Introduction to French Literature

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course provides an introduction into French literature and literary history from the 17th century and up to today. The goal is to develop the student´s ability to read and interpret literary texts by honing their skills in literary analysis and their knowledge of relevant periods and writers. In the study of these texts, special consideration is given to how the texts are tied to French literary and cultural history.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the course, the student is expected to:


  • have knowledge about the texts on the reading list and be aware of their cultural context
  • have knowledge about the important trends in French literary history from the 17th century up to today


  • be able to detail thematic aspects of the curriculum in French
  • be able to situate the texts in relation to the key trends in French literary history
  • be able to use attained knowledge in independent analyses and discussions of the texts on the reading list

General competence

  • be well equipped to further develop his/her knowledge about and understanding of French literary texts and their cultural and historic context, also in relation the literatures in other languages

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction


This course can also be taken as online study (FRAN622)

Required Previous Knowledge
No formal requirement, but see Recommended Previous Knowledge.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
To complete the course with a good result, level II French from high school or the equivalent is needed.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Due to academic overlaps, credits awarded for taking FRAN122 are reduced by 10 ECTS if combined with FRAN102 or FRAN622, and 5 ECTS if combined with FRAN105 orFRAN106.
Access to the Course
The course is open to all students admitted to the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods

Approx. 3 hours of teaching weekly for 10 weeks.

Teaching is conducted in the form of lectures and seminars, supervision on the mandatory assignment. Also, in addition to regular teaching, there is the possibility of film screenings.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Students must attend at least 75 % of the lectures (including digital teaching) in order to qualify for assessment in this course.

The course has three mandatory assignments (a selection list, an oral presentation, linguistic work). The students prepare the assignments under the guidance of the teacher. All three assignments must be approved before the exam.

Mandatory assignments are valid for two additional semesters following the semester of instruction.

Forms of Assessment
An oral exam in French on French language literature, with a duration of around 20 minutes. The ability to express oneself in French, and knowledge about the curriculum are given equal weight when assessing the grade.
Grading Scale
The grading scale is A-F, where F is a fail.
Assessment Semester
Spring. An exam will be offered early in the Autumn semester for students who passed the obligatory requirements.
Reading List

a) Text curriculum: the reading list comprises a selection of short texts from different genres and periods of French literary history ranging from the 17th century and up to today. The reading list provides information on what texts are on the curriculum at any given time.

b) Literary history: Students read French literary history from the 17th to the 21. century, and are also required to attain further knowledge of the writers on the reading list. Materials on the specific writers can be found in literary histories, lexicons and commentaries on the works on the reading list.

The reading list will be ready by 1 Jul for the fall semester, and 1 Dec for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation
Evaluation of the course is carried out in accordance with the University of Bergen quality assurance system.
Programme Committee
The program committee is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study program, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.
Course Administrator
The Department of Foreign Languages at the Faculty of Humanities has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study program.