Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FREN1062 Readings in Modern French Society

10 creditsClass Size: 24

Module manager: Dr Nina Wardleworth

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B in French at A level, or equivalent

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

- How do politicians convince people to vote for them? - What techniques are use to persuade, communicate or criticise? - How does an author construct or express an argument? This interactive module focuses on a selection of social, political and historical texts taken from the context of Modern French Society. Contre-feux, a controversial collection of short essays published in 1998, by one of France's leading intellectuals, Pierre Bourdieu. Alexis de Tocqueville's fascinating study of the French Revolution L'Ancien Regime et la Revolution, a selection of political texts in French, including manifestos, tracts, speeches, broadcasts. The module is taught by colleagues with a research interest in the writers and periods considered, and introduces the kind of analytical skills used by researchers to think about the issues raised in the texts.We will look at the ways in which text is used as a rhetorical form designed to persuade a reader or advance a particular point of view. We will also consider some vital aspects of contemporary French society from the 1789 Revolution to the problems of exclusion sociale in contemporary France. The module is intended for students who are interested in exploring new areas of French Studies at university level and is ideal for those interested in exchanging ideas, debating political issues and 'reading between the lines'.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of some of the fundamental social and political principles and concepts that underpin modern French society and political culture;
- critically analyse non-literary texts, showing awareness and sensitivity to their rhetorical uses and form;
- understand and discuss vital aspects of modern French politics and society in preparation for future studies;
- use the Internet as a research tool in order to study and monitor social and political developments in France.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will have an increased knowledge of the social and political ideas of some of the key political thinkers and actors in France since the French Revolution.

They will have developed their knowledge of the historical contexts in which these thinkers operated. They will also have acquired a knowledge of and sensitivity to the rhetorical strategies used to persuade readers and listeners.


The module introduces students to key social, political and historical texts within the context of modern French society. The students will explore some of the fundamental principles and concepts that shape modern French society and influence contemporary political culture.

- What are the key values and ideals that underpin French political life?
- How is contemporary French society organised and structured?
- What problems and conflicts exist within contemporary France?

At the same time, the students will examine the nature of text as a rhetorical form used to persuade the reader or advance a particular point of view.

- How does an author construct and express an argument?
- What techniques are used to persuade, communicate or criticise?

The students will be encouraged to develop critical approaches (building on FREN1061) in relation to the study of non-literary texts. An important aim is to broaden and reinforce the students' reading and analytical skills by expanding the study of text beyond literature, to include selected examples of non-literary text.

The module is designed to combine a study of text as a form of rhetoric with an analysis of social and political ideas and debates.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours90.00
Total Contact hours10.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- Background reading
- Preparation for classes
- Preparation for assessment.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress is monitored through structured student contributions to seminars.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 15 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/07/2019


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019