Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

MA French and Scandinavian Studies

UCAS code: RR16

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA French and Scandinavian Studies

This joint honours programme allows you to study two very different European languages in their diverse cultural contexts.

French is a major world language, spoken in many parts of Europe, Africa and the Americas. While the languages of Denmark, Norway and Sweden have long had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region.

Through intensive language study, including a year abroad, you will have the opportunity to acquire advanced spoken and written skills in both French and a Scandinavian language - either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

In addition to your language classes, you will explore aspects of Francophone and Scandinavian culture. Courses cover literature and cinema, political history, social movements and philosophical ideas.

Why Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the only university in Scotland, and one of only two in the UK, to offer undergraduate programmes with joint honours in Scandinavian Studies. You do not currently need to know a Scandinavian language, as courses are available for beginners.

As well as being distinctive in our subject offering, we are also unique in Scotland in integrating a full academic year abroad into the four-year honours programme, regardless of whether you spend the year studying or working. You will therefore spend Year 3 in either Norway, Denmark or Sweden and in a French-speaking country.

The four-year degree gives you choice and flexibility. In Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses from a broad list of disciplines in addition to French and Scandinavian Studies. You will then specialise in the topics that interest you most as you move through honours study.

By the end of the programme you will be able to demonstrate the range of skills and intercultural competencies valued by graduate employers around the globe.

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

In Years 1 and 2, your pre-honours years, you will choose option courses from a wide range of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of French and Scandinavian Studies.

As well as broadening your education and skill set, this may enable you to change the focus of your programme in Years 3 and 4, your honours years.

Year 1

You will develop spoken and written skills in French and in either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

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 typically take French 1B. As well as developing your written and spoken language skills, this course focuses on modern French literature, culture and civilisation covering the period from the Second World War to the 21st century.

Scandinavian Studies

You will take an intensive beginners' language course in either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. This will allow you to develop spoken and written language skills, and will introduce you to Scandinavian culture.

Option courses

To broaden the scope of your study, you will also choose option courses from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh.

These include two courses in Scandinavian Civilisation which provide an overview of important trends in the history, society, culture and politics of the Scandinavian and wider Nordic world, from the earliest times to the present.

We would encourage you to take one, or both, of these Scandinavian Civilisation options over the course of Years 1 and 2.

Other options include - but are not limited to - courses in:

  • linguistics and language sciences

  • Celtic and Scottish ethnology

  • business, economics and informatics

  • politics, social policy and social anthropology

  • art and architectural history

  • history, classics and archaeology

  • philosophy, divinity and law

Year 2

You will build on the language skills you developed in Year 1 in French and in either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

You will also learn more about Francophone and Scandinavian literature and culture.

In French, the focus shifts to exploring the 16th to 19th centuries. You will study work by authors such as Molière, Montaigne and Baudelaire alongside texts that have been considered marginal to French culture for reasons of gender or colonial politics.

In Scandinavian Studies, you can opt to develop your skills in understanding the similarities and differences between the Scandinavian languages. Alternatively, you can choose to learn more about Scandinavian literature.

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 and, as in Year 1, Scandinavian Civilisation.

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your 30 weeks between a country in which French is spoken and either Sweden, Norway or Denmark.

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 Scandinavian languages and cultures.

During your year abroad, we will 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 will 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.

You will also choose courses on topics such as Francophone and Scandinavian:

  • film

  • literature

  • history

  • politics

Dissertation

You will either write a long essay or complete a dissertation in your choice of French or your chosen Scandinavian language (Swedish, Norwegian or Danish).

Our facilities

On campus

When you are on campus, you can expect to spend most of your time in the University of Edinburgh's Central Area - in class, in the library, or in one of the University’s many social spaces.

The Central Area is located on the edge of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, surrounded by lots of green space.

Take a virtual tour of the Central Area

Libraries, collections and centres

Based in the Main University Library, the Centre for Research Collections is unique in the UK. The centre brings together a collection of more than 400,000 rare books, six kilometres of archives and manuscripts. It also houses the University’s collections of art, historical musical instruments and other objects.

