HI5027 - Enlightenment to Empire: France in an Age of Revolution, 1715-1815

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will explore French history during a century of revolutionary political and cultural change, from the death of the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV in 1715 to the fall of Napoleon at Waterloo. You will assess and analyse how, in the space of less than one hundred years, France transformed itself from the quasi-feudal society of the ‘Old Regime’ to a republic built on the revolutionary principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. You will examine key aspects of this transformation, such as the Enlightenment and the influence of its ideas, the nature of Old Regime society, the origins of the Revolution of 1789, the so-called ‘Reign of Terror’, and the rise to power of Napoleon Bonaparte. In addition, you will evaluate gender and race in these events by studying the role of women in the French Revolution and the impact of revolutionary ideas in France’s colonies. Throughout the module, you will also assess the varied and sometimes conflicting historiographical approaches to the French Revolution. Learning about France in the age of revolution will enable you to think critically about the relationship between different forces of change – political, economic, social and cultural – during historical periods of upheaval and transformation.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on this module by attending and participating in lectures and seminars. Lectures will present an overview of key events, core concepts and historiographical approaches. Weekly seminars will be based around discussion of selected primary source documents and other texts. You will be expected to prepare for the weekly seminars by undertaking essential and recommended reading, and will build on your independent reading by presenting your ideas and arguments in seminar discussions with your peers. All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLearning Portal (Blackboard) to enable participation within the seminar programme. You will participate in formative assessment activities and receive feedback, and will be responsible for your own guided and independent learning. Summative assessment matches your learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your peers, academic tutors, and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through group/individual tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised office hours and via email. Your peers will provide you will a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures, and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities and through assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Knowledge and understanding of key events and themes in French history during the age of revolution
2. Critically analyse the relationship between different forces of change (political, economic, cultural and social) in France and its colonies during this period

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Exhibit an ability to synthesise and interpret a range of historical evidence and historiographical debates in oral and written form
4. Exhibit an ability to evaluate the importance of chronology in historical concepts and events

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate a broad understanding of concepts of democracy and liberty and how these continue to shape our contemporary experience

How will I be assessed?

Your knowledge and understanding of the main themes and developments in French history during the revolutionary era, your ability to synthesise and critically analyse historical evidence and debates, and to set events in their appropriate context will be assessed through three pieces of coursework:
1) Contributions scheduled throughout the module to a digital timeline of French history, 1715-1815. Working as part of a small group, you will update the timeline with key events based on your own research and on material covered in teaching sessions. (Equivalent to 500 words)
2) A 2,000 word essay examining responses to the Revolution of 1789 from the perspective of a particular social group/category in late eighteenth-century France
3) A 2,500 word essay on a topic from the second part of the module.

Formative assessment and feedback from your module tutor will be delivered in written and verbal form. You will receive formative feedback from your tutor in classroom discussions, debates and tutorials. In advance of submitting your second piece of coursework, you will be asked to deliver a short seminar presentation on your topic. You will receive formative feedback on your work from your tutor and from your peers, which can be integrated into the final submission of this piece of assessment.

Before the end of the module you will be asked to submit an essay plan for your final piece of coursework. You will receive formative feedback from your module tutor on this essay plan.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code V100

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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