Beyond the intensive study of the French language, French Studies at Edinburgh allows you to explore the exciting contribution of French speakers to world culture. Some of the most striking literary texts ever written are in French, French cinema is one of the world’s richest and Paris has long been the centre of the art world. French political and philosophical ideas have played a central role in creating our modern civilisation. As a large subject area, the French Section at Edinburgh can offer undergraduates a wide range of courses spanning from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, including specialist options in literature, film and politics taught by leading specialists in their field.
There are high-quality resources to support French students in Edinburgh: in the most recent RAE, 55% of research in French Section was rated as 4* world-leading or 3* internationally excellent. The National Library of Scotland has one of the best French collections in Britain and the University Library holds a very extensive collection of books, journals and electronic resources. Edinburgh is home to the Institut Francais d’Ecosse which runs regular lectures, films, exhibitions and concerts related to French culture. You will also have the opportunity to join the successful French drama group Les Escogriffes, which has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You will spend a year working or studying in France as part of your degree. You may attend a university, work as a language assistant in a school, or gain work experience independently. The French Section has numerous exchange programmes (through Erasmus) with prestigious universities and Grandes Ecoles in France and Belgium (Paris IV Sorbonne, Paris Dauphine, Institut d’Etudes Politiques Lyon, Rennes and Grenoble, Université Libre de Bruxelles, etc.), which provide high quality courses.
Classics is the study of the languages and literatures of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Ancient Greek is the language in which many of the basic concepts underlying Western society to this day found expression for the first time; Latin was the language of the most powerful and durable empire of the classical world and remained the principal language of scholarship, record and much literature for more than a thousand years thereafter. In these two languages highly influential literary works of great intrinsic quality and interest were composed; and the fusion of Greek and Roman culture produced a heritage which is fundamental to later Western civilisation. The study of Classics is not only a valuable pursuit in itself but also informs our views of the world in which we live. The MA in Classics combines both linguistic and philological work as well as the study of two civilisations that utilised what we call the classical languages in a wide range of different contexts (e.g. political, religious, philosophical, etc.) and in different societal niches, i.e. by individuals from different social levels, emphasising the need to appreciate social status and equality in the context of personal and other diversity. To acquire a sound grammatical understanding of both ancient Greek and Latin, a good knowledge of the vocabulary and the different uses of both languages by different authors, and an appreciation of the rapport between the different ancient societies that used these languages as well as these societies’ relationship to their languages and literatures are, thus, the central aims of this programme.