Introduction

Anthropology and French at Aberdeen is a great study combination and will enhance your grounding in what it means to ‘be human’. With an in-depth study of a major modern European language and culture and the opportunity to study abroad, you will develop your language and cultural familiarity skills. The language, perspective and skills you will develop will enable you to pursue a wide range of career options with an international flavour.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
RL16
Degree marketing image

Anthropology, which scores 100% student satisfaction, will give you a thorough grounding in humanity, the differences in human cultures and communities and how they have developed. You will gain a unique insight into behaviours, beliefs and attitudes all over the world and find connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion.

Combining this study with a modern European language and culture opens a wide choice of careers.

In French, you will benefit from the University's outstanding reputation, having been awarded the highest possible rating in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment. There are many opportunities to develop your language skills informally as well as through courses that appeal to employers. You will also study for half of year three as a Language Assistant or visiting student in a French-speaking country in Europe.

The combination of skills that you will graduate with - including critical thinking, communication and analysis will particularly appeal to employers in international business and many other fields where people, cultures, and international outlook feature strongly.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

View detailed information about this course
Introduction to Anthropology: Peoples of the World (AT1003)

15 Credit Points

Anthropology is the comparative study of human ways of life through the study of societies and cultures around the world. In this course we introduce some of the key topics of contemporary anthropological inquiry: What is Anthropology? What do anthropologists do? What is ethnography? How can we see the diverse world of societies and cultures around us, not by looking from the outside, but by looking at how people themselves make their own lives and meanings?

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Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity (AT1502)

15 Credit Points

In this course students will be offered an extended introduction to social anthropology and will focus on topics: language and culture, belief and religion, gender and sex, kinship, and race. Students will develop and refine their understanding of major issues in the discipline of social anthropology through staff lectures, tutorials, and ethnographic films.

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Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Optional Courses

Beginner

  • Beginners French Language 1 (FR1028)
  • Beginners French Language 2 (FR1528)
  • Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021) AND/OR Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1527)
  • Select further credit points from level 1 courses of choice to reach 120 credit points

Qualified

  • Qualified French Language 1 (FR1029)
  • Qualified French Language 2 (FR1529)
  • Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022) AND/OR Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1526)
  • Select further credit points from level 1 courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021)

15 Credit Points

This course offers students who are registered for the Beginners' course in French language an introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century French culture and society through the study of films, short prose texts and poetry. The course is organised around the broad themes of childhood and adolescence, gender, sexuality and love and marginalisation in contemporary France. The texts will be studied in translation or with subtitles.

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Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France In Context (FR1527)

15 Credit Points

This course offers students who are registered for the beginners' course in French language an advanced introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century French and Francophone culture and society, focusing on the occupation of France during World War II and the experience of colonialism and post-colonialism. Written texts will be studied in translation or with vocabulary help and films will be studied with subtitles.

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Beginners French Language 1 (FR1028)

15 Credit Points

This intensive language course is designed for students who have little or no previous knowledge of French.

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Beginners French Language 2 (FR1528)

15 Credit Points

This course builds on the work done in FR1023, providing students with an adequate command of French language to allow them the possibility of continuing their studies into level 2 and Honours.

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Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022)

15 Credit Points

This course offers students with intermediate or good knowledge French language an introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century French culture and society through the study of films, short prose texts and poetry. The course is organised around the broad themes of childhood and adolescence, gender, sexuality and love and marginalisation in contemporary France.

View detailed information about this course
Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1526)

15 Credit Points

This course offers students with intermediate or good knowledge French language an advanced introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century French and Francophone culture and society, focusing on the occupation of France during World War II and the experience of colonialism and post-colonialism.

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Qualified French Language 1 (FR1029)

15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to Higher or equivalent level. It will enable them to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Qualified French Language 2 (FR1529)

15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to the equivalent of Scottish Higher or beyond. Building on the work done in the first semester, it seeks to enable students to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
Key Debates in Anthropology (AT2010)

30 Credit Points

This course explores some of the key questions that anthropologists have debated: what it is to be human, the nature of human interaction with other humans, with non-humans, and with the environment, and the different ways that people perceive the world and act within it. Themes that will be discussed in this course include the category of the person, morality and ethics, art and aesthetics, what is power, how to engage with Otherness, and how anthropologists engage actively, outside academia, in development, health, or business.

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Reimagining Colonialism (AT2515)

30 Credit Points

This course will explore contemporary colonial expressions from an anthropological perspective. It will be split into two main themes: Material Histories; and Mediated Histories. Within these themes it will address topics such as the "capturing" of cultures in museums, kinship and politics, gendered colonialism, economic development, media, aboriginal rights and contemporary resistance movements.

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Optional Courses

Ex-Beginner

  • FR2012: Advanced Introductory French Language 1 AND FR2512: Advanced Introductory French Language 2

Plus, select one of the following:

  • FR2014: Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society AND FR2514: Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery
  • FR2014: Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society AND FR2510 Introduction to French Linguistics
  • FR2514: Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery AND FR2510 Introduction to French Linguistics

Qualified

  • FR2002: Advanced French Language 1 AND FR2502: Advanced French Language 2

Plus, select one of the following:

  • FR2013: French Identities: Individual and Society AND FR2513: French Identities: Centre and Periphery
  • FR2013: French Identities: Individual and Society AND FR2510: Introduction to French Linguistics
  • FR2510: French Identities: Centre and Periphery AND FR2513: Introduction to French Linguistics

NOTE: Level 2 students opting to take the combination FR 2513/FR 2514 and FR 2510 should be aware the credit weighting will be 45 credits in the first half session and 75 credits in the second half session as opposed to the standard 60/60. This will result in a heavier workload in the second half session.

Advanced Introductory French Language 1 (FR2012)

15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the first half-session is only open to students who have passed FR1523. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language courses (along with FR2512) that has to have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

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Advanced Introductory French Language 2 (FR2512)

15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the second half-session is only open to students who have followed FR2012. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language pre-requisite courses (along with FR2012) that one must have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

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Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the individual and society in France from the 18th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of novels, a play and a film.

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Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2514)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the centre and periphery in France and the Francophone world from the 17th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of a play, poetry, postcolonial theory and a film.

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Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)

15 Credit Points

This course will look at

- the French sound system (with the spin-off of helping you to improve your pronunciation).

- word meaning and also speaker meaning (what a speaker means by, e.g., "were you born in a barn?")

- how new words are formed

- how sentences can be analysed

- how French has developed from the Middle Ages up to the present

- how French spread throughout the world (including French-based creoles)

- how French varies according to the person using the language, and the purpose for which they are using it

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Advanced French Language 1 (FR2002)

15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the first half-session is only open to students who have passed FR1524. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language courses required to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

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Advanced French Language 2 (FR2502)

15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the second half-session is only open to students who have followed FR2002. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language pre-requisite courses to be allowed into the French honours Programme (a minimum CAS mark of 12/20 at the first attempt will be required for FR2502).

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French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2013)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the individual and society in France from the 18th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of novels, a play and a film.

View detailed information about this course
French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2513)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the centre and periphery in France and the Francophone world from the 17th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of a play, poetry, postcolonial theory and a film.

View detailed information about this course
Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Second half-session will be spent in a French-speaking country

Anthropological Theory (AT3027)

30 Credit Points

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

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Junior Honours French Language (FR3089)

15 Credit Points

This Junior Honours French language course, whose pre-requisites are FR2502 or FR2512, runs over the full session and is only open to Single and Joint Junior Honours degree in French students.

Building on the skills gained during their first two years of study of French, this course will improve the students' French language skills in all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst increasing their grammatical and lexical knowledge, as well as their sensitivity to linguistic variety.

It carries 15 credits and is assessed by way of four equally weighted assignments.

