Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (French)


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap 90 Location Durham


  • Grade A in French at A level or an equivalent qualification


  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: French Language 1 (FREN1011). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.French Language .

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The module seeks to introduce students to some of the main developments of twentieth-century French culture and society through a series of key texts and films.


  • This module, which is taught and assessed in French, offers and introduction to some of the main developments of nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature and culture. Through the study of a series of key literary and filmic works, the module will explore the relationship between texts and their socio-cultural context, including such issues as changing conceptions of gender and sexuality, the rise of popular culture (e.g. in the form of the roman policier), and – thinking transnationally – the influence of the United States on the culture of France. By the end of the module, students will have a firm grounding in modern French culture, and will be able to engage critically with a range of methodological and theoretical approaches to film and writing, including approaches to thematic analysis and aesthetic form. This module has been designed to reflect a commitment to diversity in its resources and delivery, and will create opportunities for students to engage in critical analysis of different perspectives relevant to the study area.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will develop knowledge of French literature and culture.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students should have improved reading skills in French and techniques of literary analysis.
Key Skills:
  • The development of general written communication skills.
  • Skills in the acquisition and interpretation of information through reading and research.
  • Ability to work independently.

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

  • This module is taught by means of a weekly lecture and fortnightly seminar. The module will be taught and assessed in French. Students are required to attend all lectures and 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 20 Weekly 1 Hour 20
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 Hour 10
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Commentary Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Commentary (Term 1) 800 words 100% Yes
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay (Term 2) 1,200 words 100% Yes
Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 60%
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