Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA French and Spanish

UCAS code: RR14

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA French and Spanish

This programme allows you to study two complementary European languages in the context of the cultures of the countries in which they are spoken. Both languages are among the 10 most widely spoken in the world, and have had a profound cultural influence in Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

You will acquire near-native fluency in each language, while gaining the broad cultural education prized by graduate employers.

You will explore aspects of Francophone and Hispanic culture, including 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.

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 Spanish. This may enable you to change the focus of your programme in Years 3 and 4.

Year 1

You will study French and Spanish, developing your spoken and written skills in both languages. You will also 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.

Spanish

You will study either Spanish 1A or 1B, depending on your language skills. You will also explore a selection of literary texts and films from the Spanish-speaking world.

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 (including art and architectural history)

  • classics

  • archaeology

  • philosophy

  • linguistics

  • divinity

Year 2

You will build on the language skills that you developed in Year 1.

You will also learn more about French and Spanish literature and culture.

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 also have the option to study Portuguese, Basque or Catalan.

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 Spanish is spoken. You will spend at least eight weeks in each country, either studying or completing a work/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 Francophone and Hispanic languages and 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 your advanced language skills, and choose courses on topics such as Francophone and Hispanic:

  • film

  • literature

  • history

  • politics

Dissertation

You will also complete your dissertation or long essay in your choice of French or Spanish.

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 and through the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh.

You can join the student-led French theatre society, Les Escogriffes, and contribute creative writing in both languages to our online magazine, Babble. We also stage an annual Spanish play.

The city

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

Edinburgh's European cinema scene is particularly strong, with annual festivals for both French and Spanish film.

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 Spanish is spoken. You will spend at least eight weeks in each country, either studying or completing a work/teaching placement.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in Francophone and Hispanic 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, including:

  • presentations

  • podcasts

  • posters

  • oral exams

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 (2021/22)

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

Our employment statistics for language graduates are impressive. Our graduates can be found in every sector, especially those that require disciplined and imaginative thinking.

With a qualification in French and Spanish, you will understand two languages of international communication, including one of the most widely spoken in the world.

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

  • outreach

  • education

  • translating

  • interpreting

This includes for multinational companies, political institutions, and other organisations.

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 Spanish at B. National 5s: French at B (if not at Higher) and English at C.
  • A Levels: French or Spanish at B. GCSEs: French at B or 6 (if not at A Level) and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: French or Spanish 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 Spanish

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 the 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