Skip to main content Skip to navigation

FR425 Assessed Essay Titles

Assessment method I

Students following assessment method I (Examination and Assessed Essay) are required to write one essay of 2,000-2,500 words on one of the following topics.

Please note that if you choose for your assessed essay a question from list A (on secondary education), then you must answer a question from PART II in the exam (on higher education). If you choose a question from List B below (on higher education), then you must answer a question from PART I in the exam (on secondary education).

List A

1.  ‘En supposant que l’égalité des chances et la méritocratie soient possibles, on ne peut ignorer la cruauté de ce mode de sélection et de hiérarchisation pour un grand nombre d’individus’ [DUBET]. Discuss with reference to debate and policy concerning secondary education in France.

 2. ‘The lukewarm or hostile reception enjoyed in France by the OECD’s PISA surveys is understandable – indeed all too understandable’. Discuss.

 3. ‘It is when we look at the collège that the key problems in French education come most clearly into focus.’ Discuss.

List B

 4. ‘France’s obsessive focus on the training of “republican elites” has had disastrous consequences on its higher education system.’ Discuss.

 5. Assess the principal attempts to reform French universities since the 1960s.

 6. Explain the difficulties facing students entering into, studying at and leaving French universities since the 1990s.



Students following assessment method II (Assessed essay only) are required to write one essay of between 4,000 and 5,000 words. Long assessed essays are designed to allow you to explore, in depth, a particular area of French education and, for this reason, they have titles, rather than being framed as answers to questions. Possible titles are listed below, but students may also, with my approval, devise a title of their own.

Please note that 5,000 word essays for this module must normally cover both secondary and higher education.

1. The effects of international comparison upon educational debate and policy in contemporary France.

2. The effects of 'republican elitism' in contemporary French secondary and higher educational policy

3. Assessing democratization in French secondary and higher education.

You should note that in the examination for this module, you will NOT be permitted to answer a question relating to material on which you have submitted an assessed essay