French BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: R120
  • Year of entry: 2019
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33 / BTEC : Applications considered
Modern-Languages-and-Cultures-2

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

Study as part of joint-honours at 100:0 Choosing this subject as a Single Honours

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, 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 in Year One 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 Renaissance texts discussing the New World, to contemporary French sociolinguistics, and collaboration during the Second World War. You may also, subject to approval, select relevant modules from the range of modules offered within the wider School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, including modules from Film Studies. Our work placement module allows you practically to apply your skills under the supervision of one of your departmental teachers.

You will spend one year in a French-speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a partner Erasmus+ university, or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in French or follow courses at your chosen university. If you combine Major French with a Minor in another language, you may choose to spend half the year abroad in a French-speaking country.

Study as part of joint-honours at 75:25 Choosing this subject as a Major

In Year One, you will study language modules as well as foundation modules, which serve as a broad introduction to the literary, cultural and historical modules offered in the subsequent years of the degree and equip you with appropriate academic skills successfully to complete these modules. You will also take a ‘language awareness’ module in Year One 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 the history of the book and Renaissance texts discussing the New World, to Mediterranean literature, contemporary French sociolinguistics, and collaboration during the Second World War. You may also, subject to approval, select relevant modules from the range of modules offered within the wider School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, including modules from Film Studies. Our work placement module allows you practically to apply your skills under the supervision of one of your departmental teachers.

You will spend one year in a French-speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a partner Erasmus+ university, or on a work placement. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in French or follow courses at your chosen university. If you combine Major French with a Minor in another language, you may choose to spend half the year abroad in a French-speaking country.

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

Studying French at 50% will enable you to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to the language, and will introduce you to the study of important social, cultural, historical and linguistic debates, as well as world literature and cinema. In each year of your programme, you will study two language modules plus two content modules which cover the spectrum of French studies, from the history of the book and Renaissance texts discussing the New World, to Mediterranean literature, contemporary French sociolinguistics, and collaboration during the Second World War.

You may also select relevant modules from the range of modules offered within the wider School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, including modules from Film Studies. The work placement module allows you practically to apply your skills under the supervision of one of your departmental teachers.

French can be studied in combination with both language and non-language subjects to offer you the benefits and enhanced employability that language skills and intercultural awareness provide.

If you combine French with a non-language subject, you will spend one year in a French speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a partner Erasmus+ university, or on a work placement.

For entry to French with another language you will need an A level in at least one of the languages studied. In your third year, you will spend half the Year Abroad in a French speaking country as a student at a university, as an assistant in a school or on a work placement. During the time you spend in a French-speaking country you will complete an essay or portfolio in French or follow courses at your chosen university.

Study as part of joint-honours at 25:75Choosing this subject as a Minor

Studying French language as a Minor at 25% of your degree will enable you to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to the language. It will also help you to understand aspects of the cultures and societies of France and the French-speaking world. A Year Abroad is highly recommended, but not compulsory, for French as a Minor subject.

You may spend a year in a French-speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a partner Erasmus+ university, or on a work placement. During this year, you would complete an extended essay or portfolio in French or follow courses at your chosen university. If you combine Minor French with a Major in another language, you may choose to spend half the Year Abroad in a French-speaking country.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

141 Year One undergraduates in 2017

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, from beginners to advanced.

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 studentsin and beyond the classroom.

Pursue your own adventure

Many of our modules allow you to focus on topics that particularly interest you. For example our language modules often let you choose and research a subject that interests you as part of your assessment, whether a book report or oral presentation. In cultural modules, you can choose or even devise your own essay question.

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.