The French Section offers PhD supervision degrees in most areas of French studies, including literary and linguistic studies from the Middle Ages to the present; Francophone and post-colonial studies; autobiography; word and image; word and music; cinema; contemporary politics and institutions.
The French section is fortunate in having a sizeable, dynamic, enterprising, and steadily expanding community of research postgraduate students, which means that incoming postgraduates will find themselves in a stimulating and supportive environment.
The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh University Library, and the Institut Français d´Ecosse provide, between them, some of the best library facilities in the UK for French books; and there is a remarkable amount of French culture in the city, with a particularly strong community of `cinéphiles´ dedicated to French cinema.
The French section at Edinburgh has an exchange agreement with the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, which allows one student a year (normally a second-year PhD student) to spend the year in Paris, with board provided by the ENS, and access to the seminars and library facilities of the ENS. This exchange, apart from being an excellent opportunity to study and work in Paris, has enabled a number of students in the past to forge links with the Paris academic world.
We also participate in an ERASMUS exchange programme with the École Nationale des Chartes in Paris enabling PhD students from Edinburgh to benefit from a wide range of seminars in topics including Latin, medieval French, palaeography, History of the Book and bibliographic studies to the present day, historical and archival studies including electronic archives, the media as source material. Students on the exchange will also have access to the library of the Sorbonne and to other postgraduate and research seminars in the University of Paris.
Students are required to follow the course in Theory and Methods of Literary Study. For interdisciplinary topics, another appropriate course will also be prescribed (eg Computing and Statistics for Historians). All candidates will also follow a course of research training, which includes bibliographic skills, project development, dissertation and thesis writing.
Prospective postgraduate students intending to study for a PhD are encouraged to consult the list of members of staff, which gives their research interests; please do not hesitate to get in touch with any member of staff whose interests seem to correspond to your proposed field of study.
Our normal entrance requirement for postgraduate study is a good BA honours degree at upper second class, or equivalent. We require a GPA of 3.4 from students whose degree follows the American system, out of 4.0.
Students whose first language is not English are required to take one of the recognised English tests. The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures accepts the following three tests only: the British Council IELTS test, the TOEFL, or the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency.
As study in the School requires a very high level of English, the School requires a higher level of English in these tests than the rest of the University. IELTS - total of 7.0 with not less than 6.0 in any one section. Students applying for Translation must obtain not less than 6.5 in any section. TOEFL - total of 600 with 5.0 in the test of written English (250 in the computer based test), 100 in the Internet based test.
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