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Optional Courses

Second half-session will be spent in a French-speaking country either Studying OR Working

Working option: Work Experience: Employability Skills Development (FR3597) AND Junior Honours Project 1 (FR3596)

Plus 30 further credits from level 3 courses in French, and 30 credit points from level 3 courses in Anthropology (to be taken in the first half session)

Society and Nature (AT3522)

15 Credit Points

Through a series of lectures and a mix of tutor and student led tutorials, this course will interrogate the division between society and nature. We will examine where the division came from, how it informs many understandings of humans and the environment, and whether we would be better off disposing of it altogether. Examples of the impact of this construction will be provided but students will be encouraged and expected to seek out their own and to do their own research which will then be brought back to the course through lively tutorial discussions resulting in peer and tutor feedback.

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Emotion, Self and Society (AT3526)

15 Credit Points

This course addresses the anthropological study of emotion and self. It covers the different theoretical approaches to emotion, self and subjectivity. The broad questions addressed revolve around the cultural construction of emotion and self, and the entanglement of psychodynamic processes and power in the formation of the subject. The topics covered include anger and fear, grief and compassion, personhood, technologies of self and subjectification, identification and melancholia.

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Religion, Power and Belief (AT3534)

15 Credit Points

What is religion? What does ritual do? Does ritual have effects, in the persons performing them, in society, or the world? How might ritual be a means or medium for political action? This course is an ethnographically grounded discussion of how anthropologists have addressed the concept of religion, the interface of religion and power, and is a critical interrogation the concept of belief.

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Junior Honours Project 1 (FR3596)

15 Credit Points

This course, open only to mode B Junior Honours students working in a French-speaking country, complements FR3089 and aims to develop receptive and productive skills in French.

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Work Experience: Employability Skills Development (FR3597)

30 Credit Points

This course, open to Mode B students, provides an opportunity for students to build on their French language ability and cultural understanding of French society through either a placement, personal development project or volunteering activity based within any French speaking country during the first half session. Students work towards a range of personal, educational or work-related outcomes over the course of their time abroad. All external engagement activities require the approval from the student’s academic School and must be verified by the external organisation.

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Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses
Senior Honours French Language (FR4089)

30 Credit Points

This Senior Honours French language course, whose pre-requisite is the Junior Honours French Language course, is run over the full session and is only open to Single and Joint Senior Honours degree in French students.

Building on the skills gained in their third year of study of French, this course will help the students' French language gain very high skills in all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst increasing their grammatical and lexical knowledge, as well as their sensitivity to linguistic variety.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

You must choose one of the following dissertation courses:

  • AT4047 Joint Honours Dissertation in Anthropology
  • FR4097 Dissertation in French

Plus, further credit points from level 4 courses in Anthropology and French to gain a total of 60 credit points in each discipline

Joint Honours Dissertation in Anthropology (AT4047)

30 Credit Points

This course is open to joint honours students in anthropology. Having chosen a topic for their study, students will be allocated a supervisor and carry out readings, research and writing under the guidance of their supervisor. Students will write a 10,000-word dissertation based on library research.

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Dissertation in French (FR4097)

15 Credit Points

Candidates will write a dissertation of 8,000 words on a subject to be decided in consultation with the Course Co-ordinator, to be researched and written (under supervision by a member of staff) in the second half session of Junior Honours, and submitted at the beginning of Senior Honours.

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The Constitutional Imagination (AT4025)

30 Credit Points

This course will examine anthropological theories of the state, political organization and violence. Through an analysis of both modern and historical case studies from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we will critically examine theories of state of modern and non-modern state formation and organisation, and the nexus of religion and colonial history. In the second half of the course, particular attention will we paid to the ethnography of violence as a mode of state and proto-state political action.

