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, all of which have played a key role in shaping our modern civilisation, as well as mastering the language itself.

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, benefitting from a wide range of courses, great resources and friendly staff who are experts in their fields. We are home to the Centre de Recherches Francophones Belge and have excellent links with the Institut Français d’Ecosse.

The French language is one of 16 offered to degree level at a University ranked third in the UK, and 17th in the world, for modern languages in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019. Edinburgh has more than 100 joint language programmes, all of which include time spent abroad.

Our festival city is bursting with cinemas, theatres, libraries and galleries, with plenty of French-focused activities, societies and clubs run by cultural institutions and the University’s Students' Association, including the 'Escogriffes' theatre society. Edinburgh’s French film scene is particularly strong, with an annual French Film Festival in November and plenty to see throughout the year.

The thing I like most is the opportunity to study a wide range of courses. This has allowed me to explore things I would otherwise have limited knowledge of, including politics and comparative literature.

Anna SimonsonMA (Hons) French & Spanish student

 Your learning at a glance

  • You can take French as a single honours subject, or jointly with one of a wide range of other subjects.
  • You’ll study the language and culture of France and the Francophone world, with specialist options in film, literature, politics and the history of ideas, from the Middle Ages to the present day.
  • You’ll engage with a broad range of subjects in your first two years, and specialise thereafter.
  • You’ll complete a four-year MA degree, with your third year spent in full, or in part, in France or a French-speaking country.
  • You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh, in the city’s historic centre, close to the Main University Library and the National Library of Scotland, both of which have excellent French collections.

My year abroad was amazing. I made lots of friends, earned invaluable work experience and had some experiences I will never forget.

Luke SullivanMA (Hons) French & Linguistics graduate


What and how you'll study

Degree combinations, teaching methods, and a year-by-year guide to your learning.

Where might French take you?

Career opportunities for French graduates.

Find out more and apply

If you’d like to study on any of our undergraduate programmes, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. There’s lots of information about the application process on the University of Edinburgh website, including detailed entrance requirements and fees.

Go to the University of Edinburgh web page on how to apply for undergraduate study

Visit us

Our undergraduate Open Days are a great chance to find out about student life in Edinburgh from the people who know it best: our students and staff. Our next Open Days will be for students wishing to start their undergraduate degree in 2021. The Open Days scheduled for 26th September and 10th October 2020 are currently still planned to go ahead. The University is also working to develop an online alternative for prospective students thinking about starting university in 2021.

Keep up to date with Open Day information on the University of Edinburgh website 

Other ways to learn French at Edinburgh

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). 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, with options for complete beginners.

Student representation

Find out more about class representatives and student representation in French (secured)