MPhil/PhD French Studies

Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
  • French Studies
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April


Why study for a Humanities PhD

Hear from staff and postgraduate research students as they explain what makes Exeter a unique place to study at a postgraduate level. View full size.

Our wide range of expertise offers postgraduates the possibility of preparing for research degrees in one or more areas. We attach particular importance to the quality of research supervision and training in research methodology and to the integration of our postgraduates into the Department’s academic and research community. Scholars of international repute are frequent visitors. Postgraduates enjoy their own regular research seminars: one focusing on film studies and the other on comparative and multidisciplinary studies.

Our research is often interdisciplinary, therefore we recommend you also visit the research degree pages of related subjects.

Research areas

A summary of our main areas of research focus is provided here. The French postgraduate webpages provide more comprehensive details about current research projects. Details on individual staff research interests and publications can be found on the French staff profiles pages.

  • Literature and culture – Middle Ages to the present day
  • French thought and critical theory
  • History of ideas, medicine and discourses
  • Sexuality and gender studies in a French context
  • French cinema
  • French linguistics


We provide access to excellent computing facilities and training is provided in a broad range of academic and general professional skills, such as compiling a CV, interview skills and time management.

Following the recent refurbishment of the Queen’s Building, you will benefit from a dedicated postgraduate IT suite and lounge, as well as a postgraduate and staff common room. There is also a study room containing a number of private study carrels for research students.


We are committed to ensuring you receive high quality research supervision to maximise your potential and prepare you for a rewarding career.

Postgraduate students have access to the wide range of support offered by our Career Zone. In addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by Modern Languages postgraduates who studied with us in recent years.

Please note that due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titleOrganisation
Departmental Portfolio Manager
English and French Tutor
Modern Foreign Languages Supply Teacher
Paralegal Assistant
Project Manager and Translator
Project Officer
Sustainability Projects Officer
Translation Internship
Translator/English Trainer
Visiting Lecturer
Aktuel Translations
Co-operative Group
MBE Training and Translation
Middlesex University
Swansea University
University of Exeter
Walber International

Entry requirements 2018

Students applying to enter directly into the MPhil/PhD programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in French Studies, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject.

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.


Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £16,400 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Scholarships and other funding

Find out about funding opportunities available to students on our research degrees in Modern Languages.

Current available funding

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306
Web: Enquire online

Recent PhD titles

Here are some examples of PhD theses undertaken by students in French Studies at the University of Exeter.

  • A study of the interaction between French Literature and Francophone Central Eastern European Literatures, focussing on the themes and uses of translation and alienation
  • An analysis of two grammatical variables found in French and their occurrence in two geographical areas in France
  • English Language Translations of French Holocaust Testimonies and Literature
  • Un nouveau francais populaire? (a new type of 'popular French'?)
  • The translation, adaptation and politicisation of English drama in eighteenth-century French Theatre
  • The acquisition of French by native speakers of English: the case of the form and functions of the sequence aux (PRES) + past participle in oral production
  • The destiny of World War One facially disfigured soldiers during the inter-war period with special focus on France, Germany and Great Britain
  • The jury of the Paris fine art salon, 1831-1852
  • Science and Bernadin De Saint-Pierre
  • The French of Lower Brittany
  • Accent levelling in local variety of French spoken in Alsace and how this is affected by age, gender and socio-economic background of speakers
  • 'Etude pragmatique at contrastive de l'incise a l'oral en francais et en anglais: l'usage des adoucisseurs'
  • Phonological variation and change in Guernsey Norman French