Political Systems and Issues: France (L2049)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

Democracy in France has a troubled history, which continues to impact on contemporary politics in significant ways that have contributed to the representation of France as being in many ways ‘exceptional’.

This idea of the French Exception will serve as a context for this module, which aims to give you a basic understanding of the institutions, policies and issues that dominate political life in France today. The module uses current affairs in France as its starting point and will use this to build up a grasp of the institutional framework in which political power operates.

You'll analyse important themes including:

  • institutional and constitutional change
  • party dynamics
  • policy reforms.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: