French and Francophone Studies

About us

French and Francophone Studies is one of the largest subject areas in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.

We can thus offer undergraduates a wide range of specialised options, from medieval studies to twenty-first century literature and from film to politics. French degree programmes all consist of a combination of language study (spoken and written) and the study of French and Francophone literature and civilisation. In this way students understand not only the language, but the culture and values of French-speakers, indispensable for true intercultural communication. Intercultural understanding is further enhanced by the fact that all students taking French in their Honours programme spend time in their third year in a French-speaking country.

For all students, language work at an advanced level, spoken and written, takes up a large part of the timetable. In addition, we offer a wide range of options chosen by students according to their preferences, and taught in tutorial groups. Single Honours students take four options; Joint Honours students usually take either one or two options; most Honours students also write a dissertation in French. It is here that the wide expertise of the staff is especially beneficial, as the courses offered all relate to their areas of specialist research.

Options include the following:

  • L’Autobiographie littéraire contemporaine;
  • Childhood and Adolescence in Modern and Contemporary French Fiction;
  • The Cinema of Chantal Akerman;
  • Ecriture féminine and Feminist Theory in France;
  • Exploring Belgian Identities in Literature and Film;
  • French Contemporary Crime Writing;
  • French Political Thought;
  • Freud in France;
  • Intimate Exposures: Fifty Years of French First-Person Cinema;
  • Literature and Film;
  • Love and Melancholy in Early Modern France;
  • Politique Régionale, Identité Culturelle;
  • Proust and the Art of Being Modern;
  • Reading French Verse;
  • Sartre and 20th Century French Political Thought;
  • Seventeenth-Century French Theatre;
  • The Modern City: Paris;
  • Women Writers in Early Modern France;
  • Word and Image in Modern French Fiction.


The University possesses an excellent open-access library with extremely good stocks of books and periodicals relating to French studies. Indeed, it is one of the largest University libraries in Britain.

French and Francophone Studies itself has a small but important collection of course-related books.

The city of Edinburgh is also home to the National Library of Scotland, which is not only a copyright library, but also has one of the best French collections in Britain.

As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh has a French Consulate as well as the Institut Français d'Ecosse, a major centre of French culture. All students benefit from the Division's Group membership of the Institut français d'Ecosse. It has an excellent library, and organises regular exhibitions, lectures, and film screenings. Edinburgh hosts an annual French film festival in November.

All students have access to computer terminals which provide word-processing facilities in French, as well as email and internet access.

Beyond the Curriculum

The French Society organises various events for students. The Centre de recherches francophones belges run a regular Film Club during the semester, which is followed by a discussion of films in French. You will also have the opportunity to join the French drama group Les Escogriffes, which has an impressive record of successful performances in French. Edinburgh is home to the Institut Français d'Ecosse which runs regular lectures, films, exhibitions and concerts related to French culture. The Edinburgh Filmhouse hosts an annual French Film Festival and regularly screens French- language films.

What can I do after my degree?

Employment prospects for graduates in French are excellent. Graduates will be very well placed to enter employment where linguistic skills are of special value, for instance education, translating and interpreting, international business, the Civil Service, the non-governmental sector or the creative industries. Within the EU, there is an increased need for graduates with a knowledge of the language and culture of one or more countries.

Another option for students graduating with French is to pursue graduate research. French at the University of Edinburgh has an international reputation for its postgraduate as well as undergraduate programmes.