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Anyone done a masters in another language?

(21 Posts)
Mrsmorton Wed 30-Nov-16 01:19:30

Not for example, a masters in French but an MSc in chemistry, in French?

Do European countries have distance learning courses like we do? Just wondering as I'm looking at another masters but am also good at French, would like to be able to work "in French" so sort of killing two birds with one stone.

Any experiences?

lostinthedarkplayground Wed 30-Nov-16 01:49:49

There are tons of ESL folk studying at my uni. Two on my MA program. I assume the same happens with Brits studying elsewhere. Not sure on distance learning but it used to be quite usual for Brits to pop over to Paris to study. Vair posh.

Mrsmorton Wed 30-Nov-16 07:45:34

Oh, I don't know about posh! That's interesting. I've never considered the equivalent of ESL for other languages. Thank you!!

bojorojo Wed 30-Nov-16 11:13:42

My DD studied at the University of Geneva on an Erasmus exchange. As you are not at an educational institution at the moment, you cannot use this scheme as very many European students do. Worldwide students also have placements in universities with which their university has links.

However, you can apply to any university. For example, the University of Geneva can be accessed by anyone who has the correct profile. They teach in French and English - depending on the course. You may need to take a test for French proficiency. I would highly recommend Geneva over many French Universities. They have a higher international ranking and are very organised. My DD found the students there to be very welcoming and they have student accommodation. Vital in an expensive city. There is an English tab on their web site although it is small! I would definitely look at this university for a Masters that would be internationally recognised as excellent. (For their BA degrees, the pass level is 66% - not 40% as here - it is rigorous).

Bobochic Wed 30-Nov-16 13:04:44

Yes, I know lots of people who did a first degree in the UK and a masters in France.

Mrsmorton Wed 30-Nov-16 13:11:08

Thank you all for your replies. Very interesting.

user7214743615 Wed 30-Nov-16 21:21:27

(For their BA degrees, the pass level is 66% - not 40% as here - it is rigorous)

This is a meaningless statement, as UK and foreign universities use different exam papers. The UK papers are set with the lower pass mark in mind. Foreign papers are set with pass marks of 50%, 60% or 66% in mind. It can be just as hard to achieve a 50% on a UK paper as it is to achieve a 66% on a Swiss paper.

OP, many of the best European masters programmes are completely international and are taught in English. Beware to check that a programme taught in the native language is a good one - normally strong departments want their programmes to be in English so they can attract good international students who will go on to PhDs.

user7214743615 Wed 30-Nov-16 21:30:20

BTW the official conversion tables for foreign degrees make completely clear that the percentages do not line up with UK percentages. It varies by country, but e.g. an 80% might be comparable to a UK First (achieved in the UK via 70%), a 60% with a UK 2:2 (achieved in the UK via 50%).

What is true is that many countries don't have the equivalent of our Third category: we give a Third class degree for mark average between 40 and 50%, but in many countries this would indeed be below the pass mark. In the example above, marks over 55% are rounded to 60% but marks between 50 and 55% are not considered a pass, unlike here.

However, the key difference is that in the UK we only accept one uncapped attempt at exams while most European countries allow several uncapped attempts at exams, even without special considerations. So if you can't get a higher mark on your second or third attempt at the exam then indeed you don't deserve a degree.

MsUnderstanding Wed 30-Nov-16 21:51:44

Having a higher percentage pass mark comparative to a U.K degree is no indicator of rigour or anything else. It is totally meaningless. You have no idea how modules are assessed, and on what criteria. You have no idea how broad or limited the subject options are that count towards the degree. Organisations like NARIC would have nothing to do it if it were that simple.

Dont get me started on international rankings..

bojorojo Thu 01-Dec-16 12:13:39

I think, user and Ms, you are being rather antagonistic and rude. So, are you saying the University of Geneva is not rigorous and is an international lightweight university? I seriously doubt that. Not that I really care that much because I do know what level DD achieved there and what was expected. I also know a lot of her friends have top flight jobs in Switzerland for international NGOs. Many are tri-lingual or more. But, hey, what do I know! Obviously I was not doing an in depth critique of the university, but just stating that it is different. When people go there they may not be expecting 66% to be the pass mark. That was all.

MsUnderstanding Thu 01-Dec-16 16:25:24

Not at all Bojo. I'm sure the U of Geneva is a brilliant institution. I'm just saying that the level at which the pass rate is placed is not really a useful indicator of anything. You can have a high pass rate but find the majority of students will pass because the institution allows uncapped retakes or the programme is "easy" for example. Or that extracurriculars are assessed and included in overall final marks. I'm talking about international qualifications in general, not specifically Geneva.

Bobochic Thu 01-Dec-16 17:09:56

Marking scales are completely different from one culture to another and, in many cultures, within institutions.

OohhThatsMe Thu 01-Dec-16 17:14:16

My daughter's thinking of studying another MA in France - her first degree was in French. Do you know what the situation is regarding fees now? When we looked pre-Brexit there were no fees, just about £200 for admin costs. Does anyone know what the situation will be now?

Bobochic Thu 01-Dec-16 17:18:42

We aren't post Brexit yet - the UK is still in the EU.

OohhThatsMe Thu 01-Dec-16 17:34:50

I know, but she wouldn't be doing it until next September. I assume the universities will have made plans - she'll have to do a bit of research.

Bobochic Thu 01-Dec-16 17:41:51

We'll still be in the EU next September.

MsUnderstanding Thu 01-Dec-16 17:54:36

I would ask the French institution if they have post Brexit fee estimate. It may not apply if we have not Brexited by the time your DD starts in any case. Highly unlikely to happen by sept 2017, timescales are just too short.

OohhThatsMe Thu 01-Dec-16 18:24:07

I know, Bobo! I know what's going on with Brexit! But if she does a two year course, starting next September, we may well not be in the EU when the course finishes!

user7214743615 Fri 02-Dec-16 00:29:18

I would ask the French institution if they have post Brexit fee estimate.

No UK or EU institution can give you any meaningful answer on this, apart from what has already been stated officially by governments e.g. in the UK, EU students starting on undergraduate courses in the academic year 2017/2018 will pay the UK fees until they finish the course.

The post Brexit fees will depend on the deal negotiated between the UK and the EU. We, the universities, will have no say in this.

user7214743615 Fri 02-Dec-16 00:32:24

You can have a high pass rate but find the majority of students will pass because the institution allows uncapped retakes or the programme is "easy" for example.

Indeed. And grades really vary considerably by culture. To be qualified for a PhD programme, for example, an Italian graduate should have (normalised) grades of 100%. (The usual threshold for UK graduates to get PhD funding is a First, 70%.)

Nobody commented on the specific rating of the University of Geneva in any way.

Flaskoftea Sat 31-Dec-16 18:13:51

Not sure if you are still around OP, but I work with overseas students taking masters courses in the UK. To be admitted to a course you are generally expected to have approximately C1 English on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students who are only just at C1 find it hard going because often they do not have enough English subject specific vocabulary to be able to do the reading quickly or to understand all the lecture input. Science subjects probably have more transferable language but I think it depends on how good your French is, and how much effort you are prepared to put in to the study. If you intend to use french as a working language in the future, then it would be good for your CV.

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