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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.


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.

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.

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.


Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.

Programme requirements

Diploma in Language (DipLang) endorsed in French

Seven of:

Students admitted directly to papers at 200- or 300-level must replace their prerequisites with other papers in the subject concerned

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in French

Level Papers Points

FREN 131  Introductory French 1

FREN 132  Introductory French 2

GLBL 101  Introduction to Intercultural Communication





FREN 232  Intermediate French

FREN 233  French for Professional Purposes

One of FREN 250, EURO 202, GLBL 201, GLBL 202





FREN 333  Advanced French 1

FREN 334  Advanced French 2

Two of FREN 335, FREN 336, FREN 341, FREN 350, EURO 302, GLBL 301, GLBL 302

Note: Students with previous knowledge of French will be placed in FREN language papers appropriate to their level. Students placed in 200- or 300-level language papers will still have to pass approved papers worth 180 points in order to major in French.





180 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts

Total   360

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) in French


Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in French

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) programme in French is the same as the programme for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)).

Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) in French

  • FREN 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • either :
    FREN 441 Advanced Topics in French
    FREN 451 Studies in French
    FREN 452 Studies in French 2
  • Or:
    FREN 441 Advanced Topics in French, and
    two other approved 400-level papers

Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in French

  • Thesis: FREN 5

Note: Students who have not completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA(Hons)) in French or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in French must complete the required papers for the BA(Hons) in French prior to undertaking the thesis.

Minor subject requirements

French as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, 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 Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), 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

Papers Points

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



Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
FREN105 2022 Intensive French for Beginners 18 points Not offered in 2022
FREN131 2022 Introductory French 1 18 points Semester 1
FREN132 2022 Introductory French 2 18 points Semester 2
FREN232 2022 Intermediate French 18 points Semester 1
FREN233 2022 French for Professional Purposes 18 points Semester 2
FREN250 2022 Crossroads in French Cultural Space 18 points Semester 1
FREN333 2022 Advanced French 1 18 points Semester 1
FREN334 2022 Advanced French 2 18 points Semester 2
FREN335 2022 Advanced French 3 18 points Semester 1
FREN336 2022 Advanced French 4 18 points Semester 2
FREN341 2022 Topics in French 18 points Semester 2
FREN350 2022 Crossroads in French Cultural Space (Advanced) 18 points Semester 1
FREN441 2022 Advanced Topics in French 20 points Semester 1, Semester 2
FREN451 2022 Studies in French 20 points Semester 1, Semester 2
FREN452 2022 Studies in French 2 20 points Semester 1, Semester 2
FREN490 2022 Dissertation 60 points Semester 1, Semester 2
FREN590 2022 Research Dissertation 60 points 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period

Key information for future students

Contact us

Languages and Cultures programme
School of Arts