Year abroad

Gain international experience with a year studying or working in France or countries including Senegal and Martinique.

Research-led teaching

Current staff specialisms include: contemporary film and visual studies; literary and cultural studies; Francophone cultures in Africa; French colonialism; modern French society and politics; French linguistics.

Vibrant environment

Bristol has a thriving cultural life, several art cinemas, concert halls and theatres, and a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Students in the department have access to a state-of-the-art multimedia centre.

If you would like to study French on its own or in combination with other languages, see Modern Languages.

French at Bristol

French is a truly global language, spoken by hundreds of millions of people in more than 30 countries in Europe, North and West Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, Polynesia, North America and Asia.

Knowledge of French language and culture is both necessary and rewarding and Francophone countries offer diverse and stimulating cultures for study.

The department encourages synergy between research and teaching, resulting in a vibrant learning environment, as staff respond in their teaching to new research. Our broad expertise reflects the range of contributions that French culture has made, and the major role that France continues to play, in Europe and the wider world.

At Bristol you can either study French as a joint honours degree with another subject, or choose the BA Modern Languages course to study French on its own, or in combination with other languages.

Although the University is quite large, I really feel a part of something, and it feels like people care. I love the feel of the city - it's so quirky and you're always discovering new parts.

Emma, BA French and Spanish

Career prospects

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A high proportion of language graduates find employment in jobs where their language skills and experience are advantageous. There are an increasing number of opportunities with international organisations where fluency in French and knowledge of French institutions and culture are essential.

Employers often value your international outlook as well as the excellent organisational and communication skills gained from these degrees. Our graduates have gone on to careers in publishing, the civil service and Foreign Office, journalism, the media, teaching, marketing, finance, consultancy and tourism.

Course structure

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Our degree courses are aimed at achieving a high level of fluency and accuracy. You will attend a mix of lectures, language classes and seminars. First-year foundation units are followed by a variety of options in diverse topics. You may also study interdisciplinary units in the School of Modern Languages.

At Bristol, you can study French from beginners' level or from post-A level (or equivalent). All our French degrees last four years and include a work or study placement in a French-speaking country during your third year. Some Bristol students choose to spend their time in France, while others choose more far-flung locations such as Senegal or Martinique. To find out more about studying abroad, visit the Centre for Studying Abroad.

Our courses provide an enriching experience with exciting intellectual challenges, offering a wide range of options that build on a solid foundation year. You can choose from an exceptional range of cultural units on aspects of French and Francophone history, literature, politics, linguistics and visual cultures, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Pursue your passions

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There is a great deal of flexibility in how you study French, which is included as a part of many different courses.

You can study French alongside other disciplines such as history, politics, or philosophy, by applying for one of our joint honours degrees.

If you want to specialise solely in French, or to study it alongside up to two other modern languages, you can apply to the BA Modern Languages course.

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