FR3M68-May '68

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Sophie Heywood


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The global upheaval caused by the protest movements around 1968 is held to have revolutionised social structures, overturned cultural conventions, challenged political ideologies, and catalysed civil rights activism by women, gay people and ethnic minorities. This module examines the events of May ‘68 in France in the context of this wider moment of global protest and counter-cultural turbulence, to examine and question its legacy for contemporary French politics, society and culture.


This module develops students' understanding of the significant political, social and cultural change in this turbulent and contested moment in contemporary French history, as well as introducing them to some of the key texts, visual sources, ideas (and ideologies) from the period.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the events of May ’68, and the longer term movement of cultural and social change it represented

  • Show knowledge of the longer term significance of May ‘68

  • Place the French events within the wider comparative and transnational context of the global ‘68

  • Demonstrate a grasp of major debates among historians in this area

  • Analyse different perspectives on the period from political, social and cultural history

  • Engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, or secondary materials

  • Organise and articulate a coherent written argument in coursework and under examination conditions 

Additional outcomes:

This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and pair/group presentation skills, as well as enabling students to analyse and contextualise historical documents, literary texts, and visual sources.

Outline content:

Topics for study may include:

  • Student protests

  • Social change

  • Political change

  • Counter-Culture and the aesthetics of protest

  • Second Wave Feminism

  • Third Worldism and the anti-imperial struggle

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Weekly lectures/seminars

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5 5
Seminars 10 10
Guided independent study 85 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One 3,000 word essay to be submitted at the beginning of Summer Term.

Formative assessment methods:

There will be opportunities for formative feedback on an optional 1,500 word essay to be submitted at the beginning of the Spring Term.

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 the degree as a whole. Coursework bearing a confirmed mark of 40% or more can be carried forward. 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):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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