School of Modern Languages


French Studies


Our French programmes offer students a wide and flexible choice of modules, taught by an expert team of academic staff.

French studies at Newcastle is taught by a friendly, expert team of 11 lecturers, comprising both French and English native speakers. 

We cover a variety of different aspects of French studies, including the French Caribbean and Algeria as well as France.

We offer a wide and flexible choice of subject combinations, so that you can combine French with, for example, Spanish, German, Chinese or Japanese, or study it along with business or linguistics.

Our teaching is inspired and informed by themes from our research interests. You will be taught by experts in the field who publish on their specialist topics and are up to date with the latest thinking and debates.

Undergraduate study

In addition to compulsory French language modules, we offer a wide range of optional modules on French and Francophone history, society and politics, literature and culture, film and linguistics.

You may choose to sample different aspects of French studies, or focus on the area which interests you most. Some of our options are taught and assessed in French to help develop your language skills.

We integrate our French exchange students into our activities.

This strengthens links between native French-speaking exchange students and undergraduates, providing additional opportunities to practise speaking French. 

We also operate a Skype scheme with the University of Reims.

On the year abroad you may study at a university, work as an English language assistant in a school or undertake a work placement, depending on where your interests lie.

We have exchange Erasmus links with universities, business and translation schools in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

We also have regular internships with a number of companies in France (though students are free to find their own internships, as long as they fulfil SML requirements); and we have two summer internships with local authorities in Nancy.

For more about French Studies at Newcastle, see our Newsletters.

Full list of undergraduate degrees.

Postgraduate study

The emphasis in final year on translation and interpreting paves the way to our Professional Translation for European Languages MA.

We also offer a one-year MLitt degree, allowing you to focus in depth on one aspect of French Studies that you may wish to carry further into postgraduate research as a PhD student.

In final year we offer a dissertation option, which you begin preparing for during the year abroad.

It's then that you have the chance to develop independent research and find out what aspect of French you are most interested in.

Full list of postgraduate degrees.

We offer modules in French language, history, politics, film and art.

Extra-curricular Activities

There are lots of extra-curricular activities for French studies students to get involved in.

There are lots of activities going on in French at Newcastle, including film screenings and study days at the Tyneside Cinema.

There is also an opportunity to get involved in the local Alliance Française, which regularly hosts French evenings and offers free membership to undergraduate students.

Every year, two SML undergraduates form the Newcastle delegation on a Summer internship in Nancy, where students from all Nancy's twin cities across the world gather for the month of August. Interviews are held in the Spring. See French Intern@Nancy under Newsletters.

Final year students are also given the chance to translate documents provided by local, national or international charities to practice their translation and language skills in a professional context.


We provide a dynamic research environment, comprising staff of international prominence alongside a commitment to supporting younger researchers.

French is one of five subject groups within the School of Modern Languages (SML) that operates as a single administrative and academic unit.

Newcastle has long been an important centre for French studies. We have strong research in:

  • cultural studies
  • film studies
  • literature and linguistics
  • politics
  • history and society

Each research-active scholar specialises in one or more fields and engages in the theoretical and methodological debates of the corresponding academic communities across the School and the Faculty.

Areas of specific French research interest are:

Our school has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary research activity, at a national and international level.

This interdisciplinary research is facilitated by centres for research excellence, in which French staff play a leading role.

For more information, see The Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS) and the Research Centre for Film and Digital Media (RCFDM).


The following members of staff work within the French Studies section in the School of Modern Languages.

StaffList: French Studies

Professor Guy Austin
Professor of French Studies

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7447

Dr Hugh Dauncey
Visiting Fellow


Dr Myriem El Maizi
Senior Lecturer in French Studies

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7581

Dr Cécilia Gil
Lecturer in French

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5442

Barbara Guidarelli
Italian teaching fellow

Dr Damien Hall
Lecturer in French Linguistics, School of Modern Languages Director of the Year Abroad

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8521

Dr Pauline Henry-Tierney
Lecturer in French Translation

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8301

Dr Anne-Charlotte Husson
Lecturer in French


Dr Gillian Jein
Senior Lecturer in French (Urban Humanities)


Professor Shirley Jordan
Professor of French Studies

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3542

Dr Sarah Leahy
Senior Lecturer


Dr Franck Michel
Senior Lecturer / Deputy Director of Combined Honours


Professor Nigel Harkness
PVC of Humanities & Social Sciences

Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 85769

Dr JC Penet
Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7483

Dr Kathryn Robson
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7486

Isabelle Ruegg Alter
Teaching Fellow in French

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 2085442

Dr Sandra Salin
Senior Lecturer in French Studies

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8417