Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA French

UCAS code: R120

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA French

French is a major world language, in Africa as well as in Europe and Canada. This programme enables you to study French in the context of the many countries, cultures and societies, worldwide, in which it is spoken.

Through intense language training, you have the opportunity to acquire near-native fluency while gaining the broad cultural education prized by graduate employers.

French art and thought have played a central part in creating our modern civilisation, and you'll explore Francophone literature and cinema, 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, including specialist options taught by leading experts in their field. Topics include post-colonial studies, gender studies and word and music studies, among others.

Uniquely in Scotland, studying at Edinburgh enables you to take a full year abroad as part of your four-year undergraduate programme, either studying, teaching or working. You'll therefore spend Year 3 in a country where French is spoken.

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 subject of French.

This may enable you to change the focus of your programme in your honours years (Years 3 and 4).

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You will study texts (novels, essays and political and historical documents) and films which focus on social and political events from the Second World War to the 21st century: resistance and collaboration, the Fifth Republic, May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

In addition to your compulsory courses, 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 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.

As in Year 1, you’ll complete your studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh.

Year 3

You’ll spend Year 3 in France or a French-speaking country, turning classroom learning into living engagement with Francophone culture.

The University has exchange places in a huge variety of different universities, including in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Instead of studying, you might opt to do a teaching assistant placement (organised by the British Council), or other work placement, instead. In any case, our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefited their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of 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. For example, you'll take an e-learning course which will count as part of your third year mark and prepare you for your Year 4 language courses.

Year 4

You’ll refine your skills with specialist language tuition in translation, writing skills and oral communication.

You’ll also take option courses taught by research-active experts. There’s a wide range to choose from, from French political thought, to 17th- or 19th-century theatre, French verse, the French New Wave and France’s relations with its former colonies.

You’ll be expected to engage with research by writing a dissertation (approximately 6,000 words) in French. This is your chance to focus on a subject that’s of particular interest to you and must involve independent research, but you’ll be supported by one or more members of our academic staff.

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.

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

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.

In Year 4, most courses will be taught exclusively in French.

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 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.

With a qualification in French, you’ll know a major language of international communication, one of the 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 numerous multinational companies and institutions for which it is a working language.

The employment statistics for language graduates from the University of Edinburgh are impressive, and our graduates can be found in every kind of career - from physical theatre to the top of the Civil Service.

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

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

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