French

Why study French?

  • With 300 million speakers, French is the fifth most spoken language in the world and, along with English, one of only two languages taught in five continents. By studying French, you will join an ever-growing community of more than 50 million learners across the world, making you an outward-looking, truly global citizen.
  • French is an official language in 32 countries and numerous international organisations including the United Nations, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee. Additionally, France is the world’s leading tourist destination. French is therefore important in business, travel and world diplomacy, providing many job opportunities for those with knowledge of the language.
  • Studying French will give you access to a wealth of cultural products. French is the international language of fashion and food, and is the language of some of the most celebrated works of literature, film and music.

What we offer in Languages

We offer French at three different routes. You will study two language modules per academic year. As a minor subject, French will serve as an excellent complement to various fields and enable you to acquire additional employability skills such as intercultural awareness, resilience and time management. This will widen your opportunities and enhance your salary prospects.

Level

French language requirement

Beginner – Route A

No prior knowledge or GCSE grade 5 or below

Intermediate – Route B

GCSE grades 6 to 9 or AS grade D or E or equivalent

Advanced – Route C

A-level pass or AS grade C or above or equivalent

You will normally be required to study at a level commensurate with your prior knowledge or qualifications. For example, if you have a GCSE grade 6 in French, you cannot choose the beginner route.

If you already have a very high level of proficiency (e.g. you are a native speaker or you have lived in a French-speaking country), you are not eligible to study French. In this case, choosing an alternative language would be an excellent option for you.

If you are unsure about your level or eligibility, please contact us at languages@herts.ac.uk and we will be happy to advise.

We may decide to informally assess your level when you arrive and, if appropriate, place you on an alternative route.

Classes

Whether you are a complete beginner or looking to develop your existing knowledge of French, you will study in a relaxed, supportive environment. You will learn through a combination of interactive lectures, seminars and language lab sessions in which you will develop your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. You will build confidence in communication from day one. In addition to honing your language skills, you will discover aspects of the social and cultural life of France and French-speaking countries.

As well as being enjoyable and refreshingly different from your main subject, studying a language is a natural step towards spending one or two semesters at one of our many partner universities abroad. Students who have taken up this opportunity have found their experience enlightening and that it has given them a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

We look forward to welcoming you!