A Post A-Level or equivalent module in French language and culture

Module details

  • Offered to all Undergraduates
  • Monday, Tuesday or Thursday 16.00-18.00 (depending on year of study)
  • Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
  • 2 term module worth 7.5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

A range of topics on the social, political and cultural evolution of contemporary France will be discussed using articles from the Press as well as authentic audio and video material. Students will also study and discuss various texts concerning important scientific and technological developments.

This module aims to:

  • Develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to an advanced level
  • Introduce more complex grammatical structures and broaden range of vocabulary
  • Work on different language registers and to improve students’ communication skills
  • Provide students with background knowledge and vocabulary on social, political, cultural, scientific and technological developments in France
  • Study and reflect on aspects of contemporary France presented in the media
  • Enable you to study and work with relative ease in French-speaking countries

By the end of the module, students should have reached approximately the B2+ standard of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

To be eligible for this module you need to have done one of the following:

  • Successfully completed French Level 3
  • Gained a French A-level Qualification
  • Already achieved B1+ or equivalent on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
  • You are advised to review material from your previous courses before the start of this module.

This module is not intended for native or near-native speakers.

Please note: This module is currently undergoing minor modifications and is therefore subject to change. 

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

Arc de Triomphe This module will equip you with the ability to:

  • Communicate in spoken and written French on a wide range of issues at an advanced level in an appropriate style, be able to compare, contrast, analyse, debate ideas and express personal opinions
  • Interpret and explain statistics and graphic information
  • Analyse and appreciate important scientific and technological developments
  • Understand some important aspects of contemporary France and their historical roots
  • Read the French press, watch TV, listen to radio programmes and understand them with relative ease

Indicative core content

Versailles Language:

  • revision of past tenses, future, passive
  • subjunctive
  • construction of complex sentences: subordinate clauses followed by que
  • conditional clauses
  • relative clauses and object pronouns
  • dependent clauses of time, cause, consequence, opposition
  • text analysis
  • essay writing


  • The French Republic : definition and evolution
  • The French language
  • The Press in 2018
  • Travel and migration
  • Health and environmental issues
  • Current issues in France and Europe as presented in the media

Learning and teaching approach

Weekly in-class activities cover reading, writing, listening and speaking. Learning will involve pair work, group work, and individual tasks and will include critical evaluation of texts, audio and video material. A range of weekly homework tasks give you the opportunity to revise and consolidate knowledge and skills.

All pieces of coursework are marked and returned within two weeks. Detailed feedback is provided for each individual section of the coursework, giving the correct answer along with suggestions for improvement.  Generic feedback on each individual piece of coursework is also provided in class.


  • Coursework: Project based - listening, reading and writing (essay approx. 300-320 words) (15%)
  • Coursework: Project based - speaking (5-minute pre-recorded oral presentation) and 320 word writing piece (20%)
  • Examination: 1-hour Written Exam - grammar, listening and writing (essay approx. 300 words) (15%)
  • Examination: 1-hour Written Exam - grammar, reading and writing (essay approx. 320 words) (20%)
  • Practical: approx. 20-minute Oral Exam - including presentation pre-prepared material and discussion (30%)

Assessment information for students on a course with a year abroad

Key information

  • 7.5 ECTS points awarded on successful completion of the module.
  • Available to take for credit towards your degree where your department allows. Also available for extra-credit.
  • You must be prepared to attend all classes and undertake approximately 3 hours of private study each week in addition to the assessment.

Coursebooks: Edito B2 (éd. 2015) by Elodie Heu and Jean-Jacques Mabilat, Didier 2015, 3ème édition, ISBN: 9782278080984 and Edito B2 cahier d’activités by Jean-Jacques Mabilat, Didier 2015, ISBN: 9782278081127

Grammar support: La Grammaire progressive du français, niveau perfectionnement , CLE INTERNATIONAL, Janvier 2012 . ISBN : 978-2-09-035359-4

Students may also wish to purchase the grammar reference book, French Grammar and Usage, Fourth edition by Roger Hawkins, Richard Towell, Routledge 2015. ISBN: 978-1138851108

Additional material: Articles from the French press, news items. Literary extracts TBC Films. Selected texts on science and technology.

Further information for Year Abroad/Year in Europe StudentsFurther information for BSc Hons and MSc Language for Science Degrees

"I have really enjoyed the course. Interesting and useful material. Boule de Suif by Guy de Maupassant was really nice to read and study."
"Very interesting topics, I really like about talking about current news such as Les gilets jaunes."
"Excellent. Covers a variety of topics, lots of grammar, and all of the lessons are planned to maximise skill development in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Courseworks are sufficiently hard to make you learn lots of new structures and vocabulary. The oral presentation coursework (#4), whilst very difficult, is a great opportunity to perfect not only skills needed for languages, but an important professional skill too. Co-ordinator should be very happy."
"Really good lessons that massively improved my French and made me enjoy it more, as well as building my confidence. Just the right balance between grammar, fun speaking exercises, comprehension etc. Getting students to do a range of mini-presentations was extremely valuable. The lecturer put a huge amount of effort into correcting students' work and giving quality feedback, especially on their writing. "