The Department of French is committed to research innovation and excellence in major aspects of French studies. The department has an exceptionally wide range of expertise, including the medieval period, early modern period, visual-textual relations, 19th, 20th and 21st-century literature, film and drama (including screen and stage adaptations), cultural history, politics, and comparative literature. We collaborate extensively with other departments, especially in the fields of visual and literary cultures, conflict and culture, medieval studies, English, and comparative literature.
Each research student is assigned to an academic who works in their proposed area of research or a related field, and benefits from the input of a second supervisor who may be from another department, depending on the interdisciplinary nature of the project.
The department is a regional centre for the Group for War and Culture Studies and members of the department are active in a wide range of Faculty of Arts research centres and groups. A number of our staff members are editors of leading journals and active in subject associations.
Postgraduate students can benefit from an exchange agreement with the Ecole Normale Supérieure (rue d'Ulm), or take an exchange lecturer post at the Université de Bordeaux III.
Research students lead the organisation of a postgraduate seminar series in literary and visual landscapes, and an initiative to edit postgraduate creative writing.
MPhil: a standalone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding in the submission of a 25,000-word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from our taught master's programmes if they are relevant to their research.
PhD: a research project undertaken across four years (full-time, minimum period of study three years), culminating in an 80,000-word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units, there may be the potential for PhD students to teach units themselves from their second year of study onwards.
MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £4,665 per year
- UK: part-time
- £2,332 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £20,100 per year
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.
More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.
Funding for 2023/24
The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2023. For information on other funding opportunities, including University-funded studentships, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
The French Department is also able to offer the 'Brook PhD scholarship' to the most suitable candidate for the three-year duration of their PhD. This scholarship is comprised of a fee waiver (up to the value of Home fees), a bursary of £5,000 a year and teaching experience of up to three hours per week (remunerated at the University rate for postgraduate teaching assistants).
Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.
A number of graduates from this programme develop careers in higher education or work on high-level research projects in the field of French studies. Some graduates take up careers in translation or writing for international newspapers, while others will go on to work in libraries and archives, the heritage industries, or publishing.
Meet our supervisors
The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.
Members of the department are active in a wide range of research centres and groups in the Faculty of Arts.
Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Research Admissions
- +44 (0) 117 428 2296
- Professor Siobhan Shilton, Head of Subject, French