French MA

France 1940-44: The Occupation and its Legacies FRENCH4100

  • 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 explores the experience and legacies of defeat, collaboration and resistance in France during World War Two. It addresses topics such as the emergence of the Vichy government and its policies; women and gender; the Jews in wartime France; postwar representations of the wartime past; holocaust memory in France.


1 hour a week over both semesters as scheduled on MyCampus


This is one of the honours options in SMLC and may not run every year. The options which are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





One essay, c. 2000 words, to be submitted by the end of semester 1 (50%)

One essay, c. 2000 words, to be submitted by the end of 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 will provide the opportunity to:

■ carry out in-depth study of a hugely significant and controversial period of French history and to explore its ongoing significance within French culture;

■ deepen students' understanding of recent French history;

■ familiarise students with a range of primary sources materials from political speeches and propaganda to memoirs, documentary and fictional film;

■ develop students' awareness of changing and competing narratives of the French past;

■ foster critical reflection on the topic;

■ enhance students' ability to construct persuasive historically-grounded arguments.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ draw on the analytical vocabulary of the approaches studied in order to discuss course topics;

■ identify points of debate and consensus in scholarly writing on the topics studied;

■ engage with these debates bringing to bear a wide range of reading;

■ combine linguistic, conceptual and analytical skills with their historical knowledge in the critical reading of primary sources and secondary sources.

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.