Undergraduate study - 2020 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

This programme will enable you to study a major European language as well as the literature, artistic developments and theories associated with it. The programme aims to develop your engagement with the language, histories, literatures, cultures and societies which have French as a common language. Through intense training in the target language you will acquire near-native fluency.

Beyond the intensive study of the French language, you will explore the exciting contribution of French speakers to world culture. French political and philosophical ideas have played a central role in creating our modern civilisation. As a large subject area, the French department at 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 specialists in their field.

Classics offers you the opportunity to study the languages and literatures of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Ancient Greek is the language in which many of the basic concepts underlying Western society to this day found expression for the first time; Latin was the language of the most powerful and durable empire of the classical world and remained the principal language of scholarship, record and much literature for more than a thousand years thereafter.

In these two languages highly influential literary works of great intrinsic quality and interest were composed and the fusion of Greek and Roman culture produced a heritage which is fundamental to later Western civilisation. The study of classics is not only a valuable pursuit in itself but also informs our views of the world in which we live.

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 by individuals from different social levels, emphasising the need to appreciate social status and equality in the context of personal and other diversity.

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 these societies’ relationship to their languages and literatures.

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 from classics, studying either the Greek and/or Roman World, or Greek, or Latin. The classics courses you choose in Year 1 will influence the courses you can take in further years and will put you on a Greek, Latin or non-language pathway for the programme.

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses outside your primary subjects.

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 Racine, 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, and able to study successfully at universities in France, Belgium, or Switzerland.

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 outside your primary subjects.

Year 3

You will spend Year 3 studying or working in a French-speaking country and you will submit prescribed work in both classics and French.

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 (2019/20)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, in the University's Central Area. We are based in a state-of-the-art building, at 50 George Square, which houses computer microlabs, a language resource centre, and social facilities as well as tutors' offices and lecture theatres.

Study abroad

During Year 3, you will spend a minimum of 30 weeks on approved work or study placement in the country/countries relevant to the language/s studied.

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 (2019/20)

Studying a language 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. The employment statistics for French and Classics graduates from the University of Edinburgh are impressive, and you will have a remarkable range of career options available to you.

You’ll be fluent in 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.

Our graduates can be found in every kind of career, especially those that place a premium on thinking that is both disciplined and imaginative, from physical theatre to the top of the Civil Service. Naturally, many of our former students are working in professions where linguistic 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 end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'.)
  • IB: 40 points (grades 766 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

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

Additional requirements

Language requirement

Please note that 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 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 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 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • 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 programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

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 Unistats 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. A placement with an Erasmus work grant, for example, could make this the cheapest year of your programme.

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