Undergraduate course

French Literature

Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The course will give an introduction to French literature and literary history from the seventeenth century to our time. The purpose is to develop the students' ability to read and interpret literary texts through practice in literary analysis and knowledge of the periods and authors. When studying the texts, the attention will be on the literary and linguistic tools and how the texts are tied to French and Francophone culture.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course the candidates will

  • have gained knowledge of the texts on the reading list and their cultural context
  • have gained knowledge of the main lines in French literary history from the seventeenth century to our time
  • know some central literary techniques and their use in narratives, drama and poetry
  • be able to explain in French thematic and formal aspects of the texts on the reading list
  • be able to use the knowledge they have gained in independent analyses and discussions of the texts on the reading list
  • be able to further develop their knowledge and competence, as well as the understanding of French literature, through further study

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

To complete the course with good results a level of French corresponding to at least level 2 from Upper Secondary School is required.

The students are advised to take the Spring courses FRAN101 and FRAN103 before the Fall courses FRAN102 and FRAN115.

Access to the Course

The course is open to all with admission to the University of Bergen.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, classes devoted to working on assignments, supervision tied to the compulsory assignment, as well as an introduction to using a computer-based educational program for independent study. In addition to the ordinary lectures, movies will be shown every week.

Up to 8 hours of teaching per week for 8 weeks.

At the beginning of the semester intensive teaching in the course will be given for 2 weeks, followed by a break in the teaching at the same time as the course FRAN115 conducts a study trip to France for 7 weeks, then teaching resumes for another 6 weeks until the exam.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of the lectures in order to attend the examination in the course.

In connection with the teaching, students will write a compulsory assignment in French (about 1500 words). The assignment is handed out a few weeks after the beginning of the semester, and will be due 8-10 weeks later. The dates will be announced in connection with the lectures and on the bulletin board/internet. The assignment must be approved before one can take the exam.

Forms of Assessment

The exam is a 6-hour written test with questions related to literary analysis or about literary problems. You must answer in French. The examination can be conducted digitally. The students can use monolingual (French-French) dictionaries approved by the Department.

Grading Scale

The grading scale A-F is used, where F is a fail.

Reading List

a) Literary texts

The curriculum is compulsory and contains the following:

  • The seventeenth century: 1 work
  • The eighteenth century: 1 work
  • The nineteenth century: 1 novel, 2 short stories
  • The twentieth century: 4 novels, 3 short stories.

Additionally: 20 pages of poetry from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

In the curriculum outline available online there is information regarding which texts are included in the curriculum at any time.

b) History of literature

The student will read a short outline of French history of literature from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. They should also become more familiar with the authors available through the curriculum. Material on the various authors can be found in histories of literature, encyclopedias and commentaries to the works on the reading list.

Course Evaluation

The teaching is evaluated according to the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam. The exam location will be published 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    03.12.2018, 09:00
    6 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam