English and French | University of Oxford

English and French

The English side of the course offers you a choice from a list of papers covering all literature written in the English language from its origins in Anglo-Saxon through to works produced in English-speaking countries across the world in the present day. The French side of the course will give you practical linguistic training, encourage you to think coherently about language as a subject of study and introduce you to an extensive and fascinating field of Western literature and thought.

French is among the most widely-spoken modern languages in the world, with over 120 million speakers worldwide. It is an official language in such diverse places as Louisiana, Martinique and Belgium as well as France itself, and the many different kinds of French that exist ensure that the language remains central to a thriving variety of cultures. The literature, art and cinema of France are among the richest and most influential in the world.

Modern European Languages at Oxford

The study of European languages at Oxford provides both practical training in written and spoken language and an extensive introduction to the literature and thought of the language(s) you have chosen. You will learn to write and speak the language(s) fluently, and will be able to choose from a broad range of options including linguistics, film studies and advanced translation. You can study the literature of a language chronologically or focus on particular periods - the medieval, the early modern or the modern era.

Studying English and French

A degree in English and French is normally four years in length. You will spend around half your time studying French language and literature, and around half studying English language and literature. You will spend the third year of your course abroad. This may be as a paid language assistant in a foreign school, or you may work abroad, or study at a foreign university.

Other options for studying English or French

Either English or French can be studied on its own OR in combination with one of the following languages/subjects: 

  • One of the following modern European languages: German, Russian, Italian,Portuguese, Modern Greek, or Czech (with Slovak). Students who do not have an A-level or equivalent in the relevant language may (in all cases, except French or Spanish) combine French or Spanish with a Beginners’ version of the language. It is also possible to combine French or Spanish with Polish or Celtic. We generally expect all students wishing to study Celtic or Polish to be beginners, though those with experience are also very welcome to apply. (Please note that our Celtic courses are currently under review and will not be available for entry in 2017, or for deferred entry in 2018.)
  • Classics
  • History

Other options for studying French

French can also be studied in combination with

  • A Middle Eastern Language offered by the Faculty of Oriental Studies: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish. These languages are all available to beginners with no prior knowledge of the language.
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy