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A Level : French at Melton Vale Sixth Form College

Course description

This A-level builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It promotes a range of valuable transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity. The content is suitable for students who wish to progress to employment or further study, including a modern languages degree or, more commonly, into the world of commerce. This qualification is linear, which means that students will sit all of their exams at the end of the 2 year course.

Course content

The focus is on how French-speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally, and how it continues to change.   Students also study aspects of the political landscape in a French-speaking country, looking at immigration from the political perspective and at the way in which political power is expressed through action such as strikes and demonstrations. Teenagers and the extent to which they are politically engaged looks towards the future of political life in French-speaking society.

The choice of works (literary texts and films) offers opportunities to link with the themes studied. Students will study 'L'etranger ' by albert Camus and the film 'La Haine'. 

Entry requirements

MV16 Minimum Requirements:
To study A-Levels at MV16 you must have achieved a minimum of grade 4+ in GCSE English and Maths, plus 3 grade 6's or B's in other subject areas including any subject-specific entry requirements where stated on the individual subject pages.

French - Subject-specific requirements:
In addition to the MV16 Centre requirements you will need a minimum of grade 6 or B in GCSE French to study GCE A-level French at MV16.


There are three exams at the end of the two year course:

Paper 1 –Listening, reading and writing - 2 ½ hours – 40% of A Level
No access to a dictionary during the assessment. The paper is split into 3 sections:

Listening and responding to spoken passages from a range of contexts. Students will have individual control of the recording.   All questions are in French, to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French (60 marks)

Reading and responding to a variety of texts.   
All questions are in French, to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French (60 marks)


  • Translation into English; a passage of minimum 100 words (20 marks)
  • Translation into French; a passage of minimum 100 words (20 marks). 

Paper 2 – Writing – 2 hours – 30% of A Level
No access to a dictionary during the assessment.
No access to texts or films during the assessment.

There will be two essays to write on set questions based on a book or film.  Students are advised to write approximately 300-500 words per essay.

  • Either one question in French on a set text from a choice of two questions
    plus one question in French on a set film from a choice of two questions
  • Two questions in French on set texts from a choice of two questions on each text.

Paper 3 – Speaking – 21 to 23 minutes – 30% of A Level
No access to a dictionary during the assessment (including 5 minutes preparation).
Students may take the assessment only once before certification.

Oral exam: 21–23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)


  • Discussion of a sub-theme with the discussion based on a stimulus card (5–6 minutes). The student studies the card for 5 minutes at the start of the test (25 marks).
  • Presentation (2 minutes) and discussion (9–10 minutes) of individual research project (35 marks).

Future opportunities

French is a desirable support to all other areas of study. Increasingly, job opportunities are enhanced if you can show the ability to learn a foreign language to an advanced level.  For example, the business world is always on the look out for people with good language skills.

Many universities offer a double honours degree which include French (e.g. Law and French, Business and French, Philosophy and French).  Alternatively Europe funds the ERASMUS project for students who study French alongside their main subject. This is the ideal opportunity to experience life/higher education abroad.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact Mr Sutherland on 01664 504750,email or visit our website

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Melton Vale Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 10 October 2017
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Key information

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Mr M Sutherland
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 01664 504750
    • Email address: