Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA French and English Literature

UCAS code: RQ13

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA French and English Literature

For centuries, both English and French-speaking cultures have had a profound international influence on literature.

This programme aims to develop your critical, analytic, linguistic and creative skills by engaging with a broad range of texts in both English and French, and a variety of approaches to reading.

Through intense language training and a year in a French-speaking country, you have the opportunity to acquire near-native fluency while gaining the broad cultural education prized by graduate employers.

Our specialist courses in French include options in post-colonial studies, film, gender studies and word and music studies.

French is a major world language spoken in Europe, Africa and Canada. On this joint programme, you’ll learn the French language in the context of Francophone culture, past and present, including fascinating literature, political history, social movements and philosophical ideas.

Likewise, our English Literature curriculum explores the cultural contexts of writing in English from the late middle-ages to the present. By enhancing your unique literary and critical faculties, the programme prepares you to contribute to a society in which an understanding of texts of all kinds is crucially important.

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. The aim is to 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.

You will take two ‘Literary Studies’ courses which will introduce you to the essential skills needed for the critical close reading of the core literary genres of poetry, drama and prose. You will read works of literature written in English from around the world, and encounter a range of ideas about the nature and purpose of literary 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 develop your written and spoken language skills and build on your knowledge of 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 be introduced to the study of English literature in its cultural and historical contexts, focusing on a selection of major periods. These courses will explore the relationship between literary texts and the construction of national, international and imperial cultures.

As in Year 1, you’ll also choose option courses 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.

Year 3

You’ll spend your third year 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 English Literature 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 range of specialist courses in both French and English Literature. 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, the first UNESCO World City of Literature and home of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The city's outstanding libraries, collections and literary venues include the Scottish Poetry Library, Writers’ Museum and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The National Library of Scotland has one of the best French collections in the UK, and there are many notable French artworks in the four National Galleries 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 has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including many in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. We are the oldest department of English Literature in the UK, one of the longest established in the world.

We are home to the student-led French theatre society (Les Escogriffes), multiple student societies for literature and drama enthusiasts, a thriving Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme (LitPALS) and a fantastic Writer-in-Residence. Our online magazine, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in French.

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.

You will be required to undertake substantial reading each week in preparation for classes in English Literature.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of exams, including oral exams, and coursework, including close reading exercises, essays and assignments.

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.

The employment statistics for French and English Literature 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 language 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: English and a language other than English at B. National 5s: French at B.
  • A Levels: English Literature or combined English, and a language other than English at B. GCSEs: French at B or 6.
  • IB: HL: English and a language other than English at 5. SL: French at 5 (if not at HL).

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 English Literature

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