Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA French and Classics

UCAS code: QR81

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA French and Classics

Many of the basic concepts underlying Western society found expression for the first time in ancient Greek or Latin, and - together with French - they are the language of many highly influential literary and cultural works.

Studying French and Classics helps us understand the world in which we live now, as well as shedding light on the past.

This programme will lead you to near-native fluency in the French language, thanks to our four years of intensive training. At the same time, you will explore French culture – its literature and cinema, but also its fascinating political history, social movements and philosophical ideas.

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. Taught by leading experts, specialisms include post-colonial studies, gender studies and word and music studies, among others.

Classics combines both linguistic and philological work, as well as the study of two civilisations that utilised what we call the classical languages in a wide range of different contexts - including political, religious and philosophical - and in different societal niches.

Our aim is for you to acquire a sound grammatical understanding of both ancient Greek and Latin, a good knowledge of the vocabulary and the different uses of both languages by different authors and an appreciation of the rapport between the different ancient societies that used these languages, as well as their relationship to their languages and literatures.

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 French and Classics.

This may enable you to change the focus of your programme, if you discover that your outside subject is one that you want to take on into the final two (honours) years.

Year 1

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 take French 1B, which, as well as developing your written and spoken linguistic skills, engages intensively with modern French literature, culture and civilisation, introducing you to the extraordinary richness and variety of one of the world’s great civilisations.

You will study texts (novels, essays, and political and historical documents) and films which focus on social and political events from the Second World War to the 21st century: resistance and collaboration, the Fifth Republic, May 1968, feminism, colonisation and decolonisation.

For the Classics side of the programme, you will select two courses, studying either the Greek and/or Roman World, or Greek, or Latin. The courses you choose in Year 1 will influence those you can take in further years and will put you on a Greek, Latin or non-language pathway through Classics study.

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses offered by the University of Edinburgh.

Year 2

Your French 2 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.

You will also have the chance to take complementary courses on European literature, culture and film and/or French politics.

Your language classes in French 2 will develop your written and spoken language skills to ensure that you are ready for your year abroad.

You will study two Classics courses, following your pathway in Greek, or Latin, or one or more of ancient history, classical art and archaeology and classical literature in translation.

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses offered by the University of Edinburgh.

Year 3

You’ll spend your third year abroad, 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 benefited their broader 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 Classics 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.

Year 4

You will develop advanced language skills in spoken and written French and choose from a wide range of specialist courses in both French and Classics.

You will also 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 (2020/21)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area in a world-leading festival city bursting with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections, including one of the best French collections in the UK in the National Library of Scotland.

Edinburgh's European cinema scene is particularly strong, with an annual French Film Festival and plenty to see and do throughout the year, including at the nearby Institut français d’Écosse.

The University itself has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including many in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

We are home to the student-led French theatre society, Les Escogriffes, and to the online creative writing magazine, Babble.

Study abroad

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, seminars, tutorials and computer-assisted language learning.

How will I be assessed?

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

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from 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 details (2020/21)

Studying languages to degree level, especially when you spend a year abroad as part of your studies, gives you a set of skills and life experiences highly prized by employers.

Through studying French over four years, you'll know a major language of international communication, the sixth most widely spoken in the world. You’ll 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.

The employment statistics for language graduates from the University of Edinburgh are impressive, and our graduates can be found in every kind of career, especially those that place a premium on thinking that is both disciplined and imaginative.

Naturally, many of our former students are working in professions where linguistic and humanities skills are of special value, including education, translating and interpreting, and international business.

There are also opportunities to continue studying, with Year 4 in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path. There are many graduate-level programmes available, particularly in the UK, US and of course France and the Francophone world.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA-AABB by the end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by the end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.(Revised 09/04/2020 from AAAA-AAAB and to include alternate grades to be achieved by end of S6.)
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 43 points with 776 at HL - 37 points with 666 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 and English at C.
  • A Levels: a language other than English at B. GCSEs: French at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: a language other than English at 5. SL: French at 5 and 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

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

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 Classics

Additional costs

For your compulsory residence abroad in Year 3, we give you a wide range of options. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Universities outside the EU 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