FR2FWW-The First World War: Then and Now

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: FR1L1 Beginners French Language or FR1L3 Advanced French Language I
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Marjorie Gehrhardt


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to give students a clear understanding both of the French experience of the First World War and of the wider impact of the war on twentieth-century France. 


This cultural history module introduces students to the diverse war experiences of the French people and to the social, political and cultural responses the conflict produced. Through the study and analysis of sources ranging from songs to newspapers, novels, speeches and biographies, it familiarises students with the events of the First World War and their impact, as well as encouraging participants to critically engage with the representations and memory of the First World War in twentieth-century and twenty-first century France. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

• recognise key events of French history in the period of the Great War

• demonstrate awareness of the long-term cultural significance of the war

• place the French case within the wider comparative and transnational context of the Great War

• engage critically with a variety of sources

• evaluate different interpretations of significant wartime events, objects and places

• show an understanding of historiographical debates

• organise and articulate a coherent written argument in a coursework

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to encourage the development of presentation and analytical skills. 

Outline content:

Topics that will be discussed in the lectures and seminars include: going into war, the soldiers’ experience, the empire at war, the Home Front, economic, social and political changes, peace and demobilisation. In addition to studying the war experience in France and its empire, this module also considers responses to, and representations of, the First World War since the conflict took place, through the study of aspects such as censorship, artistic and literary representations of the conflict, monuments, museums and commemoration. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Weekly lectures/seminars.

Students may also undertake an academic placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Class test administered by School 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One piece of coursework worth no more than 50% of the module mark can be replaced by a report produced after an academic placement. The placement must be agreed in advance by the module convenor; the length of the report is to be equivalent to standard departmental practice for coursework. 

The written assignments will consist of a learning journal (worth 20%) due in at the end of the Autumn Term, and one essay (worth 50%) due in the first week of the Spring Term.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be given guided assignments to prepare for the next class and for the summative assignments. Discussing documents in class, including through oral presentations, will help students prepare for the class test. Students will also be given an opportunity to submit a formative document analysis and an entry from their learning journal.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in Part 2 as a whole, or (for compulsory modules only) of failure to qualify in Part 2. Coursework for reassessment must be resubmitted by 12 NOON on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed on the third Friday of August, at 12 NOON on the next working day thereafter. 

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books:

    2) Specialist equipment or materials:

    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:

    4) Printing and binding:

    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:

    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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