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French at Elliott Hudson College

Course description

By choosing to study French, students embrace variety and adventure. Whilst refining students’ skills in spoken and written French, the course also samples from a vast array of other disciplines, including sociology, literature, film studies, linguistics, history, music, philosophy and politics. Students will also undertake a research project, over which they have complete freedom of choice. French A-level is not just about “holiday French” (though it’s great for that too); it is about exploring all the many facets of the French-speaking world, from France to North Africa and beyond. A glorious blend of academic and practical skills, French A-level is for the curious, the ambitious and the open-minded.

Course content

Social, Political and Cultural Topics:

The following 12 topics (categorised into 4 broader areas) will be studied as we work on the development of speaking, listening, reading writing and translation skills:

• Social issues

: o The changing nature of the family

o The ‘cyber-society’

o The place of voluntary work

• Social Trends

o Positive features of a diverse society

o Life for the marginalised

o How criminals are treated

• Artistic culture in the French-speaking world:

o A culture proud of its heritage

o Contemporary francophone music

o Cinema: the 7th art form

• Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world:

o Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment

o Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?

o Politics and immigration

Literature and Film

The main written element of the French A-level is an essay paper in which students are assessed on their critical responses to a film and a novel which they have studied in depth. We will be studying:

Film: La Haine (directed by Matthieu Kassowitz)

Matthieu Kassowitz’s La Haine is an intense, violent drama, following three young men in a Parisian ghetto the day after chaotic riots break out. It is a film about friends living in a broken society which tackles issues of racism, revenge and police brutality head-on.

Novel: Albert Camus, L’Étranger Who gets to say what “normal” is? Who decides what is right or wrong? Albert Camus’ masterpiece L’Étranger (The Outsider) will get you scratching your head over these questions and many more as you read about a murder that takes place one sunny day in Algeria.

Individual research project

With support and guidance from their teacher, students select and research a topic of their choice, which can be anything relating to France or a French-speaking country. They are then assessed on their project as part of their speaking examination. This is a real opportunity for students to become experts in a topic that excites them and gets them thinking.

Entry requirements

Attain 5 or more standard GCSE passes (grade 4 or higher).

If a student is applying for an A Level course that they have studied at GCSE it is expected that a student would attain at least a standard pass (grade 4) in this subject.


Paper 1 – Listening reading and writing
Exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes
100 marks
50% of A Level
Paper 2 – Writing
Written exam: 2 hours
80 marks
20% of A Level
Paper 3 – Speaking
Speaking exam: 21-23 minutes in length, based on research project
60 marks
30% of A Level

Financial information

Elliott Hudson College will not charge fees for tuition or examination entry (except for re-sits, where attendance is unsatisfactory or coursework is incomplete). There are no charges for course materials, although students are expected to provide their own stationery and any specialist clothing /equipment. Course books may be bought from subject teachers however subjects will also loan textbooks to students in return for a deposit. In the case of field trips, a contribution from the student to cover board and lodging, but excluding tuition and travel, will be expected. Some optional activities (e.g. enrichment, theatre trips, exchange visits, etc.) may have an associated cost; this will be notified in advance of the event.

Some applicants might not be supported by government funding for education (e.g. non-UK or EU passport holders recently arrived in the area): in these cases we do reserve the right to charge full fees for the course.

If your family is on a low income or you encounter any financial difficulties in special circumstances, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the college’s Student Bursary Fund.

Future opportunities

French has the advantage of being both a practical employment skill and a subject which is perceived to be highly academic, meaning that it is much sought after by both universities and employers.

Former languages students choose to deploy their languages skills in a range of rewarding professional contexts, including journalism, law, business, politics and diplomacy. Meanwhile, many other careers are also available specifically for languages graduates, including language teaching (within the UK and abroad), linguistic and cultural research, and translation/interpretation.

Further information

Detailed information about Elliott Hudson College can be found on the college’s website









































































How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 06 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September