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Advanced study options - MA for Research in French and Francophone Studies

Aims and objectives

FR929 Advanced Study Option I (term 1) and FR930 Advanced Study Option II (term 2) aim to equip you with advanced knowledge and understanding of a chosen area in French and francophone Studies. The modules provide you, as an individual student, with the opportunity to extend your coverage in the discipline (in particular, filling in gaps) as well as your experience of research techniques of information retrieval and organisation. In combination with the other elements of the MA for Research in French and Francophone Studies (or any other Master's programme on which the option is made available), the Advanced Study Option helps to lay the foundation for further doctoral study.

The module thus enables you to

  • undertake close textual analysis of French and/or francophone texts [professional skills]  
  • identify, and provide a meaningful and sustained discussion, of one or more complex issues in the history, culture, thought of politics of France (and cognate areas) [professional skills; key skills]  
  • demonstrate awareness and appropriate understanding of one or more selected issues or trends in the discipline of French and francophone studies, or a cognate area or discipline (e.g. modern literary theory; contemporary cultural studies; the history of ideas)  
  • demonstrate the ability to deploy research skills in French and/or francophone studies as appropriate to the chosen area of study (e.g. ability to use appropriate electronic resources, to use a critical edition with an apparatus of variant readings…)  
  • present material effectively both orally and in a scholarly written format [oral communication skills; written communication skills; literacy; IT-skills]


Teaching and learning methods

The Syllabus for the Advanced Study Option I or II consists of a personalized reading (or where appropriate viewing / multimedia-based) programme to be conducted under a tutor’s guidance, through weekly tutorials for the duration of term I (and respecting the department’s ‘reading week’ in week 6, when as a rule no taught MA classes take place). In addition to the tutorials and any independent reading and study of materials (in print, electronic, or other multimedia format) relevant to your chosen area of French and francophone Studies, you may also be encouraged to audit taught classes (where relevant).

The module may typically be structured as follows:

  • Week 1:introductory meeting with module tutor and initial design of individually tailored reading programme
  • Week 2: tutorial [text 1]
  • Week 3: tutorial [text 2]
  • Week 4: tutorial [text 3]
  • Week 5: tutorial [text 4]
  • Week 6 [no classes]
  • Week 7: tutorial, [text 5] including discussion of possible essay title
  • Week 8: tutorial [text 6]
  • Week 9: tutorial [text 7], including firming up of essay title
  • Week 10: tutorial [text 8 / conclusions]

The Syllabus will be comparable in volume and level to those of other MA modules, such as those taught on the MA in French Culture and Thought (e.g. ‘Books, Subversion and the Republic of Letters’; ‘Postmodernity in Theory, Film and Fiction’; ‘Conflict, Coercion and Violence in Modern French Politics’; ‘Nation and Nationalism in Modern French Politics’; ‘Image, Identity, Exchange: French Cinema at Home and Abroad’…).

Tutors and students may find it helpful to graft or model the Advanced Study Option’s individually tailored reading programme on the syllabus of existing MA modules (which for instance may not be running as a regular taught module in a given year) with alterations appropriate to the student’s needs and interests. In certain specialist areas (e.g. if a student wishes to work on the French Wars of Religion, or Surrealism) inspiration may also be drawn from appropriate final-year undergraduate modules which the student has not previously followed but which represents a meaningful area of further development or for ‘filling gaps’, as long as the reading programme is altered to suit M-level study.


Weighting and Assessment:

For the MA for Research in French and Francophone Studies, the Advanced Study Option is weighted at 24 CATS and assessed by a 5,000 word essay.

The weighting and assessment may vary if the option is taken in the context of another MA programme (30 CATS [6,000 word essay] / 36 CATS [8,000 word essay]). Contact the course convenor or Director of Graduate Studies for more information.