Will my degree be recognised?

This is not really an issue with French university degrees as all degrees within the European Union are seen as equal. If you choose a good quality university then there should not be any problems relating to recognition. However, it is fair to say that French universities differ from British universities in many respects so even though the qualifications will be equal, the experience is likely to be quite different.

Does it make sense to study French abroad?

While it is undoubtedly true that learning a language in the country where it is spoken is better, it is often the case that it is easier to study foreign languages in the UK than in the country where they are spoken. Firstly, British university degrees will include a mandatory period of study abroad so British university students will have some time in the country of their language. Secondly, studying French at a French university will be highly different to studying at a British university because students have been prepared in entirely different ways; there is no comparison between a native speaker and a student who has only an A level in the language. Unless you are fully bilingual, or close to that level, studying French in France could be quite difficult. We advise students who are interested in doing this to consider a period of time living and working in France before commencing their studies. You might also consider English-language institutions in France such as the American University of Paris or University of London Institute in Paris, or French universities that offer bilingual study programmes but do not require applicants to speak French before enrolling at their institutions, such as Sciences Po.

There is one example in the Netherlands where you can study French in English and that is the BA in European Languages and Culture at the University of Groningen. At a few Dutch universities of applied science, such as Rotterdam Business School or Amsterdam School of International Business, you can study international business in English and add French as a foreign language to your degree.

You could study French in other English speaking countries or in bilingual countries such as Canada.

What grades do I need to get in?

For Irish universities such as Trinity College Dublin you will need to achieve excellent A level results. For universities in USA there is a wide range of universities and admission criteria. In Australia and New Zealand, “good” A levels will usually be necessary but it is likely you would gain admission to a well ranked university in those countries with slightly lower grades than those required in the UK. For information on French and Dutch universities please visit the country information on France and the Netherlands.

What else should I bear in mind?

If your primary interest is to live in France then it might be worthwhile considering a degree taught in English. In contrast to some other European countries, if you study in France everything will be in French once you leave the classroom. This will offer you the chance to improve your language ability and study a different subject at the same time.

It is also possible to study a wide range of degrees at French private universities that are taught partly in English and French. Usually these degrees start in French and transfer to English midway through your studies which may not be ideal. However, it is an alternative to studying entirely in one language or the other. In this case, you will not be studying for a degree in French.

Where should I look for French degrees abroad?

France. Or Canada. In other countries you will usually be studying French via the local language.

About A Star Future

A Star Future provides information and guidance to British students looking to pursue their undergraduate studies abroad.

Through our presentations in schools and our websites we aim to ensure that British-educated students are well informed about their choices.