Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (French)


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap 100 Location Durham


  • French Language 1 (FREN1011) OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: French Language 2 (FREN2051). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce students to the literature of France in the Middle Ages and in the 16th century by the careful study of six major texts.
  • It is intended that students should learn to read the texts in the original language and should understand them in their literary, historical and cultural context.


  • Text studied in this module will vary depending on staff availability but will be selected in order to support the learning outcomes of the course by fitting in with its thematic and ensuring appropriate range.
  • The set texts may vary from year to year, but will consist of a selection of medieval and Renaissance French literary works related to the main themes of the module. See module webpage for current set texts.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, students should have acquired primarily a close knowledge of the content of major texts from the period.
  • They should also have extended their knowledge of the language of the period through the close study of texts in the original and should be capable of approaching other texts in the original with considerable confidence.
  • Students should also have become aware of many of the key cultural and intellectual issues of the period before 1600, particularly issues of identity, sex and gender.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Improved reading skills in French and techniques of literary analysis.
Key Skills:
  • Skills in written argument and presentation.
  • Further develop written communication skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The course is delivered through a series of lectures taking place weekly throughout the teaching year, with roughly the same amount of time being allotted to each of the four major elements in the course. The class will also be divided into smaller groups for seminar work. The seminars will take place every two weeks and will concentrate on the close study of representative passages taken from the four sets of texts. Students will be assigned to a seminar group. They are required to attend all seminars and are expected to prepare themselves for classes and participate actively in discussions.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 Weekly 1 hour 21
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Commentary Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Commentary 1,000 words 100% Yes
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 1,500 words 100% Yes
Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University