French MA (Honours) 2024 entry

The information on this page is for 2024 entry. If you are considering applying for 2025 entry or later, some of these details may differ and we advise you to check the page again before you apply. To receive a notification of when applications open for 2025 entry, please register your interest.

As an MA (Hons) student of French, you will develop language and communications skills to a high level of proficiency through the study of French and Francophone language, literature and culture. You will have the opportunity to engage with a number of research-led specialist topics, which include: 

  • literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present day 
  • French politics and culture 
  • performance studies 
  • intellectual history 
  • postcolonial literature and theory 
  • gender theory 
  • film adaptation 
  • modern French thought 
  • creative writing
  • translation studies.

UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2028
Four years full time
School of Modern Languages
“My teachers are so kind and knowledgeable – it's great to be taught by people who are so enthusiastic about their subject. The best part of my degree has been my year abroad in Perpignan where I made fantastic friends, ate lots of pastries, and put my learning into practice. St Andrews has sparked my love of languages, and given me so many wonderful opportunities – merci beaucoup!”
- Inverness-shire, Scotland

Entry requirements

The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

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 entry requirements as outlined on their pages.

  • Standard entry grades:
    AAAB, including A in French.
    Minimum entry grades:
    AABB, including A in French.
    Gateway entry grades:
    Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades, but meet the University's contextual criteria, may be interested in one of the University’s Gateway programmes.
  • Standard entry grades:
    AAB, including A in French.
    Minimum entry grades:
    ABB, including A in French.
  • Standard entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,6,5), including HL6 in French.
    Minimum entry grades:
    36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL6 in French.

General entry requirements

All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.

  • SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing science
    • Geography
    • Applications of Mathematics
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.
  • GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Other qualifications

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.

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 web page.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Students must have studied French at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, or equivalent.

Alternative study options

Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:

Integrated year abroad

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.

Study abroad

Students studying French can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.

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.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The MA (Hons) in French is a four or five-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 language, literature, society and culture. You will further develop skills of close reading, listening, speaking, writing and translation. 

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 how academic years are organised. 

During your third year, you have the opportunity to apply to study at one of the University’s partner institutions in France. In this case, study undertaken in France replaces equivalent study in St Andrews. Studying abroad is optional. You may also choose to spend an integrated year abroad and return for two Honours years.  

At Honours level, you will take modules focused on communication and transferrable skills, while developing your understanding of ideas and debates which shape modern France and the Francophone world. You will be able to choose to specialise in a number of areas such as politics, culture and society, translation methodology, creative writing, or literature from the Middle Ages to the present.  

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. 

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 web page.


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 one French module per semester in first year and between one and three French modules during second year. You will take at least two French modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours).

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

  • French Language and Literature 1: develops language skills and offers 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, whilst further pursuing the exploration of Francophone cultures. You will be taught how to read texts in their socio-cultural background and develop skills of literary criticism in French. 

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. 

You will also choose at least two modules on French literature or civilisation from the Middle Ages to the present. 

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): 

  • African Francophone Fiction 
  • An Introduction to the French Classical Period 
  • Contemporary French Crime Fiction 
  • Creative Writing in French 
  • De Gaulle and Since: Topics in the Politics, Culture and Society of the Fifth Republic (1) 
  • Diversifying C19th French Poetry 
  • From Text to Screen: Novels and Their Film Adaptations 
  • Goods and Ads: Consumerism in Modern France 
  • Libertine Literature and Libertinage in Eighteenth-Century France 
  • Nineteenth-century French Narratives of the Sea 
  • Politics, Propaganda and Mythmaking in Medieval France 
  • Saint-Domingue: Theatre and Society in a Caribbean Slave Colony 
  • Translating French Opera 
  • Translation Methodology 
  • Women’s Voices in Renaissance France. 

In their fourth year, students also have the option of undertaking a dissertation of 5,000 or 10,000 words on a topic of their choice, supervised by a specialist member of staff. 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 compulsory modules listed here must be taken 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 appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.


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 tutorials allow you to actively work together with your tutors and your peers to practise language skills, present papers, and discuss texts and issues relevant to the course. 

Typical class sizes include: 

  • First year: lectures 90 to 120, seminars 10 to 15 
  • Second year: lectures 50 to 70, seminars 10 to 15 
  • Honours: groups of 5 to 15 

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. 

Many of the modules in French are assessed by a combination of coursework (40%) and end-of-semester examinations (60%). Some Honours modules are assessed by 100% coursework.

The French Department has developed a range of innovative courses and assessment methods. Coursework may include:

  • advanced language exercises and essays,
  • listening activities
  • creative pieces
  • commentaries
  • translations
  • reflective pieces
  • learning diaries
  • blogs
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • oral presentations
  • debates
  • round tables.

