French Studies first year modules

Compulsory modules

French Core Advanced I and II (20 credits + 20 credits)

Our core modules, offering increased contact hours, will provide you with an introduction to the knowledge and skills you need to become a Birmingham Languages Graduate. You will have the opportunity to explore the key ideas that have shaped the French-speaking world: the key cultural movements, the social, political, and historical phenomena, and the linguistic issues. You will do all this through the medium of French, and using the latest technology, to develop your understanding and expertise within the language, so that you increase your ability to express complex ideas and conduct challenging conversations. We will also work to develop your critical thinking and study methods skills, so that you can engage with the breadth and depth of French studies in future years.

Optional modules

(20 credits each)

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.

Pen, Stage, Screen: Influential French Writing and Film

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.