy the Oxford course that much. It's just not worth compromising your course interests, and if you feel that other universities can offer you what Oxford cannot (in terms of course content) then perhaps you need to reconsider your choices.
    I'll certainly be looking at English/French courses at other universities now too just to see what else is out there I've always loved French as a language, but have limited experience with French texts. I've read a few which I've enjoyed (with a massive dictionary as my companion!) - La Silence de la Mer, half of Tanguy (lost it while reading! :o: ), a film script - can't remember the name it was about a Jewish boy in hiding in a French boarding school in Nazi occupied France, also bits of Candide. So that probably amounts to a grand total of.. 3. :grin:

    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Have a read through this, plus the individual Faculty websites to get a better idea of what the course structure is like
    Thank you!! Greatly appreciated

    The French side of the course appears fairly flexible, with a variety of different options, so I'm actually warming to the idea of possibly going for English with French instead. *ponder*
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    It's probably also worth pointing out that the language centre at Oxford (and at most other good universities) is meant to be pretty decent and lots of people take language courses alongside their degree. As far as I'm aware, these are just language based (i.e. not literature), so if it was English that you were principally interested in as a degree then you could apply for single honours and then take a language course in your first year. That way you would have the tools to explore the French literature that interests you in your spare time.
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    Others have mentioned these but just to reiterate:
    The French part of the course will basically expect you to write an essay on a French book every week. Most people nail the reading in the vac, and many of them have never read more than their A-level texts, so don't panic too much but be aware of that. It's a VERY literature based course. Emily always referred to her degree as 'English and French Literature'. I'm not sure if that was an official title, or just her way of explaining that her course was immensely literature based.
    In terms of learning language the Oxford course is GOOD. I can't remember what provision my friend who did English + French had, but certainly for the regular linguists they had SO much vocab to learn each week (really nitty gritty things like the names for different kinds of towels one week hehe :p:) and a LOT of grammar classes. They were all shocked and appalled by the standard of language they heard from people they met on their years abroad because the Oxford course really makes you nail it.
    There is a very good provision for language learning if you're desire is just to improve your French a bit, rather than to study literature in it.
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    (Original post by Mook)
    It's probably also worth pointing out that the language centre at Oxford (and at most other good universities) is meant to be pretty decent and lots of people take language courses alongside their degree. As far as I'm aware, these are just language based (i.e. not literature), so if it was English that you were principally interested in as a degree then you could apply for single honours and then take a language course in your first year. That way you would have the tools to explore the French literature that interests you in your spare time.
    There's a language centre? Thanks for pointing that out! That seems like a far more flexible alternative!

    (Original post by Bekaboo)
    The French part of the course will basically expect you to write an essay on a French book every week.
    Hmm. Not too sure about that, seems quite frequent.. The English/Modern Languages website seems to suggest roughly 25% foreign literature study overall, which seemed appealing to me, but now with what you've said.. Thanks for mentioning it!
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    Well firstly, if you're JH then obviously the regular French workload is cut in half, and secondly just because you're doing one tutorial essay per week on literature doesn't mean that you're not doing translations or that you're exempt from language classes and lectures! Looks like about 25% to me :p:
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    (Original post by Bekaboo)
    Well firstly, if you're JH then obviously the regular French workload is cut in half
    I don't think so. I was on a joint honours programme at Exeter and while people who are not on such courses have the perception of your course essentially being half the work from each subject (making up the same amount of work in total as someone on one of the single honours elements of your course), I found that as a joint honours student it was more like 75-75 than 50-50, as you had to make up for parts of the course that single honours people get to do automatically, that you miss out on because of being on joint honours.

