Undergraduate study - 2022 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

French is a major world language, while the languages of the Scandinavian countries have had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region.

On this joint programme you will study French and one, or more, of the following Scandinavian languages:

  • Swedish

  • Danish

  • Norwegian

You will acquire near-native fluency in your chosen languages, thanks to four years of intensive training, including a year abroad. You will also study the languages in the context of the rich cultures of the countries in which they are spoken.

We offer a wide range of cultural courses spanning from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, including specialist options on literature, history, and film taught by leading experts in their field.

Why Edinburgh

We are the only university in Scotland, and one of only two in the UK, to offer undergraduate programmes in Scandinavian Studies.

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

Year 1

You will develop your spoken and written skills in French and 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 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.

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.

You will also be encouraged to take at least one of two option courses offered in Scandinavian Civilisation. These courses cover Scandinavian culture from the earliest times to the present, and will provide an overview of important trends in Scandinavian:

  • history

  • society

  • politics

Option courses

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses. As well as Scandinavian Civilisation, these include 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 you developed in Year 1 in French and either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

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

Scandinavian Studies

You can opt to develop your skills in understanding all three Scandinavian languages, or 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/or Scandinavian Civilisation.

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 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'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, and choose courses on topics such as Francophone and Scandinavian:

  • film

  • literature

  • history

  • politics

Dissertation

You will also 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

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 annual French Film Festival and at the nearby Institut français d’Écosse.

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

Edinburgh also hosts the Northern Scholars programme, which encourages scholars of Nordic countries, Baltic countries, and Scotland to come together. It hosts events such as public lectures and workshops, and involves visiting guests in teaching and learning activities.

The city

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

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 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

  • computer-assisted learning

How will I be assessed?

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

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.

With a qualification in French and Scandinavian Studies, you will understand a major language of international communication.

You will also be one of very few graduates from the UK specialising in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. Speaking one of these languages will make you widely understood in all Scandinavian countries.

Sectors

Our employment statistics for language graduates are impressive. 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

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.

There are many graduate-level programmes available, particularly in the UK, US, France, and Scandinavia.

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
  • 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 Scandinavian Studies

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