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Exam Board and Specification Codes: AQA (7652) 

Spoken in more than 29 countries, French has made it to the top 10 of the world’s most spoken language after Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English and Russian, making it an asset to any professional profile.

Whether students aspire to develop their professional skills on the stock market, in business, as an artist, or simply for travel purposes, French can provide solid support. Learning a language broadens the mind and encourages approaching different cultural traditions, lifestyles and ways of thought with an open mind as well as promoting good communication skills. 

What is covered by the course?

Component 1 - Aspects of French-speaking countries: current trends 

Students may study all sub-themes in relation to any French-Speaking country or countries. 

  • The changing nature of family 
  • The ‘cyber-society’ 
  • The place of voluntary work 

Component 2 - Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues 

Students may study all sub-themes in relation to any French-Speaking country or countries. 

  • Positive features of a diverse society 
  • Life for the marginalised 
  • How criminals are treated 

Component 3 - Political and artistic culture 

Students must study the themes and sub-themes below in relation to at least one French- Speaking country. 

  • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world
    • A culture proud of its heritage
    • Contemporary francophone music
    • Cinema: the 7emer 
  • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world
    • Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment 
    • Demonstrations, strikes - who holds the power?
    • Politics and immigration 

How is it examined? 

Paper 1 - Listening, reading and writing/translation into English (2 hours 30 minutes) 

  • 50% of the total A-Level 

Paper 2 - Speaking (21 – 23 minutes, including 5 minutes preparation time) 

  • 30% of the total A-Level 

Paper 3 - Writing (2 hours) 

  • In the writing exam, students will write two essays: one essay about a book we have studied (‘Un sac de billes’ by Joseph Joffo) and one essay about a film (‘La Haine’ by Mathieu Kassovitz) 
  • 20% of the total A-Level (10% per essay) 

Related university courses & careers? 

French A-Level can lead to studying French or Francophone Studies at university on either a single subject degree course or as part of a combined honours degree course. The French language might be used either as a primary focus of employment, e.g. interpreter, professional translator, teacher or lecturer, or as a secondary skill supporting employment in a loosely related career, e.g. in the Foreign Service, in commercial employment involving French activities, in international business, in press and media, in public relations and administration, in international development, in finance or the arts. Employers value foreign language abilities, not just as a linguistic skill, but also as a transferable skill that develops teamwork, relationship building and the capacity to move easily in international contexts. 

Suggested literature & resources

Literary texts 

‘Le Tartuffe’ by Molière 
‘Candide’ by Voltaire 
‘Boule de Suif et autres contes de la guerre’ by Guy de Maupassant 
‘L’étranger’ by Albert Camus 
‘Bonjour tristesse’ by Françoise Sagan 
‘Elise ou la vraie vie’ by Claire Etcherelli 
‘Un sac de billes’ by Joseph Joffo 
‘Kiffe kiffe demain’ by Faïza Guène 
‘Un secret’ by Philippe Grimbert 
‘No et moi’ by Delphine de Vigan 


‘Les 400 coups’ by François Truffaut (1959) 
‘Au revoir les enfants’ by Louis Malle (1987) 
‘La Haine’ by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995) 
‘L’auberge espagnole’ by Cédric Klapisch (2002) 
‘Un long dimanche de fiançailles’ by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2004) 
‘Entre les murs’ by Laurent Cantet (2008) 

Lower School

Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
40-44 Bark Place,
W2 4AT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7616 4400

Sixth Form

Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577

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