French and Francophone Studies

Undergraduate study | French

Learn the French language and explore the exciting contribution of French speakers to world culture.

Why study French in Edinburgh?

French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. At Edinburgh, you'll learn about French and Francophone literature, cinema, art, political and philosophical ideas, as well as mastering the language itself.

The University of Edinburgh is unique in Scotland in offering students a full academic year abroad within the four-year honours programme, regardless of whether you spend the year studying or working. If you are studying French with another language, you will divide your time between two countries, broadening your skills and experience.

One of the most attractive characteristics of our degree is its flexibility. As well as lots of joint honours combinations, your first two (pre-honours) years will give you the option to study other subjects drawn from a broad list of disciplines. 

Join French and Francophone Studies, and you’ll be part of one of the largest subject areas in a School passionate about languages, literatures and cultures from around the globe. You will benefit from a wide range of courses, great resources and friendly staff who are experts in their fields. There are lots of French-focused activities, societies and clubs in Edinburgh, including the Students' Association's Escogriffes theatre society. We are home to the Centre de Recherches Francophones Belge and have excellent links with the Institut Français d’Ecosse.

I adore the academic breadth and depth of the French curriculum offered here at Edinburgh. The tutors’ and lecturers’ dynamic encouragement of independent thinking has enabled me to examine topics ranging from Montaigne’s scepticism to Modiano’s postmodern fiction through a critical lens. In particular, the structure of the programme consistently inspires me to explore French and Francophone literature through a plethora of contextual frameworks: philosophical, historical, political, and more.  

Oriana, Year 2, MA (Hons) French and English Literature

QS World Rankings by Subject 2022

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The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages.

We are also 3rd in the UK in the broad subject area of Arts & Humanities.

Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for Arts & Humanities (9) and Modern Languages (10).

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings are based on the results of major global surveys of employers and academics, along with research citations.

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

Get to know us better

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Other ways to learn French at Edinburgh

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If you're not on one of our degree programmes, you can still learn French with us!

As an undergraduate student of most subjects at the University of Edinburgh, you can take French as an outside subject in one or both of Years 1 and 2 of your programme, depending on your timetable and prior knowledge (you'll need to know some French to begin with).

Find out more about outside subjects 

French is also available to all students (undergraduate and postgraduate) as an Open Language Course and - through the Centre for Open Learning - as a Short Course. There are options for complete beginners and more advanced learners.

Browse Open Language Courses

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