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.

This programme is studied on campus.

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 5-year programme, you will spend the whole of year three taking your language and cultural skills to a very high level 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.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
60 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
RV15

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Beginner

  • Level 1 French Language 1A: Beginners/Near Beginners (FR1023)
  • Level 1 French Language 1B : Beginners/Near Beginners (FR1523)
  • Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021) AND/OR Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1526)
  • Select at least one of: Controversial Questions (PH1023); How Should One Live? (PH1522)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points

Intermediate/Advanced

  • EITHER Level 1 French Language 2A: Intermediate (FR1024) OR Level 1 French Language 3A: Proficient (FR1025)
  • Level 1 French Language 2B/3B: Intermediate/Proficient (FR1524)
  • Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022) AND/OR Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1526)
  • Select at least one of: Controversial Questions (PH1023); How Should One Live? (PH1522)
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points
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

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

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Experience, Knowledge and Reality (PH1023) - 15 Credit Points

How “real” is reality? How does the mind relate to the world? This course introduces two approaches to answering these questions: rationalism and empiricism. By Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, we learn about Descartes’ rationalist approach to knowledge, reality, mind-body dualism, and God’s necessary existence. Through David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding see how Hume grounds knowledge in experience. We read Hume on impressions and ideas, induction, causality, miracles and critically compare and examine Descartes’ and Hume’s arguments by drawing on readers and critics. Download course guide

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice.

One of the following Options:

Option 1:

  • Level 1 French Language 1A: Beginners/Near Beginners (FR1023)
  • Level 1 French Language 1B: Beginners/Near Beginners (FR1523)
  • Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021) or Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 2 (FR1521)

Option 2:

  • Level 1 French Language 2A: Intermediate (FR1024) or Level 1 French Language 3A: Proficient (FR1025)
  • Level 1 French Language 2B/3B: Intermediate/Proficient (FR1524)
  • Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022) or Literature and Culture of Modern France 2 (FR1522)
Level 1 French Language 1a: Beginners / Near Beginners (Standard Grade / Gcse or Below) (FR1023) - 15 Credit Points

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

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Level 1 French Language 1b: Beginners / Near Beginners (FR1523) - 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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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 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.

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Level 1 French Language 2a: Intermediate (FR1024) - 15 Credit Points

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

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Level 1 French Language 3a: Proficient (FR1025) - 15 Credit Points

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

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Level 1 French Language 2b / 3b: Intermediate / Proficient (FR1524) - 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 in FR1024 or FR1025, it seeks to enable students to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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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 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-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.

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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-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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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? Download course guide

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How Should One Live? (PH1522) - 15 Credit Points

Why do the morally right thing when you have much more to gain by doing evil and know you could get away with it? Should you save five lives even if this requires you to kill someone in exchange for them? Would you lie on the witness stand to protect your guilty mother from life in prison? We will read and discuss responses to these questions that have been presented in both historical and contemporary texts, including those by Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Kant, John Stuart Mill, Bernard Williams, Judith Thomson, Shelly Kagan, and T.M. Scanlon.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

What We are: Mind in A Physical World (PH201B) - 15 Credit Points

Watch the course video! In this course we explore a series of arguments which suggest that it is hard to fit the mind into the physical world. In particular, we focus on three topics: the Mind/Body Problem, Free Will and Determinism, and Personal Identity. Each topic starts with an argument which suggests that we are not merely physical entities like brains, the central nervous system or other biological entities. Taken together, these arguments offer a serious challenge to the view that we can explain human cognition in terms of the physical characteristics of human brains and bodies. Download course guide

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Gender Equality (PH2535) - 15 Credit Points

For a course description, watch this brief video!

In recent times equality among genders has attracted increasing attention. This is no longer a matter of concern to a fringe movement, but a central issue to contemporary society. In this course we will examine some of the crucial issues in the debate and assess the merits of key arguments. The topics we’ll discuss include the gender pay gap, the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and popular culture, pornography, abortion, the objectification of women, gender equality in sports, and epistemic injustice.

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Metaphysics, Epistemology and Language (PH2538) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides students with an introduction to central issues in metaphysics, epistemology, logic and philosophy of language. The emphasis is on introducing some of the central issues in these areas; issues that have shaped the contemporary debate. In addition to introducing a number of central issues in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and philosophy of language, this course also teaches and further develops a number of essential skills including extracting and evaluating philosophical arguments, critical writing, and the application of logical concepts to philosophical problems.

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Optional Courses

Beginner

  • Advanced Introductory French Language 1 (FR2012)
  • Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014)
  • Advanced Introductory French Language 2 (FR2512)
  • Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2514)
  • Select 15 credit points from courses of choice

Intermediate/Advanced

  • 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)
  • FR2510: French Identities: Centre and Periphery AND Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2513)

Plus, select 15 credit points from courses of choice

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

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

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.

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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 (with FR2502) that one has to have passed 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 (along with FR2002) that one must have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

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

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

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

  • Academic year spent in French-speaking country
Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Plus further courses of level 3 French to make up 60 credits
  • Plus 60 credits of level 3 Philosophy courses
Year 5

Year 5

Compulsory Courses

Senior Honours French Language (FR4089) - 30 Credit Points

This Senior Honours French language course, whose pre-requsite 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

Option 1

  • Dissertation in French (FR4052)
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in French
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Philosophy

Option 2

  • Philosophy Dissertation (PH402D)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in French
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in Philosophy
French Dissertation (FR4096)
Philosophy 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. Download course guide.

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Course Availability

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.

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 22%
independent: 78%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 62%
coursework: 35%
practical: 3%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 16%
independent: 84%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 72%
coursework: 22%
practical: 6%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 13%
independent: 87%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 20%
coursework: 77%
practical: 3%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 17%
independent: 83%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 43%
coursework: 54%
practical: 3%

Year 5

Learning Method
scheduled: 11%
independent: 89%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 21%
coursework: 68%
practical: 11%

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

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, changing your subject, offers and advanced entry.

Qualifications

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

SQA Highers - AABB*
A Levels - BBB*
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL*
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)*

*No previous qualification in French is required for entry to the French beginners' course. Students who already have a qualification in French sit a placement test to determine the language course appropriate to them. All students, whether beginners or with a qualification such as Higher grade, can proceed to Honours, subject to satisfactory performance at levels 1 and 2.

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen, it is essential that you can speak, understand, read and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

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.

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 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.

Unistats

Unistats 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