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Study French at Otago

Study Languages: make the world your place.

In our world of global travel and communication, language graduates are in short supply. French has traditionally been the language of international relations between countries which speak different languages, and it still represents a major link within the organisation of the European Union.

With an understanding of French, you have an extra advantage in business, tourism or any organisation with an international marketing strategy.

The cultural heritage of France has been a strong influence in the development of the political history, literature, philosophy, arts, architecture and music of the modern world. Your French studies at Otago will give you insights and perspective on the world beyond New Zealand.

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Why study French?

French is a major international language. It is the first language of many people living in several European and African nations and Canada. It is an official language of Pacific territories within three hours flying time from New Zealand. With an understanding of French, you have an extra advantage in business, tourism or any organisation with an international marketing strategy.You will be sought after in such areas as Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tourism and Treasury. You may be involved in furthering New Zealand's interests overseas and there will be plenty of opportunities for travel. You may even find yourself interpreting at international conferences, translating books or subtitling films.

Career opportunities

Recent Otago graduates who have included French in their degree now work as teachers, librarians, consultants, marketing managers and journalists all around the world. The analytical skills, communicative abilities and international perspectives that you'll have gained by studying French at Otago will give you an edge, and a pathway into a wide range of occupations.

French at Otago

Teaching style

In the French programme at Otago we get to know our students individually. Our classes are small and this helps us tailor our approaches and materials to meet the interests of our students.

Active use of French is the essence of our courses and we will give you plenty of opportunities to improve your language skills using the latest text, audio and video resources and internet materials.

Apart from studying the French language, you can also choose papers which will give you perspectives on the social values and cultural life of France and other French-speaking countries.

Some of these will explore French literature of a particular period, others will focus on further expressions of France's culture such as cinema and popular music.

You'll be eligible to join the Alliance Française de Dunedin for regular social and cultural activities involving the French-speaking population of the city.

Background required

If you have studied French at school or elsewhere, you will be able to build on your knowledge and skills, and we will determine which paper will best suit your level of French.

Otherwise, an intensive and popular programme is available for the complete beginner.


French as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree


Five FREN papers,  at least three of which must be above 100-level, including at least one at 300-level.


FREN papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
FREN105 2024 Intensive French for Beginners 18 Not offered in 2024
FREN131 2024 Introductory French 1 18 Semester 1
FREN132 2024 Introductory French 2 18 Semester 2
FREN232 2024 Intermediate French 18 Semester 1
FREN233 2024 French for Professional Purposes 18 Semester 2
FREN250 2024 Crossroads in French Cultural Space 18 Not offered in 2024
FREN333 2024 Advanced French 1 18 Semester 1
FREN334 2024 Advanced French 2 18 Semester 2
FREN335 2024 Advanced French 3 18 Semester 1
FREN336 2024 Advanced French 4 18 Semester 2
FREN341 2024 Topics in French 18 Semester 2
FREN350 2024 Crossroads in French Cultural Space (Advanced) 18 Not offered in 2024
FREN441 2024 Advanced Topics in French 20 Not offered in 2024
FREN451 2024 Studies in French 20 Not offered in 2024
FREN452 2024 Studies in French 2 20 Not offered in 2024
FREN490 2024 Dissertation 60 Not offered in 2024
FREN590 2024 Research Dissertation 60 Not offered in 2024

More information

Contact us

Languages and Cultures programme
School of Arts

Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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