Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA French and German

UCAS code: RR12

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA French and German

This programme allows you to study two complementary European languages in the context of the cultures of the countries in which they are spoken. In Europe, more people speak German as their native language than any other, while French extends beyond Europe to large parts of Africa and Canada.

Both languages rank in the world's 20 most widely spoken, and have had a profound international cultural influence.

You will have the opportunity to acquire near-native fluency in both French and German, thanks to four years of intensive training, including a year abroad.

You will also explore aspects of French, Francophone and German culture, including literature and cinema, political history 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.

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 wide range of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of French and German. This may enable you to change the focus of your programme in Years 3 and 4.

Year 1

You will develop spoken and written skills in both French and German, and study aspects of literature and culture.

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.

German

If you have not studied German before, you will take German 1A, an intensive language course.

If your entry qualification for German is a Scottish Higher, A level, or equivalent, you will take German 1B. This course covers language as well as literature and culture from 1770 to the present day.

On German 1B, you will interview a German native speaker working in Edinburgh or Glasgow. This will give you the opportunity to:

  • practise professional communication

  • discover the value of languages in the workplace

  • gain insights into possible career options

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

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 German culture.

French

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.

German

In Year 2 you will develop your oral language skills further. You will also practise translation, grammar, and writing different types of texts in German.

You will continue to study literature and culture, choosing at least two courses from a range of options.

Year 2 courses are likely to include:

  • Researching Disability in German Literature and Society

  • Culture, Modernity and the City in the Weimar Republic

  • Reading Antisemitism in Modern German Literature

  • The Contemporary Short Story in German

  • Sexualities on the German Screen (title to be confirmed)

  • Migration in German-Language Discourse

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. You will also have the chance to study French politics.

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you'll spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your 30 weeks between a country in which French is spoken and one in which German is spoken. You will spend at least eight weeks in each country, either studying or completing a work or teaching placement.

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 French-speaking and German-speaking cultures.

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 e-learning courses which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your Year 4 language 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 French and German.

You will also choose from a wide range of specialist courses, taught by experts in their field. These cover topics such as Francophone and German-language:

  • film

  • literature

  • history

  • politics

Dissertation

You will complete a dissertation or long essay in your choice of French or German.

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 at the nearby Institut français d’Écosse.

You can join the student-led French theatre society, Les Escogriffes, and contribute creative writing in both languages to our online magazine, Babble.

The city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. These include outstanding French and German holdings in the National Library of Scotland.

Edinburgh's European cinema scene is also particularly strong, with an annual French Film Festival, and screenings as part of the nationwide German-language festival, Fokus.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you'll spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your 30 weeks between a country in which French is spoken and one in which German is spoken. You will spend at least eight weeks in each country, either studying or completing a work or teaching placement.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in French-speaking and German-speaking cultures. 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

Language teaching involves developing your speaking and writing skills, as well as an introduction to professional translation techniques.

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 two major languages of international communication, and work in the countries where they are spoken.

You will also be able to find opportunities in the many multinational companies and institutions where French and German are working languages, such as the European Commission.

Sectors

Our employment statistics for language 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

  • international business

This includes for multinational companies, political institutions, and other organisations in the European Union and beyond.

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.

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: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 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: French or German at B. National 5s: French at B (if not at Higher) and English at C.
  • A Levels: French or German at B. GCSEs: French at B or 6 (if not at A Level) and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: French or German at 5. SL: French at 5 (if not at HL) and English at 5.

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 German

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