Taught course

French Studies

Birkbeck, University of London · School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication

Entry requirements

Normally a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) in a subject other than French studies or modern languages.

Language skills in French equivalent to A-level plus one year (also equivalent to a pass in French 3).

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry


Course content

Birkbeck's Graduate Diploma in French Studies is ideal for those excited by the thought of studying French language, literature and culture at postgraduate level. This course will help you become a proficient French speaker, with a critical appreciation of the literature and film, culture and history of France and French-speaking countries. You can also choose option modules from a diverse and challenging syllabus.

This course is particularly aimed at those who would like to take a Master's degree in French, or a degree with a focus on French studies, but need to bring their written French up to the right level and develop their research and study skills. For example, you may have taken a break from studying and wish to refamiliarise yourself with the subject, or you may have a degree in a different subject area. You may also be a teacher wishing to refresh and deepen your knowledge, but not necessarily undertake a full MA just yet.

This is an undergraduate-level qualification that will prepare you for postgraduate study, or simply allow you to pursue a personal or intellectual ambition. Graduate Diplomas typically take one to two years to complete and are made up of four to six modules at final-year undergraduate degree level (worth 120 credits).

  • Improve your French while learning about the culture, history and society of France and French-speaking countries.
  • You will be taught by specialists from Birkbeck's centre of teaching and research excellence that prides itself on research-led teaching in French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, making it an outstanding multidisciplinary team.
  • Ours is a community of scholars with shared interests in interdisciplinary topics and cross-cultural research. Our affiliated research centres, the Centre for French, Francophone and Comparative Studies (CFFCS) and Birkbeck’s Eighteenth-Century Research Group provide a dynamic and exciting platform for this exchange.
  • All teaching takes place in our central London location in Bloomsbury, a stone’s throw from all the cultural richness that London has to offer by way of theatre, museums and galleries.
  • You could be studying in a building that was once home to Virginia Woolf and frequented by members of the Bloomsbury Group. The building houses our own creative hub which includes the Peltz Gallery, the Gordon Square Cinema and a theatre and performance space.
  • We are also close to a number of cultural centres and research libraries relevant to French studies at advanced levels, including Senate House Library, the British Library, British Film Institute, Warburg Institute and the Institut Français.
Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue career paths in international organisations or businesses, translating and teaching, research and journalism. Possible professions include:

  • translator
  • teacher
  • researcher
  • journalist
  • diplomatic services operational officer
  • interpreter.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • GradDip
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700