The Library also holds academic books, journals and databases, films, newspapers and other media. Resources include over 118,500 books and 25,500 journals in French, around 7,500 titles in Swedish, 5,400 in Danish, and 3,600 in Norwegian.

Events and activities

The Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) supports more than 300 student-led societies, clubs and social enterprises, including the Scandinavian Society, and promotes opportunities with local charities through its volunteering centre.

From making friends in language cafes to campaigning on global issues, these student-led groups offer lots of ways to engage.

The French theatre society - Les Escogriffes - typically stages a play in French each year, with opportunities to direct, act, produce and promote.

Staff and student editors publish creative writing in nine European languages – including French, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish – in the online magazine, Babble. Launch nights typically include readings and performances.

We are proud to host the Northern Scholars programme which fosters co-operation between scholars of the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries and Scotland, largely through events such as:

  • public lectures

  • workshops

  • the involvement of visiting guests in teaching and learning activities

In the city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. The National Library of Scotland has one of the best French collections in the UK.

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

The National Museum of Scotland has the Lewis Chess Pieces (probably made in the late 12th or early 13th century in Norway) on permanent display. Among the city's hidden treasures is the Swedish Viking Age runestone situated outside our building at 50 George Square.

The city has excellent links with the Nordic nations, and many Scandinavian shops and cafes.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your 30 weeks between a country in which French is spoken and either Sweden, Norway or Denmark.

You will spend at least eight weeks in each of the two countries, either studying or completing a work/teaching placement.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in Francophone and Scandinavian 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

  • e-learning

How will I be assessed?

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

Skills and experience

Studying languages to degree level demonstrates that you are a good communicator, a resilient problem solver, and someone open to other cultures and new ideas – what employers value as Intercultural Competence.

Beyond the language skills you will develop on this programme, and the nuanced understanding you will gain of other cultures and societies, graduating with a four-year Master of Arts degree from the University of Edinburgh shows high-level intellectual strength and flexibility.

The skills you will be able to demonstrate to employers when you graduate include the ability to understand, analyse and articulate key concepts, and to work to varied briefs to deadline, both independently and in groups.

Opportunities at home and away

Graduating with French, you’ll be near-fluent in a major language of international communication, one of the most widely spoken in the world.

You will 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.

As there are relatively few graduates from UK universities specialising in the Scandinavian languages, there are excellent opportunities for those who do learn Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

Speakers of one Scandinavian language are widely understood in all Scandinavian countries and both Swedish and Danish are official working languages of the EU.

Our graduates can be found in every kind of career, especially those that place a premium on thinking that is both disciplined and imaginative. Wherever you are based in the world, your skills will make you stand out.

Within the private, public, not-for-profit, and for-benefit sectors, previous graduates have gone on to career pathways in:

  • business, finance and commerce

  • communications, marketing, advertising and public relations

  • education, outreach, advocacy and training

  • journalism, broadcasting and media

  • leisure, tourism and travel

  • politics, policy work, diplomacy, civil service and law

  • publishing, culture, heritage and the arts

  • research, development and venture acceleration

  • translating and interpreting

Further study

The enhanced research skills you will develop on a four-year programme, particularly in your honours years, are a valuable asset if you wish to continue studying at postgraduate level.

At the University of Edinburgh, we typically offer MSc by Research degrees in both French and Scandinavian Studies. Our interdisciplinary taught MSc programmes typically include:

  • Comparative Literature

  • Intermediality

  • Translation Studies

Careers advice

We have an excellent Careers Service. Throughout your time with us, we will encourage you to identify and hone your employability skills, including through peer initiatives such as Life After LLC (Literatures, Languages and Cultures) where you can draw inspiration from our graduates.

Be inspired by our alumni

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 at B. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: French at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: French or one of the Scandinavian languages 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
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at 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: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

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, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

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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 Scandinavian Studies

Additional costs

As long as international restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad. The costs incurred will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Some study placements at language schools may charge a fee, but we will normally reimburse you for tuition costs as long as your activity has been approved. You will be responsible for associated travel costs such as flights and visas.

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