Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

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, 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. You will study a range of texts, in both English and French, and a variety of approaches to reading. You will also gain a broad, cultural education prized by graduate employers.

French

French is a major world language, spoken in Africa, Europe and Canada. Its art and thought have played a central part in creating modern civilisation.

Studying this programme will give you near-native fluency, thanks to four years of intensive training, including a year abroad.

You will explore French culture, including Francophone literature and cinema, fascinating political history, social movements and philosophical ideas.

Specialist courses include options in post-colonial studies, film, and gender studies.

English Literature

We are the oldest department of English Literature in the UK, and one of the longest established in the world.

On this programme, you will explore the cultural contexts of writing in English from the late Middle Ages to the present.

In Years 3 and 4, you will study research-led courses selected on the basis of your own interests, developing a detailed knowledge of specific topics, periods or genres.

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.

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.

English Literature

You will take two literary studies courses. These will introduce you to the essential skills needed for critical close reading of:

  • poetry
  • drama
  • 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.

Option courses

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses. These include, but are not limited to, courses in:

  • business

  • politics

  • social policy

  • informatics

  • economics

  • history

  • classics

  • archaeology

  • philosophy

  • linguistics

  • divinity

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.

English Literature

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.

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 English Literature 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 English Literature.

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 the student-led French theatre society, Les Escogriffes, or contribute creative writing in French to our online magazine, Babble.

We have a fantastic Writer-in-Residence, and multiple student societies and groups for literature enthusiasts, including:

  • reading and writers' groups

  • creative writing magazines

  • a literature Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme (LitPALS)

The city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city, the first UNESCO World City of Literature, and home of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Outstanding libraries, collections and literary venues include the:

  • Scottish Poetry Library

  • Writers' Museum

  • 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.

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

You will be expected 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 and coursework, including oral exams.

Coursework will include:

  • close reading exercises

  • essays

  • assignments

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 institutions where French is a working language, such as the European Commission.

Sectors

Our employment statistics for French and English Literature 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, from physical theatre to the top of the Civil Service.

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

  • education

  • translating

  • interpreting

  • international business

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: 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.

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 English Literature

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