Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA French and Politics

UCAS code: RL12

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA French and Politics

French is a major world language spoken in Europe, Africa and Canada. At Edinburgh, you will study the language in the context of the many countries, cultures and societies in which French is spoken.

The Francophone world has a fascinating political history. On this joint programme, you will examine issues such as the:

  • morality of political action

  • limits of freedom and justice

  • processes of governance at various levels

French

You will have the opportunity to gain near-native fluency, thanks to four years of intensive training, including a year abroad.

You will also explore aspects of French culture, including Francophone literature and cinema, fascinating 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 their field.

Politics

Our programme covers a range of political systems, institutions, and processes.

You will explore a variety of issues within:

  • politics

  • political theory

  • public theory

You will also study international relations in Europe, Russia, Africa and the US.

The skills you develop will allow you to understand and evaluate political issues and problems in the contemporary world.

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.

Our language programmes are also extremely flexible. In Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subjects.

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

In Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of French and Politics. This may enable you to change the focus of your programme in Years 3 and 4.

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 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

Politics

You will study three compulsory courses in politics:

  • Politics and International Relations 1A: Concepts and Debates and Politics
  • International Relations 1B: The Global Dimension
  • Political Thinkers (an introduction to political theory)

Option courses

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses.

Year 2

French

Year 2 language classes will develop your written and spoken language skills, to ensure that you are ready for your year abroad. They will also build on your knowledge of French and Francophone culture.

The focus shifts to exploring the 16th to 19th centuries, including world-renowned authors such as:

  • Molière

  • Montaigne

  • Baudelaire

These are studied alongside fascinating writers whose work has been considered marginal to French culture for reasons of gender or colonial politics.

Politics

You will study Comparative Politics in a Globalised World.

Option courses

As in Year 1, you will choose from a range of option courses. These include a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts.

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'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 Politics and French. For example, 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 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

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

You will also choose from a wide range of specialist courses in both French and Politics.

Dissertation

You 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, where we have excellent:

  • computing and audiovisual resources

  • support services

  • social spaces

Events and activities

There is plenty to see and do throughout the year, including events at the annual French Film Festival, and the nearby Institut français d’Écosse.

You can join student societies for both French and Politics.

These include:

  • French theatre society (Les Escogriffes)

  • Model United Nations

  • Edinburgh Political Union

You can also contribute creative writing in French to our online magazine, Babble.

The city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city and seat of the Scottish Parliament. It is filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. This includes one of the best French collections in the UK in the National Library of Scotland.

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.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Experienced lecturers and language instructors will teach through a combination of:

  • lectures

  • seminars

  • tutorials

  • computer-assisted learning

How will I be assessed?

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

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

By the end of your programme, you will be able to speak a major language of international communication, one of the most widely spoken in the world.

You will be able to work in the 29 countries where French is an official language. You will also be able to find opportunities in the many multinational companies and political institutions where French is a working language, such as the European Commission.

Sectors

Our employment statistics for language and humanities graduates are impressive, and you will have a remarkable range of career options available to you. Our graduates can be found in every sector, especially those that require disciplined and imaginative thinking.

Many of our former students are working in roles where language skills are of special value, such as:

  • outreach

  • education

  • translating

  • interpreting

This includes roles within politics and policy-making.

Further study

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level. Year 4 will help you to develop the research skills needed if you choose this path.

There are many graduate-level programmes available, particularly in the UK, US, France and the Francophone world.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA-AABB by end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 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 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

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 Politics

Additional costs

If international travel restrictions allow, 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 as long as the course has been approved. You will be informed of costs 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