French BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: R120
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • 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 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 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

102 Year One undergraduates in 2016

UK league tables

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

Graduate prospects

87.6% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2014/15)

National Student Survey

91% of students are happy with the teaching on their programme (National Student Survey 2016)

Why this subject?

Learn a language the Liverpool way

At the University of Liverpool, language is at the heart of our teaching and staff from across the Department take part in its delivery. Our fully-refurbished Language Lounge is the centre of our 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’, a foreign-language newspaper and take in the beautiful views of our fabulous Georgian Abercromby Square.

Many of our students will start a language from beginner’s level. Indeed, in languages such as Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Catalan and Basque most of our students will start that language from scratch. At Liverpool, you can choose with confidence, knowing that we are specialists in teaching languages to beginners and you will benefit from our years of experience in accompanying students in their first steps in their chosen language. As a beginner, you will take our fast-track modules to achieve between GCSE and A level standard within a year. From Year Two, you will be integrated with post-A-level students studying your language.

Broaden your understanding of language and culture with a year abroad

Whether you study languages as a Single Honours degree or as a Minor, you have the opportunity to spend a year abroad as part of your programme. 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. This opportunity offers you a unique first-hand experience to step out of the classroom and immerse yourself in the country’s culture and develop your language skills further.

Experience our ‘connected’ Liverpool curriculum

Our degrees help you make connections within and across language areas. If you study a language as a Single Honours degree, you can take a different language from scratch or from A level standard which you can continue into final year.

We also offer modules that enable you to compare the culture or linguistics of one or more language areas. These include modules on German and Italian film, as well as linguistic topics such as the linguistic landscape.

Our teaching is informed by partnerships with organisations across and outside the University. For example, some French modules include sessions in Special Collections and Archives in the University’s Sydney Jones Library, whilst others run seminars in conjunction with National Museums Liverpool. In Hispanic Studies, the Etxepare Basque Institute fund a lecturer, internships and visiting speakers. The Spanish Embassy, the Institut Ramon Llull (the Catalan language and cultural institute), the Instituto Camões (the Portuguese language and cultural institute) and the Instituto Cervantes (the Spanish language and cultural institute) all support our annual Iberian and Latin American Week, a week of cultural and language activities related to Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. These take place on campus and at a variety of venues throughout the city.

We will help you make the connection between university study and your future career, either through offering work experience opportunities as part of your degree or through transferable or specialist skills gained during your studies. Our work placement modules in Year Two allow you to use your language skills on a work placement in the Merseyside area. Our Year Abroad scheme offers you the opportunity to undertake a year- long teaching placement or an ‘International Year in Industry’ in a business or other organisation.

From the end of Year Two of your studies, you can gain qualified teacher status in a scheme supported by the Department of Education. Once you register on this programme, you will be eligible for the Teacher Training Bursary, a tax-free sum of up to £9,000. If you are interested in a career in translation and interpreting, you can gain these skills in our language modules from Year Two. In the Final Year, you can choose to take a specialist translation studies module or prepare a translation of your chosen text to submit as a dissertation.

You will also gain insights into the creative and practical aspects of the translation process at our annual translation workshop, led by a visiting professional translator or network with potential employers at our annual ‘Careers in Translation and Interpreting’ event.

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.