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PHD in French Language, Civilization and Culture (soon)

Online in French


Overview - Year-by-Year Breakdown - Course Description

Les objectifs d'apprentissage de ce doctorat sont de fournir des compétences de recherche de haute qualité dans tous les secteurs et industries et de nouvelles émergentes


3 years

Credit Value

240 Credits

Admission Requirements

Master's degree or Equivalent



Study Options



3860€ yearly

Registration Fee

60€ yearly

Technology Fee

80€ yearly


The structure of a typical course will require students to read materials supplied by the university, study related materials, and perform personal research on selected topics. Confirmation of learning may be determined via papers, projects, quizzes or exams.


Year-by-Year Breakdown


Course Number

Course Name

Core or Elective?

Year 1

PHD501 (10 ECTS)

The French language: history, evolution, transformations - Which model is being used?


PHD502 (10 ECTS)

French literature of the Middle Ages


PHD503 (10 ECTS)

Research methodology


PHD504 (10 ECTS)

French literature from the 16th to the 17th century


PHD505 (10 ECTS)

Secularism, a French specificity


PHD506 (10 ECTS)

Dissertation Proposal


Year 2

PHD507 (10 ECTS)

French literature from the 18th to the 19th century


PHD508 (10 ECTS)

Literary criticism 1


PHD570 (20 ECTS)

Journal Writing - Presentation and methodology


PHD510 (10 ECTS)

French literature from the 20th to the 21st century


PHD509 (10 ECTS)

Literary criticism 2


PHD580 (40 ECTS)

Dissertation Writing


Year 3

PHD511 (10 ECTS)

French language,  regional and minority languages


PHD512 (10 ECTS)

French culture: constitution and evolution; popular cultures, Foreign cultures and the dominant culture


PHD513 (10 ECTS)

French theatre and cinema, production and role in disseminating French culture and values


PHD514 (10 ECTS)

French cultural institutions around the world


PHD590 (40 ECTS)

Thesis and Scientific Paper - Defense




PHD501  The French language: history, evolution, transformations - Which model is being used?
The aim of this course is to enable students to understand, from a historical, sociological, socio-linguistic and political perspective, how and under what conditions French came to be the dominant language of the nation-state. The periods, contexts, language-specific transformations and socio-political issues surrounding the assertion of French as a hegemonic language will be examined in turn. On the basis of selected texts and an approach to the origins, situations of cultural contact and transformations specific to the language, understood through language practices and literary and cultural productions, the student will have to internalise this history and take it into account, as a founding process of what will characterise the French model, which is defined at the end of the revolution and will assert itself with the Third Republic.

PHD502 French literature of the Middle Ages
As a complement to the previous module and as an illustration of this evolution, the student will have to revisit this important moment in the transition from the oral to the written word, to grasp how French tends to replace Latin, and how vernacular languages participate in this transition. Literary and cultural productions from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance will be highlighted and analysed: fabliaux, poems, chansons de gestes, courtly literature and historical chronicles.

PHD503 Research methodology
Research will be taught using the methods and principles that prevail in any methodology for constructing a research object. Based on the general theme of the doctorate, the student must be able to formulate relevant research questions, specify his or her research approach, construct a problematic, formulate hypotheses, delimit the corpus of analysis, define the field of investigation, the tools and techniques for objectification and the principles of interpretation.
The first step here will be to take stock of the issue and the state of knowledge on the subject; to produce a bibliography that is justified and explained by means of reading sheets and the production of initial databases and information on the subject being dealt with. He/she will also have to define the notions, categories and concepts used, and justify the dimensions in time and space of the chosen subject.

PHD504 French Literature from the 16th to the 17th century
The course will focus on this important period, which is characterised by the affirmation of the French language as a literary language. In a context of major socio-cultural transformations, the main genres of literature, such as the novel, literature of ideas, poetry and theatre, emerged and were consolidated. We will use selected texts to define the scansions and forms of these genres and analyse their content. Authors as important as François Rabelais and Michel de Montaigne, for the novel or the literature of ideas, or Pierre Ronsard and Joachim du Bellay for poetry, are central and will be the subject of in-depth analyses. The theatre was more prominent in the 17th century, with major playwrights such as Corneille, Molière and Racine, whose most emblematic productions will be analysed comparatively through the innovations in style and language, and the qualitative leaps they made in the French language.

PHD505 Secularism, a French specificity
One of the main pillars of the French socio-cultural model is the principle of secularism. The aim of this course is to introduce the student to this concept in its historical, sociological and political dimensions. Through the founding texts, the issues it raises and the controversies and debates it provokes, the aim will be to analyse the key moments and to see how this concept has evolved in its understanding and reality, particularly in recent years.

PHD506 Dissertation Proposal
This second stage in the construction of the research project will involve making progress in setting up the problem, formalising the main questions that the doctoral student will have to target in his research, formulating the hypotheses and specifying the tools and techniques that the researcher will have to use. A first draft of the work should be submitted for evaluation and validation of the subject.

