- LANG3033 -

French Media & Advertising


Course prerequisites
  • LANG3033 is open to students who have successfully completed LANG2001 (French Language II.1). Alternatively, applicants will be required to provide evidence that they have attained elsewhere a standard at least comparable to a pass in the prerequisite course.
  • Students may not enrol in LANG3033 without enrolling in LANG3001

Schedule and weighting

This course is taught in the second semester only and consists of two hours of lectures weekly plus additional tutorials. The weighting of LANG3033 is 3 credits.

General aim

The aim of this course is to contextualize the study of French within the broader perspective of the media (press and mass-journalism, the internet, TV commercials and the advertising industry). Another important aim is examine how media in their various forms reflect and influence French contemporary society. The medium of discussion will be mainly French, and the supporting material (course notes, press articles, films, iconography) will be in French or, where appropriate, provided with translation.

Course overview

French media (i.e. newspapers, magazines, radio, television, advertising industry etc.) offer an interesting array of material to study insofar as they provide numerous indications on current trends and type of issues that contemporary France is confronted with.

The discussion will start with an inventory of what is today available in France under the form of presse écrite (written press), as opposed to radio and television. It will be examined how this press targets the public, using various areas of specialization (e.g. political affiliation, social and current affairs, women issues, family and domestic sphere etc.), and selling strategies (e.g. front-cover pages, pictures, catchy phrases and puns etc.)

In a second phase, we shall look into the advertising industry, yet another powerful media conveying information as well as messages of various nature. France is a country that regards advertising as a full-fledged art form and where professionals in this field are hailed as creators. While studying closely a range of selected material, we will aim at disclosing the mechanisms and rhetorical devices at work in the process of construction of images, mainly inspired by prevalent social mythologies and stereotyped representations.

The discussion will make extensive use of updated material under various forms, such as pictures, posters, advertisements, videos, TV footages, press samples etc.


This course is based on 100% continuous assessment. Coursework will consist in class tests (40%) and other assignments, such as essays and presentations (60%).


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