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)
  • 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

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.

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

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


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. 350-380 words) (15%)
  • Coursework: Project based - speaking (6-minute pre-recorded oral presentation) and 350-380 word writing piece (20%)
  • Examination: 1-hour Written Exam - essay questions based on pre-prepared document (380-400 words) (10%)
  • Examination: 1-hour Written Exam - including essay questions on literary texts and other topics from the module (approx. 400 words) (20%)
  • Practical: approx. 20-minute Oral Exam - including presentation of topics from the module and unprepared discussion (35%)

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."