Module information for incoming Erasmus and Exchange students interested in modules in French Studies .

The following courses in the French section of the Department of Modern Language (or in the Department of Art History) are offered for degree (licence) level Erasmus students. Masters level Erasmus students may also opt to do any of these courses but, additionally, may also elect to choose from additional courses (see end of this list).

Modules for Erasmus students

Translation, Comprehension and Civilisation (20 credits) 09 26106/09 26107 

The Translation, Comprehension and Civilisation course (formerly known as ‘French Language skills’)  offered in the French section of the Department of Modern Languages, is compulsory for all LLCE, LEA and Lettres modernes Erasmus students coming from exchange universities in France and francophone countries.

Assessment: Coursework (translation French into English and English into French and summary into English), oral presentation and 2-hour translation exam.

French Cinema, Media and Visual Culture (20 credits) 0924262

This module assumes some knowledge about French cinema and skills in reading film. It offers in Semester 1, a full introduction to one of the most important movements in twentieth-century French cinema, the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave). This is followed in Semester 2 by introduction to the analysis and study of up to three other forms of visual culture: photography, visual arts, advertising and television (depending on staff availability). Films are prescribed in Semester 1, while in Semester 2 students are guided in the selection of photographs, visual art, advertisements (print and televised) and films as a corpus for their individual project.

Assessment: One 2 hour class test. (50%) One individual guided project in English (2,500-3,000 words), submitted after Semester 2. (50%)

Renaissance to Realism (20 credits) 0920991

This course studies selected literary works from the 16th to the 19th century, putting them into their historical, literary and intellectual context, examining authorial perspective and style, and analysing compositional techniques, thematic and narrative structure, and critical/representational objective.

Assessment: One essay/commentary in English, for submission after Semester 1 (50%). One 2-hour written examination in English in the Semester 2 examination period (50%)

La France moderne 2 (20 credits)  09 12058/59 

This course will not be relevant to students coming from France.

This course looks at the Republican tradition in France from 1789 to the present day, examining key historical moments in the evolution of that tradition such as abolition of slavery, the Dreyfus Affair, the emancipation of women, Vichy and the Resistance and the Algerian War.

Assessment: One 2 hour written examination (written in French) (100%)

Politics Culture and Society in 19th and 20th Century France (20 credits) 0912062/63

This module assumes a basic knowledge of French history and politics. It examines documents, visual images and literary texts from the revolutionary period to the mid-twentieth century.

Assessment: One assessed essay in English of 2000 words (50%). One 2 hour written examination (50%)

French Text and Interpretation (20 credits) 0924261

This module will introduce students to a range of 17th-century to 20th-century French narrative texts (literary and visual), and will familiarise them with a range of interpretational practices that may be applied to them.

Assessment: One 2 hour class test in English in December (50%). One assessed essay in English of 2000 words (50%)

Conflict, Identity and Absurdity in 20th century French Theatre (20 credits) 0925914

This module provides a theoretical and historical framework for understanding how French plays reflect and comment on the events, currents of thought and debates of their time. Six core plays by important playwrights (Cocteau, Sartre, Ionesco, Beckett, Anouilh and Vinaver) are then considered.

Assessment: One 2000 word essay in English and one 2-hour exam

Impressionism and after: an Introduction to Art and Society in late nineteenth-century France (10 credits) 26712, lecture only, Semester 2

This module taught by the Department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies, will consider images, techniques and practices by leading innovative artists of the period such as Cassatt, Morisot, Manet, Degas, Seurat, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Cezanne. It will analyse key critical categories (including Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism and Symbolism) and key genres (including landscape painting, the painting of modern life, the nude) whilst linking art and the making of art to a broader visual and institutional culture. Finally, by analysing representation in relation to the key themes of gender, class and ethnicity the module will locate artistic practice within the socio-political terrain of the period.

26041 Behind the Camera: Introduction to Women’s Cinema from the 1960s to the present (10 credits). Semester 1 only, lecture only .

Also: 26037 Behind the Camera: Introduction to Women’s Cinema from the 1960s to the present 20 credits, lecture and seminar, Semester One only

These modules taught by the Department of Art History, Film, and Visual Studies, offer an introduction to ‘women’s cinema’ (films directed by women) from the 1960s to the present. Focusing on French, Belgian and British films directed by Agnes Varda, Chantal Akerman, Sally Potter, Claire Denis, Lynne Ramsay and Andrea Arnold, they will cover a range of topics such as : 1970s feminist cinema, theory and criticism; experimental cinema; gender and postcolonialism in film; the performance of self and body and documentary and adaptation.

Two modules offered by the Department of Modern Languages may also be of interest to Erasmus students interested in French and France:

  • Tandem module (See Languages for All tab form the 'modules' page) 10 credits or 20 credits.
  • Erasmus module: Foreign Language Assistant Training LH 25142 - 20 credits . For suitable applicants  interested in acquiring experience of teaching in schools. To be selected, apply in advance to Mrs Gavrois ( ) or Dr Whittle ( ).

Masters Level Erasmus students only

Masters level Erasmus students may choose from a further list of specialist options. These vary from year to year and places are often limited. Please ask which modules are available when you arrive in Birmingham or get in touch in advance.

For further information contact:

Until 15 September 2014 :  Dr Béatrice Damamme-Gilbert  (and again in July-September 2015) Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5969 Email:

From September 2014 : Dr Edward Boothroyd Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5973 Email:

Erasmus students attached to Modern languages and coming from France or francophone countries must attend the important welcome meeting on Wednesday 24 September 2014 at 14:00 in Lecture Theatre 1, Strathcona Building (entrance directly form outside the building).