French MA

Modern French Poetry and Poetics FRENCH4108

  • 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 research-led course explores a selection of poetry in the French language of the period post-1850. Privileging works characterized by experiment and innovation, it emphasises close reading and the importance of literary and cultural context to the understanding of poetry. The course asks what it is that makes poetic language so unlike other modes of literary expression, and allows poetry to be so acutely both of its time and ahead of its time.


20 x 1hr sessions across both semesters as scheduled on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Written reflection on creative interpretation (500 words) - 20%

Detailed essay plan (500 words) - 10%

Essay (3000 words) - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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:

■ provide students with a clear understanding of the major formal and thematic developments within French poetry of the period since 1850 through the study of a selection of representative works;

■ introduce concepts key to the writing of poetry and critical concepts which enable reading;

■ investigate cultural context as well as theoretical debates about the function of poetry and its effects on the reader;

■ help students understand the capacity of poetry to augment the expressive capacity of language.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ express in writing a thorough knowledge of some major developments and debates in French poetry in the period under consideration;

■ analyse a wide range of different poems, showing an awareness of the different critical concepts relevant to the reading and writing of poetry;

■ take account of the shaping effects of cultural context on the composition of poetry;

■ discuss poetry's position within French culture and its continued relevance.

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.