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.
The languages, history, politics and culture of the Scandinavian countries have had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region. At the University of Edinburgh you will explore Scandinavian culture, past and present, alongside the study of the Scandinavian languages. Edinburgh has an excellent reputation for its research in this area. Regular research seminars and cultural events provide students with opportunities to find out more about the latest developments in Scandinavian culture and research.
Whichever of the three main languages – Danish, Norwegian or Swedish – you choose to specialise in, you will also gain a passive knowledge of the other two during the course of your degree programme. You do not need a previous knowledge of any of the languages (with the exception of the joint honours programme with Business Studies) as courses are available for beginners. The relatively small class sizes provide an informal and supportive learning environment.