French MA

Court And Conflict In Medieval French Literature FRENCH4004

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides an introduction to some of the major genres of Old French literature and to the literary culture of medieval France as a whole, mostly considering it from the point of view of its representation of the tensions between individual desire and collective loyalty.


20 x 1-hour seminars as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in French and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2000 words) semester 1 (50%)

Essay (2000 words) semester 2 (50%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ foster understanding of chivalric and courtly works produced in France during the 12th and 13th centuries;

■ challenge students to reflect critically on a range of methodological approaches in the field of medieval literary and historical/ cultural studies;

■ develop students' understanding of the responsible and appropriate use of translations and parallel-text editions as a means to understanding materials produced in older forms of the French language.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ assess the relationship between the texts and their social, historical and political contexts;

■ identify and discuss major themes and generic features in the prescribed material, especially with regard to court contexts and courtly ideals;

■ make responsible and appropriate use of translations and parallel-text editions as a means to understand older forms of the French language;

■ compare and contrast the set materials in appropriate and illuminating ways;

■ contribute to seminar discussion, analysing material with regard to its broad themes, significant detail, and socio-cultural, historical and ideological contexts;

■ make competent use of secondary literature and achieve proper integration of such material into an original argument;

■ write clear, analytical and appropriately referenced essays on topics related to the set works and the ideas explored on the course.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.