The Department of French was known, at its inception in 1950, as the Department of French Studies. In 1964, it became the French Section when four other languages –Arabic, Russian, Spanish and Swahili-were introduced and put under the Department of Modern Languages, together with French.
In August 2011, the French Section was transformed into a Department of French.
In addition to the Bachelor of Arts in French, the Department also runs a Master of Arts/Master of Philosophy programmes in French. It also runs, together with the Department of Modern Languages, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts programmes in Translation, and will be starting a Master of Arts programme in Conference Interpreting in the 2012/2013 academic year.

These undergraduate and graduate programmes seek to:

a. Equip students with the requisite language proficiency and translation skills, so that they can function in various socio-economic fields at the national/international levels and respond to market demands, as agents of qualitative change using language and translation skills to break linguistic and cultural barriers.
b. Turn out world-class graduates with outstanding powers of articulation, analysis, criticism, demonstrated originality and independent thinking who can bring their knowledge to bear positively on issues as well as appreciate the intricacies of local and international geopolitics.
Products of the programmes can avail themselves of various career opportunities:
Private Sector: hospitality industry, export/import business, ICT, banking, insurance, international finance, media, marketing, interpretation/translation, construction industry, aviation, cross-cultural desks, consultancy, advocacy etc.

Public Sector: international affairs, Foreign Service, immigration and customs, security agencies,trade and industry, education, law, energy sector etc.