Introduction

French and Philosophy at Aberdeen adds to your solid grounding in a major modern European language and culture with a fascinating exploration of how we as humans approach the ‘big questions’ of fundamental importance to us throughout the ages to the present day. The combination of language, analytical and intellectual skills you will develop and their transferability will make you a very attractive graduate with wide career options, including in international business.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
RV51
Degree marketing image

French at Aberdeen has an outstanding reputation, gaining the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.

You will add to your growing language skills with courses in contemporary civilisation and culture, Francophone and post-colonial studies, philosophy, history, sociology, linguistics, theatre, and most genres and periods of literature from the middle ages to the present day.

You will be taught by staff recognised internationally for their research, from Renaissance studies to the politics of culture and difference in contemporary France.

Philosophers attempt to answer questions such as: What is knowledge? What is the nature of truth? Why should we act morally? Philosophy is just as much the study of reasoning and argument as it is the application of thought to specific problems.

What makes Philosophy at Aberdeen especially attractive is the breadth of courses, the user-friendly materials you will use and the experts who will teach you. In your first year alone, you will study topics such as How Should One Live? Controversial Questions and Experience, Knowledge and Reality.

As an integral part of your 4-year programme, you will spend half of year three developing your language skills as a teaching assistant or visiting student in a French-speaking country.

The skills you will develop through combining these subjects will be a great foundation for any career including opportunities in you choose, including European business and organisations, NGOs, charities and international development, government service, marketing and much more.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

View detailed information about this course
Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

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Experience, Knowledge and Reality (PH1023)

15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to some of the main topics and problems of contemporary epistemology and metaphysics in a form suitable for students with little or no prior background in these disciplines. In the first part, the epistemological topics may include the analysis of knowledge, scepticism about knowledge, internalise and externalism, virtue epistemology, and social epistemology. In the second part, the metaphysical topics may include modality, universals and particulars, the nature of causation, free will, and the dispute over realism and anti-realism.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Beginner

  • Beginners French Language 1 (FR1028)
  • Beginners French Language 2 (FR1528)
  • Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021) AND/OR Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1527)

Qualified

  • Qualified French Language 1 (FR1029)
  • Qualified French Language 2 (FR1529)
  • Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022) AND/OR Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1526)

Also select 30 credit points from the Philosophy courses shown below, plus further credit points from courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits.

Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021)

15 Credit Points

This course offers students who are registered for the Beginners' course in French language an introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century French culture and society through the study of films, short prose texts and poetry. The course is organised around the broad themes of childhood and adolescence, gender, sexuality and love and marginalisation in contemporary France. The texts will be studied in translation or with subtitles.

View detailed information about this course
Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022)

15 Credit Points

This course offers students with intermediate or good knowledge French language an introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century French culture and society through the study of films, short prose texts and poetry. The course is organised around the broad themes of childhood and adolescence, gender, sexuality and love and marginalisation in contemporary France.

View detailed information about this course
Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1526)

15 Credit Points

This course offers students with intermediate or good knowledge French language an advanced introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century French and Francophone culture and society, focusing on the occupation of France during World War II and the experience of colonialism and post-colonialism.

View detailed information about this course
Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France In Context (FR1527)

15 Credit Points

This course offers students who are registered for the beginners' course in French language an advanced introduction to twentieth and twenty-first century French and Francophone culture and society, focusing on the occupation of France during World War II and the experience of colonialism and post-colonialism. Written texts will be studied in translation or with vocabulary help and films will be studied with subtitles.

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Beginners French Language 1 (FR1028)

15 Credit Points

This intensive language course is designed for students who have little or no previous knowledge of French.

View detailed information about this course
Beginners French Language 2 (FR1528)

15 Credit Points

This course builds on the work done in FR1023, providing students with an adequate command of French language to allow them the possibility of continuing their studies into level 2 and Honours.

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Qualified French Language 1 (FR1029)

15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to Higher or equivalent level. It will enable them to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Qualified French Language 2 (FR1529)

15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to the equivalent of Scottish Higher or beyond. Building on the work done in the first semester, it seeks to enable students to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

View detailed information about this course
How Should One Live? (PH1522)

15 Credit Points

What are the key elements of a good life? Freedom, happiness, acting in our own interests, doing good for others, or following moral laws? Philosophers have asked these questions for millennia, generating a large number of answers and a larger number of further questions. In this course, we will read and discuss theories of ethics from a range of times and cultures. We will read some of the most important works in the history of philosophy from Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Kant, and Mill, before turning to contemporary approaches including feminist ethics and virtue ethics. Throughout, we will consider and discuss our own views about the values of good and bad, right and wrong, and how to live a good life.

