The language of Voltaire and Jean-Paul Sartre, French is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, with 110 million native speakers worldwide and a further 200 million people who speak it as a second language.


French is an official language in 29 countries and has a rich literary tradition spanning many different cultures. The French A level and AS level courses teach students how to communicate to a high level in all language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Board: Edexcel

Studying this beautiful and rich language provides access to some of the most important cultural milestones of global culture.

Course Structure

Teaching begins in September (January for 18 month courses). In the first year you will cover the following themes:

  • Theme 1: Les changements dans la société française (Les changements dans les structures familiales; L’éducation; Le monde du travail)
  • Theme 2: La culture politique et artistique dans les pays francophones (La musique; Les médias; Les festivals et les traditions)

Students may take the AS exam at the end of the first year of the programme. The second year then builds on this foundation for the completion of the full A-level. In the second year, the previous topics are covered in greater depth as well as the following themes:

  • Theme 3: L’immigration et la société multiculturelle française (L’impact positif de l’immigration sur la société française; Répondre aux défis de l’immigration et l’intégration en France; L’extrême droite)
  • Theme 4: L’Occupation et la Résistance (La France occupée; Le régime de Vichy; La Résistance)

Exam Structure

AS Exam Format

Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3
Listening, Reading and Translation
1 hour and 45 minutes
Written Response to Works and Translation
1 hour and 40 minutes
Speaking, internally conducted and externally moderated, between 27 and 30 minutes, including 15 minutes of formal preparation time

A2 Exam Format

Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3
Listening, Reading and Translation
2 hours
Written Response to Works and Translation
2 hours and 40 minutes
Speaking, internally conducted and externally assessed, between 21 and 23 minutes, including 5 minutes of formal preparation time

French One-Year A level

The board, format and content are the same as the two-year programme, but the course is covered in the space of one year. The stand-alone AS papers would not be sat..

Related Further Study and Careers

All modern foreign languages A levels, including French, are considered as facilitating subjects and, as such, are viewed as invaluable to a student’s A level profile. A level French is usually a prerequisite for studying the language or a combined degree with French at university. Being proficient in another language is becoming increasingly important in our globalized world and many employers are seeking graduates who have knowledge of at least one language other than their native tongue.

Programme Requirements

Students need at least C grade at GCSE French or equivalent. Alternatively, they may be French speakers.

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