2024 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

MA French and Business

UCAS code: RN11

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Accreditation
Study abroad

Introducing MA French and Business

French is a major world language, spoken in many parts of Europe, Africa and the Americas. As a working language for many international organisations, it makes an excellent partner subject to Business.

French

At Edinburgh, you will study the French language in the context of the diverse countries, cultures and societies in which it is spoken.

You will have the opportunity to acquire near-native fluency through intensive language study, including a year abroad.

You will explore aspects of French culture, including Francophone literature and cinema, political history, social movements and philosophical ideas.

Our courses cover material from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century and include specialist options taught by leading experts in key disciplines, including post-colonial studies and gender studies.

Business

Studying business will prepare you for the social, political, environmental and cultural challenges facing contemporary businesses, governments and not-for-profit organisations.

Taught by world-leading industry professionals and researchers, you will develop personal and professional competencies such as authentic leadership; ethical, responsible, sustainable business behaviour; entrepreneurial practice; and effective communication. This will enable you to work across a range of roles in contemporary business including:

  • accountancy and finance
  • strategy
  • marketing
  • human resource management
  • data analytics
  • entrepreneurship and innovation

The Business School Student Development team provide opportunities for you to develop a range of essential business graduate competencies. You may take undergraduate Edinburgh Awards supported by an alumni professional mentor and trained coaches:

  • Personal and Professional Development (Year 2)
  • Effective and Responsible Leadership (Year 3 or 4)

You can also participate in a large number of business societies, business events and peer-support schemes.

Business or International Business?

This programme is a more wide-ranging alternative to the International Business with French programme. Alongside courses in local and global business, you will study French and Francophone cultures over the full four years, and be able to take more option courses in Years 1 and 2.

During your year abroad (Year 3), you will not necessarily study business courses but you will complete an independent piece of research on a contemporary business issue relating to the country in which you are studying or working.

In Year 4, in addition to French language and cultural study, you will choose three honours-level courses from options on different aspects of business.

Why Edinburgh

We are 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.

The programme is flexible. In Years 1 and 2, as well as studying French and Business, you will choose option courses from a wide range of disciplines. You will then specialise as you progress through your honours years.

Our programmes are also highly sought-after and accredited by a wide range of leading business education organisations and professional bodies. We have leading graduate employers involved across the curriculum.

When you graduate, you will have the combination of broad cultural education and specialist knowledge valued by employers worldwide.

Accreditation

Business School programmes are accredited by a range of world-leading business education organisations and professional bodies, and we have strong links to the world of practice through research, consultancy and teaching.

Details of our accreditation and rankings

This programme holds accreditation from an international ranking body:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

One of the most attractive characteristics of this four-year programme is its flexibility.

In Years 1 and 2, your pre-honours years, you will choose option courses from a wide range of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of French and Business.

As well as broadening your education and skill set, this may enable you to change the focus of your programme in Years 3 and 4, your honours years.

Year 1

French

If you have a limited knowledge of French, you will take French 1A, an intensive language course that also introduces you to French culture.

If you have studied French beyond National 5 (SQA) or GCSE level, you will typically take French 1B. As well as developing your written and spoken language skills, this course focuses on modern French literature, culture and civilisation.

We will introduce you to the extraordinary richness and variety of one of the world's great civilisations by focusing on social and political events from the Second World War to the 21st century.

These include:

  • resistance and collaboration
  • the Fifth Republic
  • May 1968
  • feminism
  • colonisation and decolonisation

Business

In Year 1 you will study Global Challenges for Business and The Business of Edinburgh. These courses will introduce key concepts of management and business, including:

  • strategy
  • finance
  • marketing
  • people management

Option courses

You will complete your Year 1 studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh.

You can, for example, opt to study another language. We offer one of the widest ranges of languages of any UK university. The majority are suitable for complete beginners and include cultural study.

Other options include, but are not limited to, courses in:

  • linguistics and language sciences
  • business, economics and informatics
  • politics, social policy and social anthropology
  • art and architectural history
  • history, classics and archaeology
  • Celtic and Scottish ethnology
  • philosophy, divinity and law

Year 2

French

You will further develop your language skills, including in writing, translation and grammar. You will gain confidence talking in French on a variety of topics relating to contemporary France and the Francophone world.

You will take a course in French and Francophone literature and culture. This course will introduce you to the most important authors at key points in French literary and cultural history, from the 12th to the 21st century.

You will study work by Montaigne, Racine, Molière and Baudelaire alongside texts that have been considered marginal to French culture for reasons of gender or colonial politics.

Business

You will choose three optional courses from a range of business options, which develop the concepts introduced in Year 1.

These courses are typically in disciplines such as:

  • finance
  • marketing
  • innovation and entrepreneurship
  • organisation studies
  • international business
  • business analytics
  • understanding and delivering public services
  • human resource management
  • business economics
  • business simulation

Option courses

You will complete your Year 2 studies with an option course chosen from a range offered by the University.

These option courses include a great selection in European languages and cultures that explore literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts.