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Controversial Questions (PH1027)

15 Credit Points

Watch this course video! We examine questions such as: Is eating animals immoral? Is being a good or bad person a matter of luck? If so, are we justified in punishing bad people? Should anyone be able to set limits on what you can do with your own body, even if it's ‘for your own good’? Should everyone be allowed to state their mind, even if their views are harmful or offensive? Is censorship ever justifiable? Do you have a moral obligation to help those worse-off? Are you unknowingly biased against underprivileged groups?

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Logic and Argument (PH1518)

15 Credit Points

What makes an argument a good argument? What are the correct rules for reasoning? How do the meanings of sentences relate to each other? How can the tools of logic be used in philosophy? This course provides an introduction to logic and tools for successfully evaluating arguments. Some of the topics covered include validity, soundness, consistency, entailment, provability, quantification, and identity. Two formal languages are introduced, the language of sentential logic and the language of quantified logic. The course develops the ability to symbolise English sentences into formal languages and to complete proofs in Natural Deduction. Logical concepts are applied to issues in philosophy of language, metaphysics, as well as philosophical puzzles and paradoxes.

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Year 2

Year 2

Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Ex-beginner

  • Advanced Introductory French Language 1 (FR2012)
  • Advanced Introductory French Language 2 (FR2512)

Plus, select one of the following:

  • Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014) AND/OR Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2514)
  • Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014) AND Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)
  • **Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2514) AND Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)

Qualified

  • Advanced French Language 1 (FR2002)
  • Advanced French Language 2 (FR2502)

Plus, select one of the following:

  • French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2013) AND French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2513)
  • French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2013) AND Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)
  • **French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2513) AND Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)

Plus further courses of choice to make up 120 credits, of which 45 credits must be from level 2 Philosophy courses.

NOTE: ** Level 2 students opting to take the combination FR 2513/FR 2514 and FR 2510 should be aware the credit weighting will be 45 credits in the first half session and 75 credits in the second half session as opposed to the standard 60/60. This will result in a heavier workload in the second half session.

Advanced Introductory French Language 1 (FR2012)

15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the first half-session is only open to students who have passed FR1523. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language courses (along with FR2512) that has to have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Introductory French Language 2 (FR2512)

15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the second half-session is only open to students who have followed FR2012. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language pre-requisite courses (along with FR2012) that one must have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course
Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the individual and society in France from the 18th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of novels, a play and a film.

View detailed information about this course
Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)

15 Credit Points

This course will look at

- the French sound system (with the spin-off of helping you to improve your pronunciation).

- word meaning and also speaker meaning (what a speaker means by, e.g., "were you born in a barn?")

- how new words are formed

- how sentences can be analysed

- how French has developed from the Middle Ages up to the present

- how French spread throughout the world (including French-based creoles)

- how French varies according to the person using the language, and the purpose for which they are using it

View detailed information about this course
Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2514)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the centre and periphery in France and the Francophone world from the 17th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of a play, poetry, postcolonial theory and a film.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced French Language 1 (FR2002)

15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the first half-session is only open to students who have passed FR1524. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language courses required to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced French Language 2 (FR2502)

15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the second half-session is only open to students who have followed FR2002. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language pre-requisite courses to be allowed into the French honours Programme (a minimum CAS mark of 12/20 at the first attempt will be required for FR2502).

View detailed information about this course
French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2013)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the individual and society in France from the 18th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of novels, a play and a film.

View detailed information about this course
French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2513)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the centre and periphery in France and the Francophone world from the 17th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of a play, poetry, postcolonial theory and a film.

View detailed information about this course
Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Second half-session spent in a French speaking country.

Junior Honours French Language (FR3089)

15 Credit Points

This Junior Honours French language course, whose pre-requisites are FR2502 or FR2512, runs over the full session and is only open to Single and Joint Junior Honours degree in French students.

Building on the skills gained during their first two years of study of French, this course will improve the students' French language skills in all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst increasing their grammatical and lexical knowledge, as well as their sensitivity to linguistic variety.

