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French culture has always had a huge impact on the world; from politics to cinema, literature to fashion, France remains a major influence in European and global culture. The MA in Modern French Studies is an ideal programme for students seeking to further their knowledge of French culture, history and literature and/or to prepare for further postgraduate research.

Kent offers an excellent environment for postgraduate study in French literature, thought, culture, society and the visual arts from the 18th century to the present, and the MA in Modern French Studies offers you the opportunity to study a range of major writers and key themes in French literature, media and culture from the 18th century to the present day.

The programme is designed for students with a variety of interests, including literature, the visual arts, philosophy and aesthetics. It reflects the research specialisms and publications of the members of the Department of Modern Languages, with wider input from across the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL).

Kent provides an ideal location in which to study French culture; our Canterbury campus is close to mainland Europe, with Paris only a couple of hours away by Eurostar. The programme can also be studied in Canterbury and Paris, where you relocate to Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture for the spring term.

Teaching and assessment

In the autumn and spring terms, you take a choice of four modules. Assessment is by one 5,000-word essay for each. In the summer you undertake a 12,000 word dissertation over the summer with supervision from an expert within the department.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • attract and meet the needs of candidates who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of textual and visual interconnections pertaining to modern French studies
  • provide you with a cultural approach to the study of relations between the visual and the textual
  • consider the manner in which literature and the visual arts intersect in French culture from the eighteenth century to the present
  • provoke critical reflection on areas of modern French literary studies and theories of visual studies
  • provide training in multidisciplinary research methods
  • build on your proficiencies in spoken and written French
  • introduce you to various methodological approaches
  • provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
  • provide you with a means of access to intellectual awareness and understanding
  • provide opportunities for the development of your personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector
  • develop your general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied in a wide range of situations.

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding in:

  • speaking, reading and writing French at an advanced level
  • theories of art from the eighteenth century to the present
  • the representation of works of art in literature from the eighteenth century to the present
  • the relationship between literary texts and their cinematic adaptations
  • the manipulation of photography in modern works of literature
  • the use of photography as a means of propaganda.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • oral and written language usage
  • problem-solving: the ability to reason logically, critically and analogically
  • research methodology: the ability to gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and primary sources
  • the ability to identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems
  • the ability to develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
  • learning to work in a different environment by integrating into the educational, cultural and professional environment of England, with regards to an interdisciplinary approach to literary studies.


A postgraduate degree in French studies is an extremely versatile qualification that can open the door to exciting career opportunities in many professions. Our graduates have gone on to work in the IT industry, academic administration, cultural management and to further postgraduate training and academic careers at UK and overseas universities.

How to apply:

Visit the Modern French Studies - MA (Canterbury) page on the University of Kent website for more details!





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