Modern Foreign Languages

French A level

The French language is spoken on five continents and has official language status in 29 countries. It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations and of the Olympics too, alongside English. With 270 million French speakers worldwide why wouldn’t you want to learn to communicate with them?

A level French challenges students to discuss important social and political issues within a francophone context; from the evolving face of the family to the issues surrounding immigration and racism. In addition, the book ‘Un Sac de Billes’ by Joseph Joffo and a BAFTA-winning film, Louis Malle’s ‘Au Revoir les Enfants’ will form part of the course – these both deal with occupied France and the plight of the Jewish community. The Independent Research Project allows students to select an aspect of Francophone society of interest to them, to study it and then present their findings in the speaking test.

A level French can complement any combination of other studies arts or STEM and can be key to courses and careers not only in modern foreign languages but also law, media, diplomacy, international business the only limit is your imagination.


A level French

Awarding body


Entry requirements

GCSE at Grade 5 or above in both maths and English. Grade 6 or above in French GCSE.

Year 12

French is split into a number of topics.

  • 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
  • Independent Research Project
  • A personal piece of research on a topic chosen by the students and forming the basis of the majority of the speaking test
  • Book & Film
  • Un Sac de Billes - Joseph Joffo
  • Au Revoir les Enfants – Louis Malle

Year 13

  • Aspects of French-Speaking Society – Current Issues
  • Positive features of a diverse society
  • Life for the marginalised
  • How criminals are treated
  • Political and Artistic Culture in the French-Speaking World
  • Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment
  • Demonstrations, strikes -Who holds the power?
  • Politics and Immigration


Paper 1 Listening, Reading and Writing – listening, reading and translation skills are tested by a range of question types with answers in English and French

2 hours 30

Paper 2 Writing – 2 essays, one each based on the book and film studied

2 hours

Paper 3 Speaking – one photo card based on one of the topic areas, presentation and discussion based on Independent Research Project

21-23 minutes


Why study French?

You will be learning not only an A level subject but also a life skill and the ability to communicate with many millions of people worldwide.

Potential career paths and further study

We are proud of the destinations of our A level students. Over the last five years, our A level students have gone on to study languages and other subjects at Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Durham and Heriot - Watt Universities.

Languages can be combined with any other A level and can lead to varying careers, including not just the obvious choices of translating, interpreting and teaching, but is beneficial in enabling students to access places on courses such as law, medicine and business.

Research carried out by Routes into languages suggests that learning a language can boost an average worker’s earnings by up to 20%. For a person earning the average national salary, that would mean an extra £200,000 over a working life.

Pupil premium