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.

Through studying French, I feel I have a deeper understanding of not just France but the francophone world. First year gave me the opportunity to delve into many current and important issues in French-speaking countries like the legacy of French colonialism. I have also developed my French skills, allowing me to use my language skills in contexts that I had never used them in before, such as in creative writing magazine Babble and the University's French theatre society Les Escogriffes.

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

QS World Rankings by Subject 2024

QS graphic on orange background, text reads #3 in the UK, World Top 10

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

Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for Modern Languages.

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

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

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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.

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