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The University of Newcastle’s French undergraduate major is tightly oriented towards the study of the French language. There are no explicit literature, history or civilisation topics addressed specifically in any of the FREN-prefixed courses that make up our undergraduate offering. The stud of these non-language-focused area studies is available at Honours level and is designed to allow students to go on to do postgraduate work in French Studies.
Students graduating with a French language major are granted a greater scope of employment opportunities within locations (often abroad) where French is the native, or predominant language. Work in translation, teaching, editing and proofreading, tourism and foreign service is complemented by the comprehension of another language.
The French major is designed to be followed sequentially, with students able to begin at one of two entry points: Beginners or Post-HSC. The former sequence is designed for students with no knowledge of the French language and will begin with 1000-level courses, while students who have studied French during their HSC can enter at the latter, intermediate, 2000-level.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees, Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study option available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following the Bachelor of Arts include:
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options, please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates of the French major. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, and some may require further study.
- Community Development Worker
- Cultural Development Officer
- Customs Officer
- Diplomat / Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
- English as a Second Language Teacher (ESL Teacher)
- Foreign Correspondent
- Immigration Officer
- Import/Export Officer
- International Admissions Officer
- International Aid/Development Worker
- International Exchange Coordinator
- International Manager
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained from a major in French.
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
French language graduates find employment opportunities in a wide variety of industries in small, medium or large organisations. Below is an example of some of the large organisations that recruit this major. Check employers' websites for a section called Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs or similar titles. Some of these employers may offer vacation work opportunities.
- Allen & Unwin (International)
- Allianz (Australia)
- Amnesty International (International)
- Attorney Generals Department (Australia)
- Austrade (International)
- Australian and International Universities (International)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Council for International Development (International)
- Australian Council for the Arts (Australia)
- Australian Customs Service (Australia)
- Australian Defence Force (International)
- Australian Industries Group (International)
- Australian National Library (Australia)
- Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation (International)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- Coles (Australia)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Defence - Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) (Australia)
- Department of Defence (Australia)
- Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts (Australia)
- Department of Education and Training (Teach NSW) (Australia)
- Department of Education, Science and Training (Australia)
- Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (International)
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia)
- Migrant Network Services (Australia)
- Migrant Resource Centres (Australia)
- National Australia Bank (Australia)
- National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (Australia)
- Office for the Arts (Australia)
- Oxfam (International)
- Pan Macmillan Australia (Australia)
- SBS Television (Australia)
- The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
- Unilever (International)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Alliance Francaise Australia (International)
- Alliance Francaise de Newcatle (International)
- Association for French Language Studies (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Travel and Tourism (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Sample Job Ads and Tips for Applying
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.