About the Department
The first Chair of French was created in 1901 in University College Sheffield, which became the University in 1905. Since then the Department of French at Sheffield has been home to prominent scholars in the field of French culture, literature and language, as well as inspiring a love of all things French and francophone in generations of students.
Full details of our current complement of academic staff can be found by clicking on the "Staff" entry in the left-hand panel. In addition, we have five lecteurs/lectrices (young French native speakers who focus on spoken language tuition) and a number of postgraduate Teaching Assistants.
The Department is one of five departments in the School of Languages and Cultures, alongside Germanic Studies, Hispanic Studies, Russian and Slavonic Studies and the Modern Languages Teaching Centre (MLTC).
The Department is committed to maintaining and developing research and teaching strengths across the broad multidisciplinary as well as chronological range of French Studies.
Location and Resources
The Department is located in the Red Wing on Floor 3 of the new purpose-built Jessop West building. This building also houses the other Arts and Humanities departments, including the other Modern Languages. Jessop West is adjacent to the University's prestigious Humanities Research Institute and Information Commons (IC), and a short walk from the Western Bank Library. French holdings in the IC and Western Bank are extensive and a wide range of academic journals are available for consultation in print or online.
The department has been providing customised e-learning resources for students since 1993, when the first version of our in-house tutorial package Guitares went online. The latest version of Guitares has now been incorporated into the University's MOLE (My Online Learning Environment) system, which we use to provide teaching materials, access to online resources, discussion forums and chatrooms for most of our courses.
Use the link below to find out more about the MLTC, the libraries and our own special research collection.
We are committed to continuing the tradition of research-led teaching that brings our students into contact with the latest thinking and approaches in all areas of French Studies.
We believe that students should also have the opportunity to experience research as part of the learning process. Staff from French were involved in setting up CILASS, the Centre for Inquiry-Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences, and have led a number of IBL initiatives that involve students in discipline-based and inter-disciplinary collaborative inquiries and develop their information literacy.
Responses to our annual teaching evaluation questionnaires consistently rate our courses as very good (the highest score) or good for their structure, the quality of course materials, the level of intellectual stimulation and the knowledge and enthusiasm of the teaching staff.
We have a long and proud tradition of world-class research in French Studies. In recent years, staff in the department have published dozens of books and articles in scholarly journals, produced major web-based research resources and organised exhibitions of medieval and contemporary French culture.
The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise put the Department in seventh place overall of the league table ranking research activity in French throughout universities in Great Britain.
We have a lively and active student French Society (the Cercle français) that organises a wide variety of events throughout the session. One of the highlights of the academic year is the Modern Languages Ball, involving students from all the SOMLAL departments.
Every year the Cercle français puts on a French play in the University's fully equipped Drama Studio. These sell-out productions involve undergraduates, postgraduates, academics and lecteurs/lectrices, and are open to the public and students from local schools. Follow the links from the right-hand panel to find out more about recent and forthcoming productions.
The Jessop West café on the ground floor of our building provides a bright modern social space where students and staff can meet for drinks and snacks throughout the day.