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With over 500 undergraduates, French at Exeter is the largest constituent part of the Department of Modern Languages; more than 25 members of staff are involved in the delivery of language and culture modules. The University has invested in a series of new appointments in French over recent years. We are therefore an enthusiastic and energetic department whose internationally recognised research feeds directly into a diverse and stimulating teaching programme.

Language work

You will be expected to become proficient in various spoken and written communication skills, including translation. Some of your classes will be with our team of native French-speakers and you will also have access to the state-of-the-art facilities in the Foreign Language Centre. As part of your studies, you will have the opportunity to spend a period of residence abroad in a francophone country, perhaps as an EU-funded Erasmus student, as an English-language assistant, or in another type of work placement.


The system of personal tutoring with Modern Languages is designed to ensure that everyone receives individual attention and advice throughout their time at Exeter. Each member of staff has a number of ‘office hours' every week during which they are always happy to meet students. Finally, you will be able to join the French Society, organised by undergraduate students, and enjoy the varied programme of talks, films, drama and social activities that they arrange.

French is the largest part of the Department of Modern Languages and our basic philosophy is to ensure broad academic coverage with maximum choice. You can select from a wide variety of modules in most areas of French Studies: cultural studies from the Middle Ages to the present; literature and the visual arts; film; linguistics; gender and sexuality studies.

The flexibility of French Studies at Exeter means that you can decide to pursue a broad-based programme of study that includes modules taken from several of the areas mentioned above, or that you can specialise in one or two pathways.

You can study French through three pathways

Find out more

Modern Languages at Exeter ranks among the top UK institutions for student satisfaction, teaching and research. We offer excellent programmes and boast a Foreign Language Centre with state-of-the-art language-learning facilities. Our MA in Translation is taught by published literary translators, experienced practitioners and specialists in the use of computer-aided translation tools, helping prepare our students to undertake further study and become professional linguists. All teaching is directly related to our research. Modern languages postgraduates benefit from regular research seminars and scholars of international repute are frequent visitors.

Postgraduate taught programmes

Postgraduate research

In French we have a wide range of research specialists anf research interests, including many aspects of French literary and visual culture from the medieval to the contemporary, linguistics, and French thought.

Research interests   

  • Specialists in linguistics carry out research in the sociolinguistics and linguistic variation of contemporary French.
  • Recent and contemporary writing: including biographical fiction, women’s writing, and modern critical theory.
  • Medieval French literature and culture
  • Renaissance thought and literature
  • French and Francophone cinema
  • Eighteenth and nineteenth-century visual art.

Research carried out by staff in French deals with issues including the reception of Classical myth, sexuality, gender, war and trauma, and questions of ‘race’, citizenship, and national identity.

Research Centres

Research projects