Students are encouraged to develop their independent research skills but also to work in groups as required.

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 and oral work and give individual assessments of your performance.

The Department aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.

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. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

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. 

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 web page.



England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Channel Islands, Isle of Man

EU and overseas

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.

Funding and scholarships

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

Joint Honours degrees

You can also take French as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules of your chosen subjects.

Course name UCAS code
Master of Arts (Honours) Ancient History and FrenchRVD1
Master of Arts (Honours) Ancient History and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)RV1D
Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and FrenchRT16
Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)RTC6
Master of Arts (Honours) Art History and FrenchRV13
Master of Arts (Honours) Art History and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)RVC3
Master of Arts (Honours) Biblical Studies and FrenchRV16
Master of Arts (Honours) Biblical Studies and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)RVC6
Master of Arts (Honours) Chinese Studies and FrenchCH06
Master of Arts (Honours) Chinese Studies and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)CW06
Master of Arts (Honours) Classical Studies and FrenchRQ18
Master of Arts (Honours) Classical Studies and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)RQC8
Master of Arts (Honours) Classics and FrenchQR81
Master of Arts (Honours) Classics and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)QR8C
Master of Arts (Honours) Comparative Literature and FrenchQR21
Master of Arts (Honours) Comparative Literature and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)QR2C
Master of Arts (Honours) English and FrenchQR31
Master of Arts (Honours) English and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)QRH1
Master of Arts (Honours) Film Studies and FrenchPR31
Master of Arts (Honours) Film Studies and French (With Integrated Year Abroad)PR3C
Master of Arts (Honours) French and GeographyLR71
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Geography (With Integrated Year Abroad)LRR1
Master of Arts (Honours) French and GermanRR12
Master of Arts (Honours) French and German (With Integrated Year Abroad)RRC2
Master of Arts (Honours) French and GreekQR71
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Greek (With Integrated Year Abroad)RQ17
Master of Arts (Honours) French and HebrewQR41
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Hebrew (With Integrated Year Abroad)QR91
Master of Arts (Honours) French and International RelationsLR21
Master of Arts (Honours) French and International Relations (With Integrated Year Abroad)LRF1
Master of Arts (Honours) French and ItalianRR13
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Italian (With Integrated Year Abroad)RR31
Master of Arts (Honours) French and LatinQR61
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Latin (With Integrated Year Abroad)QRP1
Master of Arts (Honours) French and ManagementNR21
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Management (with Integrated Year Abroad)NRF1
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Medieval HistoryRVC1
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Medieval History (With Integrated Year Abroad)RVCC
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Modern HistoryRV11
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Modern History (With Integrated Year Abroad)RVCD
Master of Arts (Honours) French and PersianR2T7
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Persian (With Integrated Year Abroad)RIT6
Master of Arts (Honours) French and PhilosophyRV15
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Philosophy (With Integrated Year Abroad)RVC5
Master of Arts (Honours) French and PsychologyCR81
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Psychology (With Integrated Year Abroad)CR8C
Master of Arts (Honours) French and RussianRR17
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Russian (With Integrated Year Abroad)RRC7
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Social AnthropologyLR61
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Social Anthropology (With Integrated Year Abroad)LRP1
Master of Arts (Honours) French and SpanishRR14
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Spanish (With Integrated Year Abroad)RRC4
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Theological StudiesVR61
Master of Arts (Honours) French and Theological Studies (With Integrated Year Abroad)VRP1

Triple subject degree options

It is also possible to take French as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree including either three modern languages or two modern languages and one additional subject. Find out more about the French MA triple subject combinations.

"With" degrees

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

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biology with French (With Integrated Year Abroad) - UCAS code C1R1
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biology with French - UCAS code CCR1
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Chemistry with French (With Integrated Year Abroad) - UCAS code F1RC
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Chemistry with French - UCAS code F1R1
  • Master in Chemistry (Honours) Chemistry with French - UCAS code F1RD
  • Master in Chemistry (Honours) Chemistry with French with External Placement - UCAS code F1RA

"With" degrees taken with French are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'.

Normally, for degree programmes including more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. However, the following courses have different entry requirements.



Modern languages graduates have an extremely good record of employment after graduating, not only in all sectors that require advanced language skills but also in professional environments that demand good communication and analytical skills. 

Employers value language graduates because they demonstrate excellent communication, interpersonal and intercultural skills. 

Many graduates go on to: 

  • specialise in translation and interpreting services, in language teaching or other sector-specific careers 
  • join international institutions and enterprises, working in international development departments, human resources, administration, media and communication jobs 
  • start a career in the banking and financial sector 
  • join the civil service, particularly in positions within the Foreign Office 
  • continue to study at postgraduate level.

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.

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Undergraduate visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 3643
Department of French
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Department of French website

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