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French courses

Would you like to develop your written and spoken French language skills so you could live or work in another country? Are you interested in learning about France’s history, literature and culture? If so a modern languages course in French and/ or another European language may be for you. Courses often include time abroad studying at a university, or teaching. Possible careers include translating and interpreting, journalism, law, publishing, museum curator or working for an international company.

Studying french at university

Example course modules

  • French language
  • Reading French literature
  • French syntax and vocabulary
  • French translation
  • Modern french culture
  • French cinema of the 1930s
  • Gender, the novel and the récit
  • French society
  • Business French
  • Innovations in European literature

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 74%
    Male : 26%
  • Mature : 5%
    School leaver : 95%
  • Full-time : 97%
    Part-time : 3%

What students say about french

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • French

Useful to have

  • history
  • Politics
  • English literature
  • Any other modern language

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
It's often said the UK doesn't produce enough modern language graduates, and graduates from French, German, Italian and Spanish courses have a lot of options available to them when they complete their courses. The general theme is that some graduates go to that country to work, often as English language teachers, some go into further study, often to train as teachers or translators, but most get jobs in the UK in education - as language tutors, unsurprisingly - or translation. Modern language grads can also be in demand in business roles where communication and language skills are particularly useful, such as marketing and PR. Russian studies graduates make up a small but in demand group of language grads; with Russia playing an important part in world business and politics, graduates usually command some of the highest salaries in this area. Employers say they rate graduates who have more than one language, but remember you need to have them as part of a whole package of good skills.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Teaching and educational professionals

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Copywriter
  • Translator
  • Language teacher

Other real-life job examples

  • Business analyst
  • Events manager
  • Work experience coordinator

What employers like about this subject

European language and literature degrees can provide students with a range of subject-specific skills, including an understanding of the language and culture of the countries under study; the way that literature and language interacts with society and, of course, how to communicate effectively in the chosen languages. Students on these courses often take a year abroad in the country of study. Students of languages can also learn a number of useful transferrable skills including communication, time management, research and critical thinking and project management, and these skills are in demand from employers, including schools, translation services, accountants and advertising agencies.