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 Media, Languages, Public Relations or Human Resources, a commerce student seeking to explore business in the international context, or a law student considering international options, studying French will open up the possibilities at an international level.

You can incorporate French into your degree regardless of your discipline and it is an elective in many of the programmes available at the Nelson Mandela 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.

  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Translation
  • Lecturing
  • Interpretation
  • Tourism Sector
  • Diplomacy
  • Hotel Industry
  • Business Relations
  • Business
  • Public Relations
  • Trade Geologist
  • Science
  • Law

  Related Areas

  • Art & architecture
  • Global Communication
  • History
  • Cultural Studies
  • Music Drama
  • Human Science
  • Cinema
  • Philosophy
  • World Literature
  • Science

Courses offered

Practical French language courses

French Literature (novels, short stories, theatre, poetry)

Translation (French – English - French)

French African Literature and Film

Business French

Foundations of French A & B (FFL 101 & FFL 102)

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. This course may be continued into second year with Intermediate French.

Intermediate French A & B (IFL 201 & IFL 202)

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.

Advanced French A & B (AFL 301 & 302)

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


YEAR 1 (Full-time attendance)

FFL 101: Foundations of French A

FFL 102: Foundations of French B

First year modules are twelve credits each, so the total credit value for the year is 24 credits.

YEAR 2 (Full-time attendance)

IFL 201: Intermediate French A

IFL 202: Intermediate French B

Second year modules are twenty credits each, so the total credit value for the year is 40 credits.

YEAR 3 (Full-time attendance)

AFL 301: Advanced French A

AFL 302: Advanced French B   

Third year modules are 30 credits each, so the total credit value for the year is 60 credits.


Students may write the international DELF/DALF exams in French proficiency each year.  If you complete all six DELF/DALF exams, you qualify to study in France for free.


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 NMU 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 NMU 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.


Postgraduate degrees in French are also offered at Honours, Masters and PhD levels

Contact information
Dr Maria Vrancken
Lecturer and French section coordinator
Tel: 041 504 2245

Michelle De Wet
Associate Lecturer
Tel: 041 504 2242