Why choose French?

Gain an in-depth knowledge of the culture and society of France and French-speaking countries, and speak a foreign language fluently.

An increasing global world makes French a useful, relevant, lively and hugely rewarding subject.

French is one of the official languages of the United Nations and the European Union. It is spoken in over 50 countries by around 285 million people. Moreover, speaking a foreign language is one of the most sought after skills for employers.

Studying French can be profitably combined with any other subjects, whether you wish to complement your arts subjects, or to contrast with science subjects.

Transition from GCSE

A four week transition period will enable you develop the skills necessary to study from GCSE to higher level. You will also discover some exciting aspects of French culture.

We will support you in developing good habits of independent study and learn how to manage your set pieces of homework.

We have a wide range of online resources to inspire, intrigue and support you. In addition we run support sessions from day 1 at lunchtime when individual or small group support is available for you.


“The teachers are always willing to go the extra mile and help in any way they can, as well as having the French assistants to help improve conversational skills.”


What will you do in the classroom.....?

The course involves:
  • Lots of pair and small-group speaking practice in lessons
  • A weekly conversation class in a small group with a Foreign Language Assistant
  • Working in the language lab at a pace to suit you
  • Writing in different styles
  • Reading newspaper and magazine articles
  • Watching films and the daily news
  • Debating contemporary topics and social issues
  • Consolidating and expanding your grammar
  • Reading literary texts

.....and outside the classroom?

  • Regular guided homework
  • Working independently: choosing from a huge range of resources to practise your skills and extend your interests at your own pace
  • Listening to news items and interviews
  • Researching - books and the internet
  • Watching films
  • Reading, analysing and writing essays on cinema and literature.

“Lessons have a friendly atmosphere and there are various activities used to cater for all types of learners from vocab tests to board games.”


Extra activities

To make the language learning more real and fun, nothing beats exchanges.

Students are strongly encouraged to take part in the well-established Montpellier exchange, often described as one of the highlights of the course. You will see your skills and confidence rocket to new heights! We also offer an individual French exchange with a Paris lycée: we match you with a partner with similar interests in Paris and you organise the rest.

At College, our thriving student-led French Society organises various popular events throughout the year. Students can also take part in national competitions like debating, creative or analytical writing. We have a bit of a reputation for winning such competitions!

“One of my favourite things about French at Hills Road was the French exchange, through which I met a friend for life and got the chance to completely immerse myself in French culture.”



“The teaching style is varied with something for everyone. You can enjoy stretching yourself in the areas where you flourish while being supported in improving weaker areas.”


Career Prospects

Great news! The rate of employment of language graduates is one of the highest of all degrees.

With decreasing number of linguists in Britain, a language will make you a much sought-after candidate for universities and employers alike.

Thanks to your excellent written and oral communication, you will be recognised as a good team worker and problem solver, as well as being flexible, independent and open to new ideas.

Moreover, learning a language requires regular and systematic work and both universities and employers recognize this in Languages students.

Many students of French go on to study language subjects at university. There is now a well-established tradition of combining French with linguistics, English, history, law and philosophy, including in top universities.

But French sits equally well with maths, engineering, economics, banking, politics, geography, sociology, computing, music, psychology, in fact nearly any subjects!

Added bonus: you can spend a year in France or in one of the 50 odd French-speaking countries round the world as a part of your degree!

Studying French at A level will open the door to a wide range of careers and some of our former students have gone onto working:
  • as journalists
  • in editing and publishing
  • in diplomacy, law
  • for media channels
  • in accountancy and business and management
  • in tourism and international development
  • as teachers
  • as translators and interpreters

French02“I have loved doing French, such a fulfilling subject – a challenge academically and really socially enriching."


Entry Requirements

GCSE Grade B in French

Awarding Body


Units of Study

Year 12


Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends

  • The changing nature of family
  • The 'cyber-society'
  • The place of voluntary work
Artistic culture in the French-speaking world
  • A culture proud of its heritage
  • Contemporary francophone music
  • Cinema: the 7th art form
Study of film
for example: La Haine, Entre les murs, L'auberge espagnole or Les 400 coups

Year 13


Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues

  • Positive features of a diverse society
  • Life for the marginalised
  • How criminals are treated
Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world
  • Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment
  • Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
  • Politics and immigration
Study of a book
for example, Candide, L’Etranger, Tartuffe, Boule de Suif or No et moi

In depth independent research project
  • you will choose the topic
  • your research will be used in your oral examination