Postgraduate study

French PhD, MScR

Awards: PhD, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: French

We offer supervision for the PhD, MPhil and MSc by Research degrees in most areas of French cultural studies.

The PhD and MPhil degrees allow you to pursue a research topic in depth and produce a substantial thesis.

The MSc by Research programme is designed to enable students who have taken a first degree in French to specialise in an aspect of French literature or culture which interests them, while acquiring core skills in theories and methods of study applicable to their topic.

Students spend the first half of the degree programme doing preliminary research and writing two essays on their chosen field of study, while following a taught course according to their specialisation. They then write a dissertation, on a topic agreed with their supervisor.

French at the University of Edinburgh has enjoyed a consistently excellent record in research and publications, confirmed in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, which ranked 55% of our research as world leading or internationally excellent.

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

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRFrench Studies1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScRFrench Studies2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

All research students follow a core course in Theory and Methods of Literary Study plus a course of research training, which includes bibliographic skills, project development and dissertation and thesis writing. You will participate in regular research seminars run by French, Film Studies, European Theatre and Translation Studies.

As a member of our dynamic and enterprising postgraduate research community, you will have access to a comprehensive range of resources, including world-class libraries (the National Library of Scotland holds one of the best French collections in the UK), membership of the Institut Français d’Ecosse, and access to a number of specialised facilities, such as the Centre de Recherches Francophones Belges which hosts a regular programme of talks and conferences.

You should have near-native speaker competence in French.

MScR: A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

PhD: A UK 2:1 honours degree and a masters degree, or their international equivalents, in a related subject. We may also consider your application if you have equivalent qualifications or experience; please check with your potential supervisor before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDFrench3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDFrench6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScRFrench Studies1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScRFrench Studies2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start dates Application deadlines
13 January 2020 30 November 2019
14 September 2020 31 July 2020
11 January 2021 30 November 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, Masters by Research applicants should include an outline of their proposed area of study; PhD applicants should include a full research proposal.

Before you apply, we strongly recommend that you discuss your research proposal by email with a prospective supervisor.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH