A Level: Modern Foreign Languages (French, Spanish)

Course title: Advanced GCE in French / Spanish

Exam board: AQA

Subject specific entry criteria: Grade 7 in the chosen language

Course overview

Below is a selection of the topics and subtopics that we study, specific to the countries where the language is spoken.

1 Aspects of society

Modern and traditional values / Cyberspace / Equal Rights / Voluntary Work / Youth Culture

2 Artistic culture

Music / Regional identity / Cultural heritage / Cinema / Art and Architecture

3 Aspects of society

Immigration / Ethnicity / Racism / Integration / Diversity

4 Aspects of political life

Young people and politics / Monarchies and dictatorships / Re-unification / Popular movements / Demonstrations

Literary texts and films

Additionally, at least one literary text and one film in the target language will be studied in detail, and linked where appropriate to the themes.


French: Delphine de Vigan, No et Moi

Spanish: Federico Garcia Lorca, La Casa de Bernarda Alba


French: Au revoir les enfants 

Spanish: El laberinto del fauno 


Students will develop a thorough grammatical knowledge of the language enabling them to express themselves fluently in spoken and written language.

Assessment overview

This A Level is taught over two years with 3 final examinations taken between April – June of the second year of the course.

Paper 1

  • Listening Reading and Writing (summary and translation into target language)
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 50% of overall mark

Paper 2

  • Writing (2 essays on works studied)
  • 2 hours
  • 20% of overall mark

Paper 3

Speaking (presentation and discussion of an individual research project of choice + topic discussion based on a stimulus card) 16-18 minutes (plus 5 minutes preparation time).

30% of overall mark

Future progression

Languages are offered at all the leading universities. Students who study languages can do so as part of a traditional language degree, or you can take a language combined with subjects as diverse as History, English, Law or Marketing. A language degree will allow you to experience living or working abroad (most language degrees include a year abroad as part of the course). The ability to speak another language will also increase your opportunities to work and travel abroad at any stage in the future.

Potential careers

A degree in Modern Languages can open up a variety of career opportunities as language skills can be used in almost any career, and particularly in businesses that trade internationally. Career progression for language graduates includes professions such as finance, marketing, advertising, banking, teaching, translating and many other industries requiring language skills and cultural awareness.

How to succeed in Modern Foreign Languages

You will:

  • have a genuine desire to develop your foreign language skills
  • have an interest in the culture, literature, society and history of your chosen language
  • be dedicated and willing to do lots of practice to improve skills such as speaking and writing
  • be prepared to carry out independent study in order to reinforce knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.