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.
Students of politics explore the origins and present-day contexts of conflicts over power and resources; the morality of political action, the limits of freedom and justice, and the processes of governance at various levels. The programme focuses on a variety of issues in politics, political theory, public theory and international relations in Europe, Russia, Africa and the US. Politics is part of a vibrant research-led community. The programme aims to equip students with substantive knowledge of a range of political systems, institutions, processes and ideas; enabling students to develop and apply their knowledge and skills to the understanding and evaluation of political issues and problems in the contemporary world.
The MA Honours French and Politics degree programme at Edinburgh is designed to develop the student’s interest in, and complex knowledge and understanding of the target country or countries, including their language, history, culture and social issues. Students will gain knowledge of the main of a range of political systems, institutions, processes and ideas.
Furthermore, they will develop key generic skills in critical thinking, conceptual analysis, research, and written and oral articulation of information and argument.
The programme offers society the resource of intellectually trained individuals capable of acting as conduits of knowledge and understanding between British and non-British cultures, as well as using the acquired knowledge to contribute to the wealth creation of Britain and other nations. Graduates enter employment in many different fields, including the Civil Service, industry, commerce and education.