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Anthropological Approaches to the Past (AT4049)

30 Credit Points

This course draws on the University’s Museums and Special Collections to explore practical methods used in anthropological approaches to the past. Students will investigate the ethnographic potential of oral histories, museum objects, photographs, and archival documents. We will examine how these methods can be used to tell diverse stories about colonialism, collecting, and histories of science, and address contemporary concerns such as collaborative research and repatriation. Students will write a historical ethnography drawing on methods and materials of their choice.

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Anthropology and Art: on Place, Landscape and Materials (AT4548)

30 Credit Points

Anthropology and art have much to offer each other. Taking historical and contemporary perspectives, students in this course will debate the cultural significance of art and the nature of creativity. We will focus particularly on questions of place, landscape and materials through a combined art-anthropology approach. The course will use the University of Aberdeen’s own art and ethnographic collections, and we will also work with Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen.

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Roads, Mobility, Movement, Migration (AT4526)

30 Credit Points

In this course students will be introduced to the topical themes in contemporary anthropology: roads, automobility, car cultures, migration, road narratives, and roads in film and literature. The course is based on the notions of movement and mobility and will incorporate the ethnographic material from the North, including Scotland and Siberia. During the course students will conduct their own research on the road of their choice. The course includes: a fieldwork element, screenings of documentary films about roads, and weekly student-led discussions.

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More Than Human (AT4538)

30 Credit Points

This course explores new directions in how we think about humans and other species.

Recent years have seen an upsurge in interest in how the social sciences and humanities deal with animals, plants and other organisms and we scrutinise these cutting edge ideas in depth. A lot of emphasis is placed on trying to think through real life encounters and issues, from a walk in the park to new revelations about life from the bottom of the ocean. Although the focus is on anthropological work, the course should appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds.

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The Political Anthropology of Indigenous Rights (AT4547)

30 Credit Points

Indigeneity is one of the more controversial relations created by globalisation. Widely criticised for being ‘essentialist’ and ‘anti-liberal’, it is one of the more quickly growing identities recognized by the United Nations and defended in the constitutions of many nation-states. Using anthropological insight, this course survey the history of the term, study its expansion from the ‘salt-water colonies’ and ‘settler states’ to the heartland of Europe, and explore some of the challenges and advantages of the term. The seminar will explore how the term has come to be used in different post-colonial situations from the classic “heartlands” if indigeneity in North America, Latin America, and Northern Fennoscandia, to new contexts in China, India, Africa. The course will also explore how the politics of aboriginal rights has become closely linked to struggles for recognition, environmentalism, and collective struggles against neo-liberalism. The course is run in a seminar format with students encouraged to weigh and evaluate the results of their reading.

View detailed information about this course

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Anthropology and French?

  • Aberdeen is one of the fastest-growing Anthropology departments in the UK.
  • Our core staff specialise in regions as diverse as Canada, the Central Asian Republics, Iceland and Scandinavia, Siberia, Scotland and the UK, South America, Tibet and the Himalayas.
  • We offer innovative ideas and a fresh vision of the subject, with an emphasis throughout on work at the cutting-edge of the discipline and research.
  • A vibrant student anthropology society regularly organises academic and social events bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students with staff outside the classroom.
  • We offer language courses both for students with qualifications in French and for beginners or near-beginners.
  • The discipline has an international reputation for research, covering not just France, but Francophone Africa and the Caribbean - the wide range of our research interests is reflected in the Honours options courses we offer.
  • We are a medium-sized, friendly department and the student-run French Society organises a range of social events.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2022 Entry
2023 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
EU / International students £19,800
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Financial support for your study year abroad

We provide funding to students starting in 2021/22 on degrees with a compulsory period abroad at the same level as the Turing funding. This financial support can be used towards rent in your new city overseas, general living costs, or travelling to see more of your new home country. Students going abroad will continue to pay their normal rate of tuition fees with no increased charges or need to change tuition fee arrangements to the host university. For a full overview of how the tuition fees work, you can check this helpful funding table on our website.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

  • Anthropology Education, Research, Consultancy.
  • Social Research.
  • Museum and Gallery Curator.
  • Social Work.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX