French MA (Hons) 2018 entry

As an MA (Hons) student of French, you will develop language and communications skills to a high level of proficiency. You will have the opportunity to engage with a number of specialist topics including French language, literature, culture, history, politics and film.

During your third year, you have the opportunity to study abroad in France at one of the University’s Erasmus+ partners. Students who spend a year abroad not only gain valuable work experience as teachers and tutors, but also develop their linguistic skills, intercultural competence, and self-confidence.

The MA (Hons) in French is also available as a five-year course with an integrated year abroad. The integrated year abroad is an opportunity for students to spend a year working in a French-speaking country between second year and third year. Find out more about integrated year abroad options.

Applications for 2018 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

UCAS code


Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 French MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Entry requirements

SQA Highers AAAB, including A in French.
GCE A-Levels AAB, including A in French.
IB points 36, including HL6 in French.

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Students must have achieved an A grade in French at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, or equivalent.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.


St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

Course information

The MA (Hons) in French is a four-year course run by the School of Modern Languages. In the first two years, you will build on your existing skills in French and be offered a broad view of French literature, civilisation and culture.

Alongside French, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised.

During your third year, you have the opportunity to study at one of the University’s Erasmus+ partner institutions in France. In this case, study undertaken in France replaces equivalent study in St Andrews. Studying abroad is optional.

In your fourth year, you will take modules focused on communication skills and can choose to specialise in a number of areas such as modern history, politics and society, or literature.

Graduates in Modern Languages from St Andrews can expect to have not only a high level of competence in language skills, but a highly developed appreciation for other cultures and peoples. Other transferable skills, including analysis, synthesis and communication skills will prepare you for a career in almost any industry.

Students may choose to spend an additional year working or studying in a French-speaking country. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying French at St Andrews.


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in French along with modules in at least one additional subject.

Typically, you will take three modules per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:

  • French Language and Literature 1: develops the language skills of post A-Level/Higher entrants and offers them a grounding in the literary and cultural tradition in France.
  • French Language and Literature 2: promotes grammatical competence as well as written and spoken comprehension and production. You will be taught how to read French literary texts in their socio-cultural background and develop basic skills of literary criticism.

Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year:

  • Second Level French Language 1: consolidates and extends the analytical and linguistics skill acquired at first level.
  • Second Level French Language 2: develops skills in spoken, aural and written French for a variety of academic and communication purposes and in different cultural contexts.

If you take French in your third and fourth years, you will choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate literary, historical and cultural studies into language learning. Modules at Honours level offered in previous years have included (but are not limited to):

  • French Classical Period
  • 21st-century French Fiction
  • Translation Methodology
  • French Opera
  • Politics, Culture and Society of the Fifth Republic
  • Consumerism in Modern France.

In fourth year, students have the option of undertaking a dissertation of 5,000 to 10,000 words, written in French, on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.

The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.


Teaching format

All Modern Language modules involve a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical languages classes. Lectures provide information, stimulate thought, and suggest directions for further reading and personal study. Small language tutorials allow you to actively work together with your tutors to practice language skills, present papers, and discuss texts and issues relevant to the course.

Typical class sizes include:

  • First year: lectures 20 to 120, seminars 5 to 20
  • Second year: lectures 10 to 100, seminars 5 to 20
  • Honours: groups of 20 or fewer

When not attending lectures, tutorials and language classes, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by a research-led teaching team with expertise and knowledge of French. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all French staff on the Department of French website.

In addition to your studies in the Department of French, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.


Almost all of the modules in French are assessed by a combination of coursework (40%) and end-of-semester examinations (60%).

Coursework includes advanced language exercises, discursive essays and oral presentations.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. Examinations are either entirely in written format or comprise both written and oral components.

Tutors advise you closely on the preparation of written work and give individual assessments of your performance.

The Department of French provides feedback on every assessment, with a view to improving your performance in future, and aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.


Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £21,290

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2018.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Erasmus+ Mobility Grant

Erasmus+ students may be eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant provided by the European Commission which contributes towards the extra costs arising from studying or working abroad for credit.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take French as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.

  • Ancient History
  • Arabic
  • Art History
  • Biblical Studies
  • Classical Studies
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • Geography
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • International Relations
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Management
  • Mediaeval History
  • Modern History
  • Persian
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Russian
  • Social Anthropology
  • Spanish
  • Theological Studies

Modern language degrees

It is possible to combine a degree in French with two modern languages. Any combination of Arabic, German, Italian, Persian, Russian, and Spanish is possible.

You can also take French as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree with two modern languages and one additional subject.

If you are taking:

  • French

You can also take one modern language:

  • Arabic
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

And one other subject:

  • Comparative Literature

If you are taking:

  • French

You can also take one modern language:

  • Arabic
  • German
  • Italian
  • Persian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

And one other subject:

  • Ancient History
  • English
  • International Relations
  • Latin
  • Management

If you are taking:

  • French

You can also take one modern language:

  • Arabic
  • Italian
  • Persian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

And one other subject:

  • Classical Studies

If you are taking:

  • French

You can also take one modern language:

  • German
  • Italian
  • Persian
  • Spanish

And one other subject:

  • Greek

"With" degrees

You can take French as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first named subject. St Andrews offers the following “with” degrees in French:

  • Biology with French
  • Chemistry with French

Your future


In a job market that is becoming increasingly global, competency in global languages is valued by employers across all sectors, including industry and business. They recognise that a modern languages degree shows wide cultural experience as well as other personal transferable skills needed in employment.

Recent French graduates have gone to work for:

  • the British Council
  • HSBC’s executive training programme
  • Citibank
  • Christian Salvesen
  • Harper Collins
  • Glasgow City Council.

A work placement abroad fosters your capacity for effective teamwork in a new cultural environment, and among the personal attributes you will develop on the year abroad are self-confidence, independence, initiative and resourcefulness.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Working abroad

Completing a work placement abroad is a good opportunity to gain work experience in another culture or language and to enhance valuable skill sets. As part of specific degree programmes in Modern Languages, you may apply to undertake a work placement abroad for credit.

Students may choose to spend an additional year working or studying in a French speaking country. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of French may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • At Home and Abroad Society (AHAsoc) promotes study and work abroad programmes along with all forms of international cultural exchange.
  • French Society promotes and shares the languages, arts, literature, theatre, cuisine, history and politics of France. Events include wine and cheese evenings, coffee and conversation mornings, and weekly film nights.

The School of Modern Languages is situated at the very centre of St Andrews in the Buchanan Building on Union Street. Within the Buchanan Building is the Multimedia Centre, a digital language lab which students will use as both a component of their module classwork and as part of individual study.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.


Department of French

School of Modern Languages
University of St Andrews
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3643

French website