PHD507 French literature from the 18th to the 19th century
This course will focus primarily on the changes brought about by the "Enlightenment" in the fields of philosophy, literature and theatre. Against a backdrop of a break with monarchical power and the demand for democratisation that was emerging at the time, the lessons will initially focus on the work of the great philosophers, Montesquieu, Rousseau and Diderot, both in their philosophical productions aimed at overcoming oppression and in their literary and theatrical productions aimed at disseminating the ideas of reason and progress. Secondly, in the context of the unfolding of a century of crises, with its back-and-forth between revolutions and restorations, in which the commitment of authors became a key factor, the emphasis will be on the determinants of the different currents (Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Symbolism) in literature, poetry and theatre that were to characterise the century.

PHD508 Literary Criticism 1
This first course will lay the foundations for literary criticism. On the basis of selected texts, the aim will be to define what is meant by literary criticism; then to study how literary criticism has developed historically, in its different ways of analysing literary productions. In each case, these methods will be based on the literary productions of the historical moment under study.

PHD570 Journal Writing  - Presentation and methodology
During this semester, the doctoral student must produce a document of around forty pages which must definitively establish: the state of knowledge on the question addressed, the problematic, the methodological approach, the delimitation of the field, the data and analytical tools explained and justified and the initial feedback from the survey or exploratory interviews.

PHD510 French literature from the 20th to the 21st century
The twentieth century also marked another change of direction in literary and theatrical production. New trends and genres emerged in a period that saw two world wars. The legacies of the 19th century were challenged by surrealism, existentialism and the theory of the absurd, as well as the new novel. The teaching will focus on these new forms and the conditions that give them meaning and justification. Through the texts and works chosen, the aim will be to see how the twentieth century is freeing itself from the conventions established in the previous century and what new questions are being asked of these new productions. In a new context marked by globalisation, in continuity with the twentieth century in terms of the effects of the period of decolonisation, which saw the emergence of a significant body of 'francophone' literature, the teaching will focus on what it is about the proliferation of current productions (diversity of themes, genres, styles, commitment/disengagement) that makes them specific to the moment. The bibliography will include a selection of the major works of the moment, which will be the subject of in-depth study.

PHD509 Literary Criticism 2
This module examines the different perspectives of the main schools of literary criticism: from those in which interpretation is the equal of the work, or forms part of the work, to those that are more external: whether formal, sociological, sociolinguistic, psychoanalytical or, more broadly, interpretative, or even journalistic. Examples of the reception of major works will be taken into account.

PHD580 Dissertation Writing
The progress of the research will be assessed on the basis of feedback from the field and analysis of the data collected. This semester will focus in particular on
Data analysis and processing methods, by learning how to code questionnaires and using interview processing and analysis software. Training in the construction and interpretation of cross-tabulations will also be provided.

PHD511 French Language and Regional and Minority Languages
The course will look back at the historical relationship between the French language and regional languages discussed in S1, in order to analyse the current situation, mainly as a result of the diversification of the French sociological make-up. French public policies on the teaching of so-called minority languages will be taken into account in the light of the French Jacobin model. Through the policies of the ELCO (Teaching of Languages and Cultures of Origin) and its reforms, the current ones, intended for regional languages, such as those defining the relationship of the French State to the European Charter of Languages, it it will focus on the methods of testing the French assimilationist model and its forms of adaptation

PHD512 French culture: constitution and evolution; popular cultures, foreign cultures and dominant culture
From anthropological and sociological approaches to the notions of culture and civilization, it will be a question of emphasizing what makes the specificity of French culture; to show its constitution and evolution and its current characteristics. The course proposes to analyze from major texts, what proceeds from a continuity and what proceeds from qualitative passages of processes of taking into account new cultural contributions, new forms of acculturation (culture as identity not being immutable and given once and for all (identity, like culture, proceeding from a permanent invention). As the continuum thus tends to disappear behind proliferation and mixing, it will be a question of seeing what is the place of the cultures specific to the social groups that make up France and how these have melted or resisted the French melting pot.

PHD513 French theater and cinema, production and role in the dissemination of French culture and values
From a historical and sociological perspective, it will first be a question of seeing what makes the specificity of French theater and cinema, what historically and culturally, from their birth to today, founds their own characteristics; and secondly to analyze the public policies that have accompanied their developments to measure their places today in the dissemination and reception of French "culture".

PHD514 French Cultural Institutions around the World
The course proposes to make an inventory of the institutions of diffusion (cultural centers, Alliance française, Organization of the Francophonie, AUF, research centers abroad, universities, high schools and French schools abroad, French companies ) of French culture in the world; What is its own story? What is the mode of institutionalization and what is the role they play in the present in the representation of France and in the dissemination of French values? How do they participate in a French soft-power? The course will be based on specific examples, particularly on the evolution of the organization of the Francophonie and the issues surrounding it.

PHD591 Thesis and Scientific Paper - Defense
The last semester will give the doctoral student the opportunity to deliver a first version of the thesis. This will be presented in a seminar, debated, reviewed and then corrected and submitted for a public defense. The applicant must then, between the time of submission and that of the defence, propose an article, extracted from the thesis, to be published in an indexed journal.
Public concerned: Agents and executives of the cultural services of the administration and the company. Local and regional authorities. cultural managers. Educators, cultural mediators, associations. Media. Museums. International and regional cooperation organizations (UNESCO, Francophonie, AUF; European cultural programs, etc.), NGOs with cultural, educational, humanitarian and socio-economic goals. Experts in cultural projects. Cultural industries: paper and digital editions, audio and video, documentaries, cinema, theatre.

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