Faculty of Modern LanguagesFrench / Romance Studies

Degree programmes in Romance studies consider Romance languages, literature and cultures. The study of French focusses more particularly, on languages, literature and cultures in the French-speaking world.

Romance studies covers research and teaching across Romance languages, literature and cultures. he most important Romance languages, which share their roots in Latin, include French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Occitan, Catalan, Gaelic, Sardinian and Rhaeto-Romanic. Variants of these Romance languages and their corresponding literatures are also found outside Europe, in areas including Latin America, North America, and Africa.

Degree courses in French encompass French language, literature, and cultural studies. In addition to content in these three areas, students attend language sessions which are taught exclusively by native speakers.

Special Features and Characteristics

  • Heidelberg University has ERASMUS agreements with seven universities in France (among others Paris, Nice, Strasbourg), a cooperation agreement with the Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3; and also runs a student and teacher exchange programme with the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. 
  • internal and external links with different research centres, for example the European Linguistics Centre (Europäischen Zentrum für Sprachwissenschaften, EZS) 
  • numerous international research contacts
  • specific formats for courses conducted in the target language


Research in Heidelberg is conducted in the fields of linguistics or literary studies. 

Research specialisms within linguistics include:

  • Everyday French language
  • Syntax in spoken French
  • Resources for interaction (language, gesture, eye contact)
  • Language history, language change and language contact with relevance to French
  • Variational linguistics
  • Historical sociolinguistics and pragmatics, discourse linguistics
  • Language standardisation and language criticism

Research specialisms in literary studies and cultural studies include:

  • “Why literature?” Aesthetic competencies
  • (Musical) theatre from the Enlightenment to the present day - between theory and practice
  • Novels and short prose, poetry and chanson (with a particular focus on the modern period and present day)
  • Francophone literatures and world cinema
  • Literary and media theory, including the sociology of literature, theories of affect, fiction, form and genre
  • Cultural studies and post-colonial theories, popular culture

Occupational Areas

Graduates of a degree programme in French may pursue a career in the following fields:  

  • teaching (German secondary school - Gymnasium) 
  • training and consulting institutions 
  • universities and research institutes 
  • media 
  • communications and translation 
  • publishing 
  • tourism 
  • and other fields in which knowledge of French language, literature and culture is of benefit. 


Studierende Französisch Uni Heidelberg

I chose Romance studies in Heidelberg because I have always been fascinated by the French language, love the culture and the literature and because Heidelberg is a beautiful town in which you can actually experience history.

Nathalie Stadler, 18, French/Romance studies, 1st semester Bachelor