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). Others: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce students to the broad range of non-metropolitan French literature and culture.


  • Students will be introduced to a variety of texts and films from these different sources of francophone literature: North Africa, Canada, and the West Indies.
  • These will be set in context by discussion of the history and theory of francophonie and French colonialism, drawing on the work of theorists of colonialism and post-colonialism such as Fanon and Sartre.
  • Pursuing a set of themes through the works studies - principally identity, otherness and language - the course will suggest that an apparently disparate set of texts can in fact be seen to share similar preoccupations and raise similar questions.
  • This module is taught and examined in English.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will acquire an awareness of the diversity of Francophone culture, building on and broadening their awareness of 'standard' French language acquired at Level 1.
  • A historical understanding of colonial issues in a French context underpinned by a sound knowledge of the theories of colonialism and post-colonialism.
  • Familiarity with generic issues of identity, otherness and language use.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students should have improved skills in reading French and in analysing literature and film.
Key Skills:
  • The further development of general written communication skills.
  • The ability to discuss topical or general issues with fluency.
  • The ability to seek out and identify appropriate sources of evidence and information.
  • The ability to read complex and multivalent texts with intellectual nuance.

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

  • The module will be taught and examined in English.
  • The combination of general lectures and seminars will provide essential historical contexts and intensive study of representative works.

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: Essay Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay in English 1,500 words 100% Yes
Component: Commentary Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Commentary in English 1,000 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