It carries 15 credits and is assessed by way of four equally weighted assignments.

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Work Experience: Employability Skills Development (FR3597)

30 Credit Points

This course, open to Mode B students, provides an opportunity for students to build on their French language ability and cultural understanding of French society through either a placement, personal development project or volunteering activity based within any French speaking country during the first half session. Students work towards a range of personal, educational or work-related outcomes over the course of their time abroad. All external engagement activities require the approval from the student’s academic School and must be verified by the external organisation.

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Junior Honours Project 1 (FR3596)

15 Credit Points

This course, open only to mode B Junior Honours students working in a French-speaking country, complements FR3089 and aims to develop receptive and productive skills in French.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Plus 60 credit points from Philosophy courses to be taken in the first half session.

Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses
Senior Honours French Language (FR4089)

30 Credit Points

This Senior Honours French language course, whose pre-requisite is the Junior Honours French Language course, is run over the full session and is only open to Single and Joint Senior Honours degree in French students.

Building on the skills gained in their third year of study of French, this course will help the students' French language gain very high skills in all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst increasing their grammatical and lexical knowledge, as well as their sensitivity to linguistic variety.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Select one of the following dissertation options:

  • Dissertation in French (FR4097)
  • Dissertation in Philosophy (PH402D)

Plus select further credits of level 4 Philosophy and level 4 French courses to make up 60 credits in each discipline.

Dissertation in French (FR4097)

15 Credit Points

Candidates will write a dissertation of 8,000 words on a subject to be decided in consultation with the Course Co-ordinator, to be researched and written (under supervision by a member of staff) in the second half session of Junior Honours, and submitted at the beginning of Senior Honours.

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Dissertation (PH402D)

30 Credit Points

The dissertation is on a topic in philosophy. The specific topic will be chosen by the student with the approval of the supervisor. The choice of topics is restricted insofar as it must fall within the teaching competence of the supervisor.

View detailed information about this course

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study French and Philosophy?

Why French

  • French at Aberdeen gained the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Scottish Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • A vibrant international community on campus and across Aberdeen and north-east Scotland, with many French and French-speaking students, staff and activities on campus and across the region.
  • A dynamic French Society, organising social and topical events throughout the year, and a brilliant way to get to know other students studying or speaking French.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with stunning study facilities, state-of-the-art learning technology, and a first-class collection of French books and films for your course.
  • A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, invited speakers and the popular annual May Festival which welcomes international figures, experts, authors and scientists to campus every spring, with an increasingly European flavour.
  • Your year abroad as a language assistant or visiting student at locations including Lyon, Rennes, Grenoble, Réunion, Brussels, Geneva, Lausanne, the IFP (Institute of French Petroleum) School in Paris and the Club des Langues in Anglet.
  • International recognition as a centre for study and research in French, with research covering not only France, but also French-speaking Africa and the Caribbean.

Why Philosophy

  • Ranked top in Scotland for teaching and course content in the last National Student Survey.
  • Famous philosophers who worked at the University include Thomas Reid, founder of the 18th century Scottish School of Common Sense Philosophy, and Alexander Bain, who helped lay the foundations for modern scientific psychology.
  • The Aberdeen Philosophy in Education Group (APEG), which is unique in Scotland, trains students to discuss philosophical questions with local primary and secondary school pupils.
  • Café Philosophique brings philosophers and the local community together, using popular films and novels to explore philosophical puzzles in an informal atmosphere.
  • The Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine acts as the focus for research, teaching and engagement in the history, philosophy, ethics, literature and museology of science, technology and medicine.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library offers superb collections, including early printed works of natural philosophy and medicine, the archives of Thomas Reid, and records of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society.
  • We offer a packed programme of public events, lectures and debates, including the annual May Festival, which attracts high profile scientists, scholars, authors, actors and broadcasters discussing and debating the big issues of today.
  • The skills you learn in Philosophy—for example, to think and write clearly, to explain complex ideas, to challenge orthodoxy—lend themselves to many careers.
  • Studying Philosophy will change how you think about things and how you approach life's challenges.
  • Philosophy is interesting! Students from all disciplines often report that studying Philosophy was the most rewarding experience of their studies.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2021/22
EU / International students £18,000
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Undergraduate EU Scholarship

The Aberdeen Global Undergraduate Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is an £8,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Undergraduate students who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Undergraduate EU Scholarship

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX