Modern Languages and Cultures

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code FREN236
Coordinator Dr AM Smith
Modern Languages and Cultures
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 5 FHEQ Second Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Co-requisite modules:


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 18



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 118


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Presentation There is a resit opportunity. This is not an anonymous assessment.  15 minutes    15       
Extract analysis There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.  1 hour    30       
Essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.  2000-2500 words    55       


To introduce students to the basic language of film analysis;

To introduce students to the rich cultural field which the cinema has represented in France through study of selected films from particularly significant periods, giving them a background of reference points and an understanding of how cinema has developed in France;

To cultivate habits of close visual analysis and careful structuring of such analysis;

To increase confidence in class discussion and presentation.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students should be able to give an intelligent and informed account of how any film (from whatever culture) is put together, the ways in which it engages its audience and the messages it conveys.

(LO2) Students will develop thorough and perceptive powers of observation and interpretation of the elements of a cinematic text both visual and aural

(LO3) Students will be able to explain their observations in a structured way, in written analyses and also orally in front of a class, in the latter case using visual aids when appropriate.

(LO4) Students will be able to insert their detailed observations into a thematic or historical context in order to show how a particular film deals with larger issues, and to construct a well-written essay to explain their ideas.

(LO5) Students should have a basic overview of major directors and trends in the history of the cinema in France, which will enable them to see other French films in their historical and artistic context.

(S1) Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the cultures, linguistic contexts, history, politics, geography, and social and economic structures of the societies of the country of the target language

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Communicating for audience

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S5) Working in groups and teams - Group action planning

(S6) Successfully apply a close reading to a text of the target language

(S7) Global citizenship - Cultural awareness

(S8) Working in groups and teams - Listening skills

(S9) Personal attributes and qualities - Willingness to take responsibility

(S10) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture/seminar
Description: Teaching takes place in one session of two hours each week. Lecturing by the tutor will be kept to a minimum, necessary to introduce new topics, and to give essential facts and context. The division between ‘lecture’ and ‘seminar’ periods is not formal, but on average not more than half an hour in any two-hour block should be taken up with ‘lecture’ after the first two weeks. Guided discussion sessions will form a large part of the module.
Students will have access to copies of the films and will be given references to guide their research.

Detailed film analysis is vital to the module, and students will carry out analyses in class.

Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2 - Workshop
Description: Analysis of a piece of film, done in class for formative purposes
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 3 - Other
Description: Film Screenings
Att endance Recorded: No
Notes: Screenings



Topics covered during the module may include:

Introduction to film language, extract analysis;

The development of the French cinema;

Approaches to film (brief and simple theoretical approaches, supplied in note form with some introduction);

Extract analysis (demonstration);

Screening: Popular post-1990, French film;

Discussion of film in context of the theoretical approaches given;

Introduction to the thirties;

Screening: 30s classic film, realist or poetic-realist;

Introduction to the Nouvelle Vague (with summary of 50s);

NV Film II;

Extract analysis: mock class test;

The 80s and 90s;

Film part I;

Film part II;


Film screening and discussion.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.