Typical options include:

  • Cultural Responses to War
  • Migration, Exile, Diaspora
  • Crime and Detection in Literature
  • Gender and Culture
  • The Coming-of-Age Narrative
  • Introduction to European Cinema
  • Dynamics of Language and Power
  • Languages Beyond University

You will also have the chance to take a course in the Politics and Institutions of Contemporary France.

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 in France or a French-speaking country, turning classroom learning into living engagement with Francophone culture.

You will either study or do a work placement, such as working as a teaching assistant in a school.

Whether studying or working, our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefited their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of the French language and Francophone culture.

During your year abroad, we will aim to ensure your experience is as beneficial as possible to your final year, as well as to your wider language learning, cultural awareness and skills development.

You will complete prescribed work in both Business and French:

  • For Business, you will complete a long essay. This is an important assignment where you will work directly with one or more staff members to develop and complete an independent piece of research. The subject, of your choosing, will address a contemporary issue relating closely to the country in which you are spending your year abroad.
  • For French, you will take an e-learning language course which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your Year 4 language courses.

If international travel is not possible, you will be offered an alternative means of engaging with your subjects, enabling you to meet your learning outcomes and preparing you for your final year.

Year 4

You will develop advanced language skills in spoken and written French.

You will also choose from a wide range of specialist, honours-level courses in both French and Business.

Building on all the knowledge and skills you have developed over four years, including in independent research, you will complete a dissertation or long essay.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2023/24)

Our facilities

On campus

When you are on campus, you can expect to spend most of your time in the University of Edinburgh's Central Area - in class, in the library, in a business lab, or in one of the University’s many social and support spaces.

The Central Area is located on the edge of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, surrounded by lots of green space.

Take a virtual tour of the Central Area

Libraries and collections

The Main University Library holds academic books, journals and databases, films, newspapers and other media. It has extensive holdings on Business, and over 118,500 books and 25,500 journals in French.

The Library is also the home of the University's Centre for Research Collections which brings together:

  • more than 400,000 rare books
  • six kilometres of archives and manuscripts
  • thousands of works of art, historical musical instruments and other objects

Many of the University's Special Collections are digitised and available online from our excellent Resource Centre, computing labs and dedicated study spaces in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

In addition, the neighbouring Business School has dedicated teaching labs (and associated software and databases) for specialist business analytics, business research and finance-related courses.

Centres for research, teaching and outreach

Established in 1995, our Centre de recherches francophones belges promotes the teaching of francophone Belgian literature, and hosts a range of activities for students and the public. Since 2018, the Centre has been partnering with Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI) to bring Francophone Belgian culture to Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

We also play a key role in the Diaspolinks network, with brings together researchers with a shared interest in the growing field of Diaspora Studies, especially anglophone and francophone diasporas. The international network is unique in comparing the various diasporic communities’ responses to issues of identity, belonging and relocation in the context of British, French and Canadian immigration policies.

Events and activities

The Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) supports more than 300 student-led societies and clubs. It also supports a range of social enterprises, and promotes opportunities with local charities through its volunteering centre.

The French theatre society - Les Escogriffes - typically stages a play in French each year, with opportunities to direct, act, produce and promote.

Edinburgh Innovations runs an enterprise service for students, offering advice, funding and support at every stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

If you love to write, our online creative writing magazine Babble is the place to publish your:

  • prose
  • poetry
  • drama
  • non-fiction

Babble goes out twice a year and includes work written in French and eight other European languages. You can get involved in the editorial committee, and launch nights typically include readings and performances.

In the city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections.

The city's resources for studying literatures, languages and cultures are exceptional, and its world cinema scene is particularly strong.

Many national collections are located close to the University's Central Area, making them easy to access between classes. Highlights include the National Library of Scotland, which has one of the best French collections in the UK.

There is plenty to see and do throughout the year, including a rich programme of cultural events at the nearby Institut français d'Ecosse.

As well as the city's main summer festivals, the Edinburgh French Film Festival and Africa in Motion bring the latest and best francophone cinema to Edinburgh each winter. There are also various food festivals.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 (a minimum of 30 weeks) in a French-speaking country.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in Francophone culture. It will allow you to develop broader life experience and skills that you can use after university.

How will I learn?

University is a place to plan your own goals under expert guidance, study independently and in groups, and reflect upon your learning throughout your degree.

Our approach to learning and teaching is active, inclusive and question driven, so it may be different to your experiences at school. It will help you gain the skills for life after university, and we will guide you through the steps from one phase to the next.

Depending on the size of your year group, and which option courses you take, your classes will typically fall into four categories:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • laboratories

As well as these classes, to get the most out of your courses, you will need to read widely.

We make extensive use of our audio and visual resources, and you will also be encouraged to use online materials.

Lectures

Lectures are taken by all students on a course, typically at the same time. They are delivered as interactive presentations which may involve audio-visual material.

Lectures are given by an experienced academic. They are designed to guide you through the background, questions and debates related to the topic you are studying.

