Postgraduate Program



The philosophy of the M.A. and the Ph.D. programmes in French Language and Literature in Nigerian universities is to train and develop scholars whose critical inquiries into the use of the French Language as a medium of communication, in both regular linguistic exchange and critical or scientific writing, would reassert human values and appreciate the complexity of human motivations and actions. In a world where international relations are vital and where Nigeria is expected to play a prominent role, the need for mastery of foreign languages, especially French and other European languages, cannot be over emphasized. In Nigeria, competent authorities in such specialized areas as contained in the Postgraduate programmes of the department are few. The need for such competent authorities becomes more and more acute in the countries higher educational institutions, civil service, Foreign Service, International Organisations, Public and Private sectors, etc. The products of the M.A. and Ph.D. programmes are therefore expected to acquire linguistic, critical and analytic competencies that would enable them exhibit a high proficiency in the use of the French Language on a variety of discourse situations, critically analyzing and interpreting texts in the language. In other words, a postgraduate student of the department is expected to master a special field in French Studies, through research and make an original contribution to human knowledge.

Aims and Objectives

The main aim of the postgraduate programmes of the department of Modern European Languages  of Nnamdi Azikiwe University , Awka, is to train candidates in these important areas, through fostering independent scholarship, competence in research as well as in-depth knowledge in a chosen area of specialization. In other words, by exposing students to advanced knowledge in the disciplines  of French Language and Literature, the M.A. and Ph.D. programmes aim at producing scholars who would utilize their knowledge of the French Language and Literature for human, national, African and global development.

Job Opportunities

These include careers in translation and interpretation, in civil and diplomatic services, institutions of higher learning, banking, publishing, radio and television, industries, etc.

Levels of Postgraduate Studies

  1. Postgraduate Diploma (PGD)
  2. Master of Art   (M.A.)
  3. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



The PGD programme is designed as a make-up programme for candidates who could not make the minimum pass grade to qualify for admission into the M.A. programme.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements into the various postgraduate programmes are as follows:

  • Postgraduate Diploma (PGD)

A first degree or its equivalent, including  BA Education/French, from a recognized university. All candidates must meet the university matriculation requirements.

  1. Master of Arts (M.A.)
  2. All candidates must possess the minimum of five O/Level Credit passes, which must include English Language.
  3. Candidates must possess a good Bachelor’s degree in French or French Studies, French Language or French Literary Studies, or other recognized/accepted equivalent, not lower than a second class lower division from a recognized university.
  • A good postgraduate diploma with an FCGPA of 3.00 from a recognized university
  1. All candidates must be subjected to a selection process.


  1. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  2. All candidates must possess the minimum of five O/Level Credit passes, which must include English Language.
  3. Candidates must possess a good Master’s degree in French, French Studies, French Language or French Literary Studies from a recognized university, with a CGPA of not below 3.5 on a five-point scale.
  • Candidates with deficiency in some core courses may be required to take remedial courses.



Candidates of M.A. and Ph.D. programmes in French may specialize in any of the following general areas:

  1. French Literature
  2. African and Caribbean Literature in French
  3. Comparative Literature in French
  4. Oral African Literature in French
  5. French Language and Linguistics
  6. French Language and Translation



The postgraduate programmes are run at full-time and part-time. There are minimum and maximum length of time prescribed as follows:



Programmes Full time Part time
PGD Min of 2 semesters Max of 3 semesters Min of 3 semesters Max of 4 semesters
M.A. Min of 3 semesters Max of 4 semesters Min of 6 semesters Max of 8 semesters
Ph.D. Min of 6 semesters Max of 10 semesters Min of 8 semesters Max of 10 semesters



PGD (Literature in French)

PGD (French Language and Linguistics)

PGD (French Language and Translation)



M.A.  (French Literature)

M.A. (African and Caribbean Literature in French)

M.A. (Comparative Literature in French)

M.A. (Oral African Literature in French)

M.A. (French Language and Linguistics)

M.A. (French Language and Translation)



Ph.D.  (French Literature)

Ph.D.  (African and Caribbean Literature in French)

Ph.D.  (Comparative Literature in French)

Ph.D.  (Oral African Literature in French)

Ph.D.  (French Language and Linguistics)

Ph.D.  (French Language and Translation)




To be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma in any of the areas of specialization, a candidate must have taken and passed the prescribed number of compulsory and required courses selected from the approved list, and totaling  units as follows:

Core Courses   ………………………….       26 Credit

Dissertation     ……………………………   6 Credit

TOTAL…………………………………       32 Credit


M.A Programme

To be awarded the M.A. degree in any of the areas of specialization in French Language, Literature or Literary Studies, a candidate must have taken and passed the prescribed number of compulsory and required courses selected from the approved list, and totaling 30 units as follows:

Core Courses   ………………………………………….     24 Credit

Dissertation     …………………………………………      6 Credit

TOTAL………………………………………………         30 Credit


In all cases, M.A. students must write and submit to the department a thesis/dissertation duly supervised by a lecturer in the department whose qualifications are not below the Ph.D. Such a thesis must be defended before an External Examiner nominated by the department and appointed by the  Senate for that purpose.

PHD. Programme

To graduate, all Ph.D. candidates must take and pass all the requisite courses as prescribed in the Ph.D. course list below totaling 27 units as follows:

Core Courses   …………………………………………….18 Credit

Dissertation/Thesis      ……………………………………9 Credit

TOTAL………………………………………………….27 Credit


Every Ph.D. candidate must submit a dissertation on a chosen and approved topic, supervised by a member of staff, whose qualifications is not below the Ph.D., and who is not lower than a Senior Lecturer in rank. The Ph.D. thesis must be defended before an External Examiner nominated by the department and appointed by the  Senate for that purpose.