    You may not have meant your comment literally, of course, but just thought I'd say
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    Hehe I didn't mean it literally (not least because I'm aware that one of the great things about Oxford JH courses is that there are often overlap papers available to neither single honours set of students that are designed to integrate your degree - like courses just for people who do Classics-and-English IIRC) but I appreciate it's a point well worth making!
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    I did definitely find that the undergraduate exams were of a higher standard in Oxford than in Exeter too - I used to invigilate collections in Oxford last year and in terms of the style of the questions, Exeter's questions were more like A-level style while Oxford's questions were more like AEA/S-level style. They really do want you to think on a much higher level and in a completely different way - so it doesn't surprise me that they would have separate exams for joint honours students that are designed to make people think in a more interdisciplinary way.
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    Language work is taught in college so how much you have every week depends on your college. I'm doing two languages but this part is the same for you. I was never really set vocab to learn but had a translation into French or some grammar exercises every week and a translation from French every fortnight, along with a synthesis class a fortnight (one of your 4 French papers in prelims) as well as a fortnightly literature tute (in first year we actually had lit seminars in the weeks in between but that was just our tutor's choice). As you can see from the link posted you don't do any less French than two-language students. I think in Prelims you do one less English paper and then it gets a little more complicated for Finals.

    Language teaching does depend, as I said, on college/tutors but tbh it's not taught hugely. In 2nd year I did hardly any written language work. They sort of assume the Year Abroad will get you fluent. It's hugely lit based and you're at an advantage doing English Lit too because of that as clearly you like lit, but if you're looking at French more for the language I'd perhaps think about sticking to English and doing French at the language centre. Having said that, some of the French lit is pretty awesome... and once you get to Ox you'll probably feel that anything you read should be related to your course so you'll probably end up reading more English lit on the side rather than dipping into some French.

    Feel free to ask any questions you still have...
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    (Original post by dinkymints)
    Language work is taught in college so how much you have every week depends on your college. I'm doing two languages but this part is the same for you. I was never really set vocab to learn but had a translation into French or some grammar exercises every week and a translation from French every fortnight, along with a synthesis class a fortnight (one of your 4 French papers in prelims) as well as a fortnightly literature tute (in first year we actually had lit seminars in the weeks in between but that was just our tutor's choice). As you can see from the link posted you don't do any less French than two-language students. I think in Prelims you do one less English paper and then it gets a little more complicated for Finals.

    Language teaching does depend, as I said, on college/tutors but tbh it's not taught hugely. In 2nd year I did hardly any written language work. They sort of assume the Year Abroad will get you fluent. It's hugely lit based and you're at an advantage doing English Lit too because of that as clearly you like lit, but if you're looking at French more for the language I'd perhaps think about sticking to English and doing French at the language centre. Having said that, some of the French lit is pretty awesome... and once you get to Ox you'll probably feel that anything you read should be related to your course so you'll probably end up reading more English lit on the side rather than dipping into some French.

    Feel free to ask any questions you still have...
    Thank you On second thought I may just stick with a straight English application. After comparing that course with the English/French course, naturally it seems that lots of the English side has to be cut out. Although a lot of it seems to be mercilessly culled in the 2nd year especially.. I don't think I want to sacrifice so much English Lit. I think I may just do French on the side and dip into lit when I've got spare time and have improved my French enough.

    Btw, what standard of French would you say you had when you went for interview? Would you say A2 standard, just below/above that?

    Sorry if this seems like a silly question, but do the language centre give out some sort of qualification or certificate once you've reached a certain "level"? I'd just like to be able to have something to refer to French-wise on my CV. (this is all presuming I get in of course)

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Yosso)
    Thank you On second thought I may just stick with a straight English application. After comparing that course with the English/French course, naturally it seems that lots of the English side has to be cut out. Although a lot of it seems to be mercilessly culled in the 2nd year especially.. I don't think I want to sacrifice so much English Lit. I think I may just do French on the side and dip into lit when I've got spare time and have improved my French enough.

    Btw, what standard of French would you say you had when you went for interview? Would you say A2 standard, just below/above that?

    Sorry if this seems like a silly question, but do the language centre give out some sort of qualification or certificate once you've reached a certain "level"? I'd just like to be able to have something to refer to French-wise on my CV. (this is all presuming I get in of course)

    Thanks
    I think you should really be A2 standard by the time you apply... personally I don't think it's really a jump from AS anyway. You have to make sure you've nailed the grammar though as the test is a big factor.

    Ummm there are various language courses to choose from... have a look here: http://www.lang.ox.ac.uk/courses/index.html

    hope that helps!
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    Thanks for your help everyone! Much appreciated
 
 
 
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