Tutorials

Tutorial groups are smaller. They are also led by an academic, but here the emphasis is more on what you think about the topic yourself. So, tutorials are your chance to discuss and expand upon what you have learned in a lecture.

Language tutorials give you the opportunity to develop your linguistic skills in a range of real-world tasks under the supervision of an experienced language teacher.

These classes typically cover skills such as reading, writing, listening and speaking – all of which involve learning and applying grammar.

Seminars

Seminars blend features of lectures and tutorials. Again, they are designed to encourage and enable your active participation in learning.

On some courses, you will have seminars instead of lectures, especially in your honours years (Years 3 and 4).

Laboratories

Where business courses use computer laboratories, these are for learning software packages and data interpretation and analysis.

Support

As well as the teaching and other staff you will meet day-to-day, there are lots of ways to get help with your learning, including through the University’s Institute for Academic Development (IAD).

Additionally, the Students’ Association facilitates a peer support scheme for French, bringing together students across year groups to help each other with specific study skills, topics or themes.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and exams.

Coursework is generally completed throughout the year, while exams take place at the end of a teaching block.

Coursework may take a range of forms to give you the opportunity to practice different skills. For example, you may be asked to:

  • write an essay, review, blog post, opinion piece, reflective diary or learning journal
  • respond to a piece of writing, film, or other media, including through close reading
  • give a short talk or presentation
  • record a podcast or video
  • design a poster or presentation

Assessment methods on business courses may also include:

  • writing a business plan
  • producing a feasibility analysis
  • case study analysis
  • completing a computer-based timed assignment
  • producing a consultancy report

Exams will include oral exams to test your spoken language skills.

Depending on where you go and what you do on your Year Abroad, Year 3 may include being assessed, in part, by a host university.

In your final year, you will also complete a dissertation or long essay.

Skills and experience

Combining a language with business demonstrates that you are a good communicator, and someone open to other cultures and new ideas – what employers value as Intercultural Competence.

Our business programmes are highly sought-after and accredited by a wide range of leading business education organisations and professional bodies.

On this joint honours programme, you will develop language and business skills. You will also gain a nuanced understanding of diverse cultures and societies.

Graduating with a four-year Master of Arts degree from the University of Edinburgh shows intellectual maturity, resilience, and flexibility.

The skills you will be able to demonstrate to employers when you graduate include the ability to:

  • understand, analyse and articulate complex issues and concepts
  • manage your time to meet deadlines on different types of project
  • work independently and as part of a group

Opportunities across sectors

This joint honours programme is an ideal primer for an international career in:

  • business, finance and commerce

An understanding of the French language also opens many other doors.

In addition to the business sector, previous graduates have gone on to work in:

  • communications, marketing, advertising and public relations
  • education, outreach, advocacy and training
  • journalism, broadcasting and media
  • leisure, tourism and travel
  • politics, policy work, diplomacy, civil service and law
  • publishing, culture, heritage and the arts
  • research, development and venture acceleration
  • translating and interpreting

Careers span the private, public, not-for-profit, and for-benefit sectors.

Home and away

With increasing migration in response to changing global dynamics, there is demand for our graduates both at home and abroad.

Wherever you are based in the world, the ability to communicate in another world language, and to understand the cultures to which it opens doors, will make you stand out.

If you are keen to work abroad, it’s good to know that French is a major language of international communication, one of the most widely spoken in the world, particularly in Europe, Africa and the Americas.

As one of our graduates, you will be well-placed to seek opportunities in the 29 countries where French is an official language, and the many multinational companies and institutions for which it is a working language, including the European Commission.

Further study

The enhanced research skills you will develop on a four-year programme, particularly in your honours years, are a valuable asset if you wish to continue studying at postgraduate level.

At the University of Edinburgh, we typically offer a Masters by Research degree in French. This programme is a good stepping stone to a PhD, but is equally of value as a stand-alone qualification.

We offer a full range of MBA, masters, and postgraduate research programmes in business.

Taught MSc programmes in interdisciplinary areas typically include:

  • Comparative Literature
  • Intermediality
  • Translation Studies

Careers advice

Throughout your time with us, we will encourage you to identify and hone your employability skills.

LLC has a dedicated Careers Consultant within the University's excellent Careers Service.

Through our careers service, you can:

  • book one-to-one appointments and practice interviews
  • access a range of online resources
  • attend themed fairs such as the Creative and Cultural Careers Festival

Popular peer support includes Life After LLC, a panel event where you can draw inspiration from our recent graduates.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB by end of S5 or AAAA by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: a language other than English at B. National 5s: French at B, Mathematics at B, and English at C
  • A Levels: a language other than English at B. GCSEs: French at B or 6, Mathematics at B or 6, and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: a language other than English at 5. SL: French and English at 5, and Mathematics at 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

For degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

(Revised 29 August 2023 to remove PTE Academic Online)

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA French and Business

Additional costs

As long as international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad. The costs you have to pay will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Some study placements at language schools may charge a fee, but we will normally refund you for tuition costs as long as your activity has been approved. You will be responsible for associated travel costs such as flights and visas.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding