Studying a foreign language is an experience that opens the world to the student, giving them a glimpse into another culture through its language and literature. As an international language and one of the official languages of the European Union and the United Nations as well as a first language in more than 20 countries around Africa, French is truly the language of international trade, diplomacy and business

Whether you are an Arts student looking for a career in journalism, Public Relations or Human Resources, or a commerce student seeking to explore business in the international context, studying French will open up the possibilities at an international level.

You can incorporate French into your degree regardless of discipline and it is an elective in many of the programmes available at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Speak to your Faculty Officer or Head of Department about the options in studying French.

French is offered at beginner’s level, meaning that you do not need to know any French whatsoever to do the course. Those who have done French at school may apply to be allowed directly into second year.


French is a leading international language that has not only made considerable contributions to world culture, but also gives one access to the world cultural traditions of Western Europe. French is also an “African” language, as more than 20 African countries are French-speaking and plays an important part in trade in this part of the world.

French as a discipline at NMMU aims to equip students with skills in the four basic aspects of language so that, whether they complete only a beginner’s course or the full three years of language, they can communicate at that level. Studying French at NMMU opens up your world not only to the beautiful French language but also to the rich and vibrant history, culture and literature of the French-speaking world.

Courses offered

Practical French language courses

Language of business

Novels, theatre, poetry




French for Beginners 1 (LFP 101 – LFP 104)

This course is for those who have not done French at school and who have no knowledge of French whatsoever. Grammar and communication is taught: the four basic communication skills. There is also an introduction to literary appreciation and French culture. This course may be continued into second year with intermediate French.


Intermediate French (LFP 201 to 204)

This second year course adds on to the skills taught in the first year and teaches more advanced communication skills through the study of text and language for professional purposes. Literary analysis and the French literary tradition are also explored through the study of poetry and novels in French. Students who have completed Intermediate French may continue into third year and major in the language.


French (LF 301 to 304)

Advanced language and literature studies are the focus of third year with translation and some business French elements also forming part of the course.


Post-graduate Studies

BA Honours in French

Compulsory module

Treatise (TFX410) (30 credits)

Elective modules

For the Honours degree in French, you need to select 4 modules from the following:

French Linguistics (TFP400) (25 credits)

Old French and the Literature of the Middle Ages (TFR400)(25)

16th Century Literature (TFS400) (25 credits)

20th Century Literature (TFT400) (25 credits)

African Literature in French (TFU400) (25 credits)

Author or Topic (TFV400) (25 credits)

Add period (TFW400) (25 credits)


MA in French

D.Litt in French


DELF Exams and Bursaries

Students may write the international DELF exams in French proficiency each year. 

Numerous bursaries to France for linguistic purposes are available from the French embassy for senior students (third years). These bursaries provide opportunities for long immersion stays in France, where you will teach English as a foreign language. Short linguistic stays are also possible. Local bursaries for postgraduate studies are also available.


Resources available to students

Students may borrow French magazines and educational CDs and watch French DVDs (courtesy of a subsidy by the French Embassy).



Contact information
Dr Hilda Thomas
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 27 41 5042245