A level

Bonjour, Bienvenue. Are you interested in learning about the language, culture, history and current affairs of the French speaking world?  If so, studying a language at Advanced level could be for you.

During the two year course, you will gain a deep insight into French culture through the study of film, literature, music, art and politics.  You will look closely at life in France, both today and in the past, exploring topics as varied as education, festivals and traditions, multiculturalism, immigration and the Nazi occupation during World War II.  You will watch a number of French films, both classic and modern, and engage with a range of literary texts.

In addition, you will develop your skills as a translator whilst building on fluency across the skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking.  Students also meet with a native speaker once a week for small-group conversation practice.

  • Listening - interviews, conversations, radio broadcasts, videos, video clips on the Internet in our computer suites.
  • Speaking - role-plays, dialogues, pronunciation practice, short presentations and regular conversation classes in small groups with a native speaker.
  • Reading - articles, magazines, books, newspapers, Internet sources.
  • Writing - short articles, letters, reports, projects, poems, descriptions.
  • Grammar - games, revision and practice in class and using the Internet.

This is a new-style linear A level course.  You will NOT be entered for an external AS exam at the end of the first year.  In the second year of the course, you will take external exams that assess content covered in the first and second year.  These exams will determine your A level grade.

You will continue to build on your listening, reading, writing and speaking as well as your knowledge of grammar.

Listening, reading, translation paper - 40%

Writing paper - 30%

Speaking test - 30%

Virtually any.  We have students taking science subjects, mathematicians, historians, those in the fields of English language or literature and business, to name but a few.

Many of our students go on to study languages as a major or minor part of their higher education course.  There has been an explosion in recent years in the number of university courses where modern languages are combined with other subjects, such as business and management, marketing, accountancy, law, engineering, sciences, IT, arts and music.  Study at this level usually involves time spent working or studying abroad.  In recent years, the ability to use languages is highly prized by employers.  Modern languages graduates are in demand with 96% of students finding employment.  Whatever you decide to do, your language skills will be an invaluable asset to you.

Please see below for careers and labour market information for French - use the refresh buttons to find out about different courses and careers, and use the left and right arrows to view more detailed information.

You can find the prep work for this course at

Q:  Is it a big jump from GCSE to A level?
A:  While there is an increase in difficulty, this is one of the best things about the course.  A level study gives you the chance to delve deeper into French culture and explore the language in a more revealing and engaging way than is possible at GCSE.  We are specialists in teaching at this level and are here to help you manage the transition into post-16 learning.

Q:  Is it true you study Literature and Film?
A:  Yes! We sample a range of French films in the first year before honing in on our set film and text in part two of the course. We spend lots of time in class exploring these works, making use of a range of resources in order to make cultural studies feel accessible and enjoyable. You also get the opportunity to choose your own individual film, text, or topic, and carry out some research on a piece of French culture that you love.

Q:  What kinds of support or practice opportunities are offered outside regular lessons?
A:  We are very lucky to have a native speaker with us in College who runs weekly conversation classes where you can meet with other students in very small groups (usually 3 or 4) and talk over what you have been learning about in class and  build your confidence in speaking and listening in French.

Q: What is a typical class size?
A:  Classes are usually made up of  between 14 -18 students.  We do lots of pair and group work in lessons in order to make learning interactive and lively, and there is always a warm and buzzing atmosphere in the classroom.

Q:  What kind of things do students end up doing after the course?
A:  The majority of our students go on to study French in higher education: many apply to universities in the UK (and some even abroad!) to study modern languages (one, two, or even three languages).  Some students choose to combine French with another subject, giving them the opportunity to have a year abroad as part of their degree.  A Level French is a qualification which is extremely attractive to university admissions tutors, apprenticeship providers and employers because it makes your CV stand out against all other applicants. 

To find out the latest information from the department, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, @f6thmodernlangs. 

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

  • Ideally you should have a grade 6 in GCSE French.
  • Ideally you should have a grade 5 in GCSE English language.

Year 1

  • Modern French society: family life, work and study in modern France
  • French festivals, customs and traditions: media, art and music
  • Cinema: The French New Wave

Year 2

  • Multiculturalism: immigration, integration and the current political landscape
  • World War II France: the Nazi occupation and resistance
  • Modern French literature

Employability Skills

  • Effective oral and written communication skills - in two (or more) languages
  • Adaptability: understanding cultural differences
  • Maturity and independence
  • IT skills
  • Good learning strategies
  • Team-working / responsibility / initiative
  • Adaptability, understanding of different cultures