Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA Celtic and French

UCAS code: QR51

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Celtic and French

Leugh an duilleag seo sa Gàidhlig

This programme offers you the opportunity to study the languages, literatures and cultures of the Celtic worlds and of French-speaking countries around the globe.

Celtic

In Celtic, we work with the medieval literary tradition in Early Irish and Medieval Welsh (the most extensive in the whole of Europe), as well as Scottish Gaelic and Irish from the late Middle Ages to the present. We also explore the rich oral tradition recorded from the 18th century to the present day, and with poetry from the 18th century golden age of Gaelic literature.

You will study 19th and 20th century responses to the rapid social, cultural, and linguistic changes in countries where the Celtic languages are spoken. You will also study the writing, song, and media production emerging from the lively and varied contemporary cultural scene in Gaelic Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Our expertise spans theoretical and practical issues of current sociolinguistics, language policy and language revitalisation.

Scottish Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic is at the heart of our Celtic programme and, at honours level, it is also possible to study the medieval Celtic languages. At all levels, we offer courses in language, literature, history, and culture, enabling you to build your programme by developing your own interests in particular areas, periods, and disciplines of Celtic studies.

French

Studying French on this programme will lead you to near-native fluency in the language, thanks to our four years of intensive training. At the same time, you will explore French culture including its literature and cinema, but also its political history and philosophical ideas. French is a major world language, in Africa as well as in Europe and Canada, and its art and thought have played a central part in creating our modern civilisation.

As a large subject area, French and Francophone Studies at the University of Edinburgh can offer you a wide range of courses spanning the Middle Ages to the 21st century, including specialist options in literature, film and politics taught by leading experts in their fields.

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

This means that in Years 1 and 2, you'll choose option courses drawn from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of Celtic and French.

This not only gives you a broader education, but may enable you to change the focus of your programme in your honours years (Years 3 and 4).

Year 1

In Year 1 of your Celtic studies, you can choose between studying the Gaelic language and Celtic Civilisation.

If you’re taking the language pathway, your course will be determined by how much Scottish Gaelic you already know. Students with no previous knowledge will gain confidence in written and spoken Scottish Gaelic by taking our Gaelic 1A course, while advanced speakers will deepen their experience of Scottish Gaelic literature, as well as developing their language skills, on our Gaelic 1B course.

The civilisations pathway (courses Celtic Civilisation 1A and 1B) seeks to place the Celtic languages of the past and present into wider historical and contemporary context. You will consider the impact of modern Celticness on how the past has been understood, and you will examine Celtic Studies in the medieval and modern periods. There is also the opportunity to combine the study of Celtic Civilisation with our basic language learning course, Introduction to Gaelic Language & Culture.

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

If you have studied French beyond Standard Grade or GCSE, you will take French 1B. As well as developing your written and spoken linguistic skills, this course engages intensively with modern French literature, culture and civilisation, focusing on social and political events from the Second World War to the 21st century.

In addition to your compulsory courses, you will also choose from a wide range of option courses offered by the University of Edinburgh. These include - but are not limited to - courses in:

  • business
  • politics
  • social policy
  • informatics
  • economics
  • history (including art and architectural history)
  • classics
  • archaeology
  • philosophy
  • linguistics
  • divinity

Year 2

In Year 2 of Celtic, you can choose between continuing to study the Gaelic language, and Celtic Literatures.

If you’re taking the language pathway, you’ll refine your language skills, as well as learning more about Scottish Gaelic’s literature, culture, and linguistic structure, and exploring verse and prose.

If you’re taking the literature pathway, you’ll gain an overview of key literary genres and texts from Gaelic Scotland, Ireland and Wales from the early medieval period to the present, with texts presented in English translation.

Your Year 2 French courses will build on your knowledge of French and Francophone cultures. The focus now shifts to exploring the 16th to the 19th centuries, including world-renowned authors such as Molière, Montaigne and Baudelaire, alongside fascinating writers whose work has been considered marginal to French culture for reasons of gender or colonial politics.

Your French language classes will develop your written and spoken language skills to ensure that you are ready for your year abroad.

As in Year 1, you'll complete your studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh. These include a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts. You will also have the chance to study French politics.

Year 3

International travel restrictions permitting, you'll spend Year 3 in a French-speaking country, turning classroom learning into living engagement with Francophone culture.

Whether studying or working (for example, as a teaching assistant in a school), our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has broadened their life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of the French language and culture.

During your year abroad, we'll 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'll complete prescribed work in both Celtic and French, for example taking an e-learning language course which will count as part of your third year mark and prepare you for your final year French 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

In Year 4, you will choose specialist courses in both Celtic and French and will complete your 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 (2021/22)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area.

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections, including the National Library, Museum, Archives, and Galleries of Scotland, the Scottish Poetry Library, and Scottish Storytelling Centre.

As well as the University's excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, you will also have access to specialist collections. These collections include the School of Scottish Studies Archives, a unique and extensive collection of audio and visual material relating to the culture and tradition of Scotland (including some 33,000 audio recordings), and to the Archive's extensive library holdings, including important Celtic holdings.

Edinburgh's French film scene is particularly strong, with an annual French Film Festival in November and plenty to see throughout the year, including at the Institut français d’Écosse. We are also home to the student-led French theatre society, Les Escogriffes.

Study abroad

International travel restrictions permitting, you'll spend Year 3 (a minimum of 30 weeks) in a French-speaking country. This is your chance to immerse yourself in Francophone culture, and to develop your broader life experience and skills towards life after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars. In our language teaching, there is an emphasis on interaction and developing fluency, and on building the strong linguistic competencies required for a range of careers.

How will I be assessed?

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

Thanks to an ever-broadening international reach, Celtic languages, literatures and cultures have a steady stream of enthusiastic new speakers and audiences.

In Scotland particularly, developments such as the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, the creation of BBC Alba (the Gaelic digital television service), and the ongoing expansion of Gaelic-medium education have increased demand for highly-educated Gaelic speakers or specialists in Celtic culture.

Employment prospects are particularly high within education, journalism and the media, broadcasting (both radio and television), politics and the cultural sector. In some areas, there are more Gaelic-related jobs than there are people qualified to fill them.

Having studied French, a major language of international communication, you'll also 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.

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with the honours years in particular developing the research skills you'll need if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 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: Gaelic or French at B. National 5s: English at C and French at B (if not at Higher).
  • A Levels: French at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: French at 5. SL: English 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

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.

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
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade 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 module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

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

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

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 Celtic and French

Additional costs

International travel restrictions permitting, you will spend Year 3 abroad. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Universities may charge you a fee for courses, but we will reimburse you for this provided the course has been approved. You will be informed about the cost implications as you plan your year abroad, during Year 2.

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