A Post Level 4 or equivalent module in French language and culture

Module details

  • Offered to 2nd, 3rd & 4th Years
  • Monday or Thursday 16.00-18.00 (depending on year of study)
  • 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

The content of the module will cover a range of topics on the social political and cultural evolution of contemporary France as well as works on French literature that have special relevance to France’s science and/or history.

This module aims to:

  • Develop your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to a more advanced level
  • Help you to develop further your knowledge of complex grammatical structures and various lexical registers
  • Study scientific, technical and literary texts
  • Analyse the stylistic and idiomatic features that characterise French newspaper, TV and radio material
  • Provide you with background knowledge and vocabulary on social, political and cultural events in contemporary France. 

By the end of the module, students should have reached approximately the B2/C1 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 4
  • Already achieved B2 or equivalent on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

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


Information blocks

Learning outcomes

This module will equip you with the ability to:Versailles

  • Analyse and discuss topics arising from a range of texts including scientific, journalistic and literary writing
  • Write essays and summaries in French on a variety of topics, using sophisticated linguistic structures and vocabulary
  • Demonstrate an understanding of France’s politics, its current economic and social policies and their historical roots and evolution.
  • Study and work in French-speaking countries with ease and confidence

Indicative core content

Arc de TriompheLanguage:

  • revision of grammatical structures as appropriate with a strong emphasis on past tenses and subjunctive
  • revision of all subordinating conjunctions used in dependent clauses of cause, time, condition, comparison, opposition and consequence
  • nominalisation
  • structural exercises: rewriting sentences/gap filling
  • study of common translation problems
  • essay writing
  • summarising of texts


  • The Power of Language
  • Migrations. The image of the migrant;
  • The nature and function of Art;
  • Developments in modern French, i.e. foreign words and anglicisms;
  • Different registers, eg. formal, colloquial, literary; 
  • Study of selected scientific texts
  • Film extracts related to the topics above
  • TV News items

 Study of literary texts:  term 1 : short story:  Le Passeur  by J.M.G  Le Clézio from La Ronde et autres faits divers, 1982; term 2 :  play:  Art byYasmina Resa , 1994.  Collection  Folio (n° 6240), Gallimard 2017



  • Coursework 35% - 5 pieces of written coursework (may include in-class tests)
  • Written examination 35% - A two-hour written examination at the end of the Spring term
  • Oral examination 30% - A 20-minute oral examination at the end of the module

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 and undertake approximately 3 hours of private study each week in addition to the assessment.

Module materials:

  • French literary texts: Stupeur et tremblements by Amelie Nothomb (term 1); Le Silence de la mer by Vercors (term 2)
  • video and audio material: television and radio broadcasts;
  • online resources; articles from contemporary French press and scientific journals.

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

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

"Fantastic experience, loved attending class this year."
"Well-structured, engaging, and flexible - gives us the freedom to explore topics that interest us and engage in interesting debates. Throughout our vocabulary is bolstered and so is our grammar. It's normally a struggle to make a 2-hour class engaging throughout but French Level 5 does a great job."
"The inclusion of literature, politics, culture and other non-STEM topics is a nice change from the rest of the courses at Imperial."
"Really interesting and well-taught. Feedback has been timely and useful. Each lesson is well-structured. The learning environment is comfortable, so we feel at ease during the speaking section of the lesson. No fear of asking questions. Lessons are always a pleasure to attend."
"Really enjoyed the literature analysis - makes a great change."
"I thoroughly enjoyed each and every class I attended and learned a lot through his interactive method of teaching."