French Studies first year modules

Module details

For those students taking 80 credits of French:

  • Modern French Language
  • Modern France 1
  • Introduction to French Literary and Film Studies

One module from:

  • Occupation, Liberation, Peace: Images of France in Film and Writing 1940-2000
  • Business French

For those students taking 60 credits of French:

  • Modern French Language
  • Modern France 1
  • Introduction to French Literary and Film Studies

For those students taking 40 credits of French:

  • Modern French Language

One module from:

  • Modern France 1
  • Introduction to French Literary and Film Studies

Module descriptions

Modern French Language

The module is divided into 3 main units which provide oral, aural and written language activities performed both in the written language class and in the oral class. The language class is also linked closely to the grammar (interactive) lecture hour, reinforcing the grammatical topics which are thoroughly introduced, practised and tested. Additional activities include: laboratory sessions focussing on oral and aural proficiency, and the use of the VLE (WebCT).

Modern France 1

This is a module about contemporary French society but is also an introduction to some of the crucial political debates of the 21st century for those who have never studied politics before. It is composed of 8 dossiers, each focusing on a different theme: the French political system, the economy, immigration, the multicultural society, foreign policy, Europe, women in France, Higher Education. During the course of the student-led seminars, you will debate questions such as ‘Is economic growth compatible with the protection of the environment?’, ‘Should western powers intervene militarily in other countries to “spread democracy”?’, ‘What is the future of the European Union?’ with a particular focus on France in each case. By the end of the module, you will have developed and refined your own opinions on these complex questions and, what’s more, you will be able to express them in French.

Introduction to French Literary and Film Studies

The first part of this course comprises a series of introductory lectures relating to prose fiction and to film (critical terminology, reading narrative, issues of structure and form) and the close analysis of examples of twentieth-century prose fiction and film. The second half of the course is composed of a series of introductory lectures relating to poetry and drama (critical terms, French versification, dramatic structure, and theatrical context) and the close analysis of works by a nineteenth–century poet and by dramatists from the seventeenth and twentieth centuries.

Occupation, Liberation, Peace: Images of France in Film and Writing 1940-2000

This module offers an introductory discussion of issues of cultural representation. Student-led seminars supported by lectures will focus on examples of post-1940 films and texts which address the Occupation, the Liberation and the historical tensions and debates which these generated. Material which examines the link between writer / director, place (in particular Paris) and French national identity in war and peacetime will also be explored. Students will be helped to contextualise the films and texts studied by examining relevant historical documents including audio-visual and visual material.

Business French

This linked module will be organised around a number of separate components: a weekly seminar during which a variety of written and oral business tasks in French (formal letter, CV writing, minutes taking / writing and role-play) will be introduced then reinforced and practised. There will be laboratory sessions designed to practise aural comprehension and oral skills. In semester 2 students will be involved in a group-project which will require them to produce a written advertising document and involve them in a business situation role-play.