  1. Good Standing

To be in good standing, a student must in each semester have a Cumulative Grade             Point Average (CGPA) of not less than 3.0 on a five-point scale.

  1. Withdrawal

An M.A. candidate whose CGPA is below 3.0 at the end of the third semester of course work shall be required to withdraw from the university,

  • Attendance

In order to be eligible for examination in a particular taught course, a student shall have attended  a minimum of 75% of the total periods of formal instructions delivered for the course.



In the M.A. and Ph.D. programmes, the assessment of students’ achievements would be based on:


  1. Terminal examination administered at the end of the course;
  2. Term papers, Seminar Papers and
  • Field Research/Reports, Group Projects, etc.



All continuous assessment scores shall constitute 30% – 40% of the total scores for a course, while the formal examination shall constitute 60-70%.



For the M.A. and Ph.D. programmes, there shall be duly appointed External Examiners, who would assess and certify the overall performance of the students in their dissertations and theses and any other aspect of the evaluation process that may from time to time may be approved by Senate.



The minimum pass mark for M.A. and Ph.D. courses shall be 50%.




Grading of courses shall be done by a combination of percentage marks and letter grades translated into a graduated system of Grade Point Equivalent (or Grade Point Average GPA). For the purpose of determining  a student’s standing at the end of every semester, the Grade Point Average (GPA) system shall be used. The GPA is computed by dividing the total number of credit points (or units) by the total number of units for all the courses taken in the semester. The credit point for a course is computed by multiplying the number of units for the course by the Grade Point Equivalent of the marks scored in the course. Each course shall be graded out of a maximum of 100 marks and assigned appropriate Grade Point Equivalent as in the table (1) below

Table 1:




(ii) % SCORE (iii)








Cum. Grade point average (CGPA)



Vary according to contact hours assigned to each course per week per semester, and according to load carried by students  

70 – 100

A 5 Derived by multiplying(i) and (iv) and dividing by Total Credit units 4.50 – 5.00 DISTINCTION
60 – 69 B 4 3.45 – 4.49 CREDIT
50 – 59 C 3 3.0 – 3.44 PASS
Below 50 F 0 Below 3.0 Fail


Results for the M.A. and Ph. D. examination shall be presented from the School of Postgraduate Studies Board of Examiners to the Senate for approval.



Release of Results

Results shall be released published not later than two (2) weeks after approval by Senate.


Degree Classification

The determination of the class of degree shall be based on the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) earned at the end of the programme, as indicated in the table (2) below:



(i) 4.50 – 5.00 DISTINCTION
(ii) 3.45 – 4.49 CREDIT
(iii) 3.00 – 3.44 PASS
(iv) BELOW 3.00 FAIL




This should be determined by the carrying capacity of the department, and should take student enrolment in the undergraduate programmes into account.


Lecturers in the M.A. and Ph.D. prorammes should not have more than six (6) Credits (i.e. 90 hours) per semester.

(iii)       STAFFING

Academic Staff involved in the M.A. and Ph.D. programmes shall normally be holders of the Ph.D. No lecturer should supervise more than three(3) Ph.D. candidates and two(2) M.A. candidates at a time.

However, whereas Ph.D. holders may take lectures in both programmes, those below the rank of Senior Lecturer shall not supervise doctoral theses.


(iv)       STAFF MIX

The recommended staff mix for effective curriculum delivery is 20:30:50 for Professor /Reader, Senior Lecturer; and Others.


(v)        Non-Academic Staff

We recommend the recruitment of competent technical, secretarial and clerical staff to complement the academic staff in maintaining equipment such as those in the Language Laboratory, Audio-visual and Reprographic Rooms, and provide secretarial services whenever necessary.

a) The ratio of non-teaching staff to academic staff should be 1:4

b) Among the non-academic staff, the ratio of Senior Staff to Junior Staff should be 3:2


Computer Literacy

With the computer age and application of information technology, both academic and non-academic staff should be computer literate.  Where they are not, the university should establish structures to ensure that this becomes a reality.


Academic Physical Space and Equipment Requirements Physical Facilities

Lecture Rooms

Seminar Rooms

Board Room

Computer Room, including Virtual Library Facilities


Office Accommodation

Position/Rank                                                m2

Professor’s Office                                           18.50

Head of Department’s Office                         18.50

Tutorial Staff Office                                       13.50

Technical Staff Space                                     7.00

Secretarial Staff Space                                      7.00

Seminar Space per Student                               1.85


Classroom Space and Examination Theatres

Adequate Classrooms and Seminar Rooms should be provided with enough chairs and tables;

Adequate Examination halls and theatres should also be provided.





For effective teaching and learning, the following equipment and facilities

Well-equipped language laboratory

Computer (PCs and Laptops)

Reprographic Equipment (E.g. Photocopiers, etc.)

Video Camera

Projector and Screen

Tape Recorder

Internet and E-mail facilites



There must be adequate library facility, special holdings in the main library for the department in the General and Journal section, and a departmental library. In general, dedicated collections for the Department must feature current issues of local peer-reviewed journals, international journals in the discipline, and current textbooks, critical works, novels, poetry collections and dramatic works.


Learning outcomes for M.A. And ph.D. Programmes

The identified communication deficiencies of graduates of French, which the postgraduate programmes in French wish to address, mean that the graduates of these programmes should be able to communicate excellently in the French language, and show creativity in the use French in discourse situations and/or in creative and critical writing.