French MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

UCL has a renowned tradition in both teaching and research in French dating back to its foundation in 1826 and continuing to the present day. UCL was the first university in the country to create a chair of French and this was one of the first chairs of any modern language to be established. Students with a doctorate from us share in this reputation for high-quality scholarship and research.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£6,035
£3,015
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£28,100
£14,050
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard and usually Master's degree with Merit in a relevant field. In the first instance, candidates should establish a dialogue with a potential supervisor before making a formal application. Admission is normally dependent on the submission of a detailed research project proposal.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

UCL is one of the few French Studies centres in the UK to maintain full coverage of all periods of French and Francophone Studies, from the medieval period to the present. We encompass a vast array of expertise and a great variety of approaches to the study of French and Francophone literature, culture and politics.

Who this course is for

This MPhil/PhD is for applicants with a strong interest in conducting multi-disciplinary research, who may have completed post-graduate training or study and want to develop an advanced critical analysis in a specific research area. The programme is for applicants with a background or interest in the French language, history, politics, culture literature and relevant disciplines. It is suitable for both recent Masters graduates as well as early or mid-career professionals.

What this course will give you

The School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS) at UCL provides a rich research environment for students of French and Francophone culture within an interdisciplinary context. Students can draw on expertise from across the university, in particular from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, the Social & Historical Sciences, the School of European Languages and Cultures, and the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry.

Students are supported by a dynamic research culture, a stimulating environment, and excellent opportunities for research training. We house numerous seminars and guest lectures and researchers have access to world-class libraries not only at UCL but also in the University of London and the British Library.

All students have a primary and a subsidiary supervisor to guide them through their PhD studies and they can apply for funds to conduct research at specialist libraries not only in France and the Francophone world but in the US and elsewhere.

The foundation of your career

Recent graduates have used their knowledge to work in the fields of research, curatorship, the BBC, the BFI, advertising, journalism, publishing and the film industry. The programme provides students with the skills to pursue academic teaching or research careers both in the UK and internationally.

Employability

Graduates of this programme will possess exceptional abilities in writing and communication, alongside critical and creative thinking. As well as gaining unrivalled research skills, transferable to professional industries and careers in higher education or teaching.

Networking

Supervision and mentorship is available from world-leading researchers with international and national contacts and collaborations across policy, government, cultural institutions, academia and industry, and our approach is always cross-disciplinary. This programme is housed within the UCL School of European Languages, Culture & Society (SELCS), with 83% of SELCS-CMII research activity being graded 4* ‘world leading’ and 3* ‘internationally excellent’ in the REF 2021.

Links with international organisations provide opportunities to network and collaborate with a wide variety of external partners. Interdisciplinarity research draws upon subject areas such as post-colonialism, ethics, literary theory, gender theory, problems of historical context and perception.

Our students gain access to a range of networking events, career workshops and exclusive seminars. Students are strongly encouraged to attend and give papers at conferences, establishing contacts with academics and also peers working in their field.

Teaching and learning

Research students undertake relevant induction sessions and can take advantage of the Doctoral Skills Development Programme. PhD students meet regularly in term time with their supervisors and may be offered opportunities to gain valuable teaching experience and participate in reading groups and conferences.

To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

PhD students should treat their research programme as a full-time job, which equates roughly to 35 hours per week, or 15 hours for Part-time students.

Students agree to a timetable of regular meetings with the Principal Supervisor to effectively manage the progression of project aims. This is flexible, at some points it may be necessary to meet more or less often. Full-time students can expect to meet supervisors every two weeks during the academic year, and part-time students every four weeks.

If a student has external funding, they should also ensure they meet the Terms & Conditions of the funder.

Research areas and structure

  • Literary and cultural analysis from the Middle Ages to the present day
  • Literary theory – psychoanalysis, deconstruction, postcolonialism
  • Film
  • Relations between literature and its others (for example, the image; philosophy; medicine)
  • Gender
  • Theory and practice of translation
  • Modern French history
  • Contemporary French politics

Research environment

UCL has a renowned tradition in both teaching and research, in French studies. Interdisciplinarity is crucial to the department's approach. Research is developed in response to issues, areas and texts of scholarly, intellectual or moral concern. Such as post-colonialism, ethics, literary theory, gender theory, problems of historical context and perception.

In the first instance, candidates should establish a dialogue with a potential supervisor before making a formal application.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis.

In the first year, you will be required to take part in a mandatory Skills Seminar Programme. You are expected to agree with your supervisor the basic structure of your research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. You will produce and submit a detailed outline of your proposed research to your supervisor for their comments and feedback and be given the opportunity to present your research to UCL academic staff and fellow PhD students.

In the second year, you will be expected to upgrade from MPhil to a PhD. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

The PhD programme is expected to be completed within three years for full-time students, and over five years for part-time students. If you are not ready to submit at the end of the third year, you may update your status to CRS which gives you an additional year's enrolment without the need to pay fees.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,035 £3,015
Tuition fees (2024/25) £28,100 £14,050

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, and conference registration fees.

Students will need to seek funding if they wish to conduct any fieldwork outside of the UK.

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library (hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions).

The wealth of departmental seminars / colloquiums / symposiums and student organised work in progress sessions give ample opportunities to present research, receive feedback and participate in discussion.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For more details about departmental funding available to postgraduate research students in the department, please refer to our Funding, Scholarships and Prizes (Research) webpage.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Quirk PhD Scholarship

Deadline: 26 January 2024
Value: Fees and maintenance (3yrs)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

All applicants must identify and contact potential supervisors before making their application. For more information see our 'Need to Know' page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.