French BA (Hons)

Key information


French is one of the world’s most important languages in terms of speaker numbers and its role in science, industry and international diplomacy.

Fluency in French opens up dynamic and fast-changing parts of the world outside Europe, including North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as parts of the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. A mastery of this language brings with it access to cultural products including world literature and cinema, but also important social, cultural, historical and linguistic debates.

At Liverpool, French may be taken from A-level or as a beginner’s language where no previous qualifications in the language are necessary. In the first year our vibrant programmes at advanced level will both refresh and extend your knowledge of French. If you are a beginner, our fast-moving programme will quickly take you to A-level standard during the course of your first year.

The perfection of language skills is at the heart of our degrees. We also actively foster in our students the development of professional skills in French. All our degrees demand a full intellectual engagement with a wide selection of areas in French studies. As a subject group, we have a strong interest in looking at French in and beyond France, with the expectation that students will look at French in the European context, as well as in the Americas, Africa and Asia. We also cover French and Francophone culture in a broad historical context that allows our students to understand the standing of French language and grasp the various questions of identity linked to being a speaker of French outside France. In addition, we cover aspects of French studies from various social, historical, visual, literary, filmic and linguistic aspects, ensuring that we not only teach traditional areas of interest but are committed to ensuring students better understand the questions that people are asking themselves across the French-speaking world, from Port-au-Prince to Paris, from Montreal to Marseille, from Guadeloupe to Geneva.

Programme in detail

In Year One, you will study language modules as well as foundation modules, which will introduce you to a range of topics in French history, culture and linguistics. You will also take a ‘Language awareness’ module which is designed to support your language learning by sensitising you to issues in language and linguistics. During your second and final year you will take language modules, plus content modules which cover the spectrum of French studies – from French film and texts discussing the New World, to contemporary French sociolinguistics, French cinema, fashion in France, and collaboration during the Second World War. You may also, subject to approval, select relevant modules from the wider School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, including modules from Film Studies. Our work placement module allows you to apply your skills practically under the supervision of one of your departmental teachers.

Further to this, you will spend one year in a French-speaking country as a language assistant in a school, as a student at a partner university, or on a work placement. If you combine Major French with a Minor in another language, you will split the year abroad between a French-speaking country and another country.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a combined degree

Split your degree between the study of French language and cultures and another subject of your choice.

If you split your degree between French and another subject area, you will study a French language module, at beginners’ or advanced level, and a cultural module per semester, alongside two other modules in your other subject.

If you combine French with a non-language subject, you will spend the Year Abroad in a French speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement. If you combine French with another language, you will split the year abroad between the two countries.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

124 Year One undergraduates in 2018

UK league tables

Ranked 19th for Modern Languages in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Department resources

The Department has recently moved to a fully-refurbished Grade I listed building in the beautiful Georgian Abercromby Square. We have our own Language Lounge which is stocked with language-learning resources and provides a beautiful and contemplative environment for group work or private study. It has five PCs specialising in language learning programmes. We have our own Modern Language film collection which is available to students for loan.

Research performance

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) graded 72% of our staff publications as world-leading or internationally excellent with the remaining 28% considered to be of recognised international quality. This ranks us above Nottingham, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford and Exeter.

Why this subject?

Learn a language the Liverpool way

At Liverpool, you can choose which level to learn at with confidence, knowing we are specialists in teaching languages to all levels. Beginners will benefit from our years of experience in accompanying students in their first steps in their chosen language; advanced students will see their knowledge broadened and deepened.

Access new facilities

Our fully-refurbished Language Lounge is the centre of departmental life. It is a lively place where you can work on your language skills with the aid of online resources, watch foreign-language films, meet someone for a chat in your chosen language or simply settle down with “un espresso”.

Experience our ‘connected’ Liverpool curriculum

Our teaching is informed by partnerships with organisations across and outside the university. As part of your modules, you may visit an exhibition, deliver a language taster in a school, do an internship in one of our partner organisations, or interview a film maker. Our department routinely organises visits by award-winning writers, directors and translators who will share valuable insights into their work and we recently received a University Learning and Teaching award for enriching the experience of students in and beyond the classroom.

Broaden your understanding of language and culture with a year abroad

You’ll spend your third year teaching English, attending university, completing a work placement or working for a non-government organisation (NGO) in one or more countries relevant to the language or languages you are studying. A reduced fee is payable for the year which you spend abroad. If you are studying two languages you will normally split the year between two countries.

Higher than average salaries

Did you know that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) say that students who study abroad as part of their studies are more likely to be in further education or employment six months after graduating and to earn higher than average salaries, and that they are more likely to graduate with a 2.1 or First Class degree?