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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - French

Undergraduate Course: Politics and Institutions of Contemporary France A (ELCF08009)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is intended to serve as an introduction to some of the major questions relating to the political and social systems of contemporary France. It covers a range of topics from the French political system to the concept of French universalism, and engages with some of the most important contemporary political debates shaping the Republic today.
Course description The course runs for 2 hours per week in Semester 2 and includes a 1-hour lecture followed by a 1-hour tutorial session. This course is intended to serve as an introduction to some of the major questions relating to the political and social systems of contemporary France. The course will focus initially upon the organisation and working of government and the role of political parties under the Fourth and Fifth Republics. A central theme here will be the democratic status of the Fifth Republic and its Constitution. The focus will then shift to a weekly thematic structure, where you will investigate different aspects of Republican thinking, the historical concerns and shifts in the major political parties, the role of social institutions, France's changing political position in a globalized world, and the status of specific social groups within French society. A major consideration here will be the extent to which public policy and social institutions contribute (or not) to a reduction of inequalities within contemporary French society and the evolving role of the state.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: French 1A (ELCF08005) OR French 1B (ELCF08006)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Quiz (15%): Each week, following the lecture, you will have to complete a multiple-choice quiz online.

Essay (1800 words) (55%): Each student will select ONE essay topic from a list of questions linked to weekly themes.

Group presentation (30%): In groups (approx. five per group), you will put together a short presentation (6-8 mins max) in which you will explore a political debate that has been raised by one of the topics covered during the course.
Feedback Feedback will be provided through Turnitin in the comments section following the essay and group presentation.

Students will be given feedback on their class discussions during the tutorials sessions and will have the opportunity to discuss their essay plans with the course instructors.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the main currents in French politics, institutions and society, as seen through a range of specific topics, using a selection of core theories, principles and concepts.
  2. Appraise a variety of source materials to compare and contrast concepts and issues while taking account of different political, social and policy contexts.
  3. Use a range of approaches to formulate evidence-based responses to major issues within the common understanding of Politics and Institutions of Contemporary France.
  4. Develop effective communication, presentation and interaction skills across a range of media.
  5. Demonstrate self-reliance, initiative, and the ability to work flexibly with others as part of a team.
Reading List
Please use the link below and search by using course code ELCF08009

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsInstitutions; Government; Fifth Republic; Public Policy; State
Course organiserDr Nicola Frith
Tel: (0131 6)50 8967
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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