One of the first subjects taught at the University of Melbourne, our French program offers world-class research and teaching in French language and literature studies.
French was first taught at the University of Melbourne in the early 1880s and the program became a world-renowned centre for research on French literature under Professor A.R. Chisholm’s leadership from 1921-1956.
Today, our academic staff are leaders in a much wider range of research areas, including cultural representations in French cinema, translation in medieval and Renaissance texts, immigration and identity in Francophone Asia and the Pacific, colonialism and its aftermath in travel writing and gastronomy.
Many of our graduates have risen to positions of responsibility in diverse sectors of society: in the arts, education, publishing, the law, business, politics, government and diplomacy.
Explore our research projects
Our team of French Studies scholars have published world-leading research on Francophone narratives from Asia and the Pacific, translation into French during the Renaissance, cultural representations in cinema, historical and contemporary French-Australian relations, women’s travel writing, the cultural history of French food and wine, the creative nexus of 19th century decadent literature, art and museums, comparative, transnational and world literatures in French, utopian theories and practices across cultures, digital humanities, and innovations in second-language pedagogy.
French Wine Culture
Analysing wine as a product of regional, national and international geopolitics, Associate Professor Jacqueline Dutton shows that wine is so much more than fermented grape juice, especially for the French.
Prose Poetry and the Visual Arts
In an interdisciplinary fashion, Dr Bertrand Bourgeois’ current research explores the interaction between prose poetry and the visual arts in 19th and 20th century French literature and culture.
Study with us
Learn French language and cultural awareness with our comprehensive range of language subjects and courses on literature and cinema, immigration and identity, and the cultural history of travel, food and wine.
Explore our study options:
- Single subject studies (Community Access Program)
- Diploma in Languages
- Bachelor of Arts French Studies Major
- Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours) (option to study combined Honours)
- Graduate Certificate in Arts (French Specialisation)
- Graduate Diploma in Arts (French Specialisation)
- Master of Arts (Thesis Only)
- Master of Arts (Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis)
- Doctor of Philosophy – Arts
Explore our student resources
- First year mentoring
Join our free, monthly mentoring program and meet like-minded others while practicing your French. Learn more
- French Club
Join our weekly French Club catchup for free French food, French film, theatre outings and more. Members include Australian-French speakers, French language students and exchange students – in other words, everyone is welcome! Learn more
- Placement test
Take our online language placement test to find out which undergraduate level – beginner, intermediate or advanced. Learn more
- Old French
Join our Old French reading group on the first and third Monday of the month, 4.30-5.30pm in Room 511, Babel (Building 139). No experience with French or Old French necessary. Learn more
- Scholarships and prizes
Explore our range of scholarships and prizes for students at all levels. Learn more
Discover our overseas immersive experiences
Immerse yourself in French culture and language by doing part of your studies overseas via our:
- Undergraduate overseas subjects in the Loire Valley (for level 2 and level 3) and New Caledonia (level 2 and level 3)
- Exchange and Study abroad programs with a selection of prestigious partner institutions in France, Switzerland, or Quebec
- Teaching, research and internships programs in France
Connect with our community partners
We work consistently to promote the value of French studies in the wider community through our links with schools and organisations like the Alliance Française de Melbourne, the Association of French Teachers of Victoria the French Embassy and Consulate, SBS French Radio, the Melbourne Salon, the French Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and many more.
Melbourne’s great cultural institutions call on our expertise to participate in French exhibitions and performances – like “Les Misérables” at the State Library of Victoria, the French Impressionists at the National Gallery of Victoria, and the annual French Film Festival. We leverage these connections to expose students to a wider range of work integrated learning experiences.
We also founded Australia’s longest-running French theatre company in 1977 – the Melbourne French Theatre Inc – and the Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations in 1985.
Support the University of Melbourne French Trust Fund
The goal of the University of Melbourne French Trust Fund is to build on the strength and vibrancy of French studies and networks at the University and to enrich and enhance them, through the provision of opportunities that we cannot presently offer, or can only do so in a limited way. With your gift, we believe that the implementation of these initiatives will make French Studies at Melbourne a centre of true international excellence.
Find out how you can help us enrich and enhance our student exchange opportunities, postdoctoral fellowships, research initiatives and more.
Meet our French Studies staff
Our academics are leading teachers, researchers and industry professionals.
Professor of French Studies; Head of Arts Discovery
Senior Lecturer in French Studies; Graduate Coordinator Languages
Lecturer in French Studies
A. R. Chisholm Professor of French, Director of the BA
Senior Tutor in French Studies
Senior Lecturer in French Studies; Convenor, French Studies and European Studies
Associate Professor, Level D