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.
English Literature is a versatile academic discipline characterised by the rigorous and critical study of the production, reception and interpretation of written texts, both literary and non-literary; and with the nature, history and potential of the English language. The study of English develops a flexible and responsive openness of mind, conceptual sophistication in argument, and the ability to engage in dialogue with past and present cultures and values.
The University of Edinburgh is proud to house the oldest Department of English Literature in the world, having offered courses on ‘rhetoric and belles lettres’ for over 200 years. The Department’s position as one of the premier departments in the country was confirmed in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise when it was placed amongst the top three in the United Kingdom Located at the heart of the city, itself UNESCO's first World City of Literature, the Department offers a rich array of unique resources which facilitate scholarship and learning.
Outstanding libraries are among the many factors that make the city an ideal place for the study of literature. As well as the wealth of resources in the main University Library, the National Library of Scotland, one of the finest bibliographical collections in Europe, is only five minutes walk from the Department.