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Department of French

French at St Andrews was rated top in Scotland, and 4th in the U.K., by the Complete University Guide 2019.

The Department of French is truly diverse in its outlook and activities. It currently comprises thirteen academic staff, who are among the leaders in their research fields. Their research and teaching engage with the spectrum of French studies: Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, the Early Modern/Enlightenment period, Nineteenth-Century Studies, as well as Modern and Contemporary French Studies and Postcolonial Studies.

Our team also comprises several native speakers, including two lecteurs/lectrices who run oral classes with a strong communicative and cultural focus, and organise extra-curricular activities for students in French.

Our core language programme combines a high level of oral competence with sound grammatical accuracy and transferable skills, for students who have already studied French at school. The first two years of study have been designed to stand as autonomous units which provide solid grounding in linguistic competence, literary and textual analysis, and a critical understanding of key events and issues which have shaped French history and culture.

These first two years allow continuing students to make informed choices when deciding which French modules to take in their third and fourth years, from a broad range of optional modules including literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present day, French politics and culture, intellectual history, postcolonial literature, modern French thought, creative writing, and translation studies.

Overall the St Andrews French MA course is designed to allow students to develop analytical skills and communicative proficiency, alongside other crucial transferable skills, in English as well as in French.

Significant numbers of international students, including students from France, are attracted to the Department of French within the context of our exchange and postgraduate study programmes, making it a truly transnational francophone environment in which to pursue academic study.

The Department offers taught and research Masters programmes (MLitt and MSt Res) in French Studies which draw upon the research strengths of academic staff. PhD supervision is available across a wide range of subjects, and prospective candidates are welcome to approach members of staff about potential Masters and PhD projects.

See the French Department at St Andrews Facebook page for more information about news and events.

Eiffel Tower from below; image taken from, under the terms of Creative Commons 2.0 license

Contact details

Dr Elise Hugueny-Leger
Head of Department of French
School of Modern Languages
University of St Andrews
St Andrews KY16 9PH
Scotland, UK

Telephone: +44 1334 463652