French and Francophone Studies

Postgraduate study

Choose from a range of programmes, from one-year masters degrees to our PhD in French and Francophone Studies.

What's it like to study here?

We specialise in the language, literatures and cultures of France and the many countries around the world in which French is spoken.

Language, to us, is inseparable from culture. As such, we encourage you to think broadly and explore the implications of language in a wider perspective.

Our research expertise covers a wide range of areas, including: adaptation studies; contemporary politics and institutions; film studies; Francophone and post-colonial studies; French thought; literature from the Middle Ages to the present day; self-writing; translation studies; word and image; word and music.

Working with colleagues elsewhere in LLC, and across the wider University, we are able to support research which crosses boundaries between disciplines and/or languages, and we contribute to taught programmes in film, literature, theatre, translation and intermediality - the relationship between different art forms.

Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they make here and the in-depth guidance they receive from our staff, who are published experts in their field. As part of our postgraduate community, you will be immersed in a world of knowledge exchange, with lots of opportunities to share ideas, learning and creative work.

Activities range from a regular seminar series in European Languages and Cultures (with talks by staff, research students and visiting speakers), to film screenings and workshops, including those organised by the Centre de recherches francophones belges.


The historic capital city of Edinburgh contains exceptional resources for study and research in French. Based in the Main University Library, the Centre for Research Collections is unique in the UK, bringing together a collection of more than 400,000 rare books, six kilometres of archives and manuscripts, and the University’s collections of art, historical musical instruments and other objects. Many of our Special Collections are digitised and available online. 

As a student here, you’ll have membership of the Institut Français d’Ecosse, a major centre of French culture. You’ll also be within a short walk of the National Library of Scotland, which has one of the best French collections in the UK. Edinburgh’s French film scene is particularly strong, with an annual French Film Festival and plenty to see throughout the year. Most of the city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Old Town retaining many of its medieval buildings and streets.

What can I study?

MSc by Research in French

A Masters by Research (MScR) programme is ideal if you have a clear idea of the independent research you wish to undertake at masters level. The programme is a good stepping stone to a PhD, but is equally of value as a stand-alone qualification.

As a Masters by Research student, you’ll be part of a wider masters community while specialising in what most interests you right from the beginning of the programme. This is how it is different to a taught Masters (MSc).

Our programme includes 40 credits of training on research skills, methods and problems, the completion of two research assignments, and the submission of a 15,000 word dissertation under the guidance of an experienced and well-published supervisor.

Full-time, one year (all students) ꟾ part-time, two years (eligibility criteria apply)

Find out more and apply on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder

PhD in French 

This programme involves a course in Theory and Methods of Literary Study, plus training in key research skills, including bibliographic skills, project development, and dissertation and thesis writing. Over the course of your PhD, you’ll be expected to complete an original body of work under the expert guidance of your supervisors leading to a dissertation of between 70,000 and 100,000 words.

Full-time, three years (all students) ꟾ part-time, six years (eligibility criteria apply)

Find out more and apply on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder

Taught masters (MSc) programmes

A number of our School's interdisciplinary taught masters programmes include the option to focus on French and Francophone literature and culture, including in comparison or in translation.

Full-time, one year (all students) ꟾ part-time, two years (selected programmes only - eligibility criteria apply)

Browse a range of taught masters (MSc) programmes

Entrance requirements, fees, funding and more...

You can find out about entrance requirements, start dates, fees and scholarship opportunities for all these postgraduate programmes on the University of Edinburgh’s Degree Finder. Degree Finder links straight through to EUCLID, the online system for applying to postgraduate programmes at the University. 

Applications to start a programme in September 2024 are now open.

Find out more and apply on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder

Not sure which programme is right for you?

We're happy to help you decide.

Email us about taught postgraduate study

Email us about postgraduate research


The range of scholarships open to our students include the Muriel Smith Scholarship (for Masters by Research students) and the John Orr Research Award (for PhD students).

Find out more about funding for postgraduate study

Are you currently studying with us?

There’s lots more information for taught and postgraduate research students on our LLC Student Information Hub. You will need your student log in to access the site.

Take me to the LLC Student Information Hub