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LN115-30 Independent project in modern languages

School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
David Lees
Credit value
Module duration
22 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module enables students to spend some time developing their independent working and in particular to build research skills for the later stages of their undergraduate degree. The module comprises a series of skills sessions on undertaking undergraduate research, tutorials with the module leader, along with a set of supervisory meetings with the project supervisor. In addition to producing work in a range of formats in the course of the year, linked to an aspect of the culture of their chosen language and the study of modern languages at university level, students will be supported to produce an end product related to their specific area of interest and linked to the curriculum for their other first-year cultural module. The end product will be an appropriate piece of work such as a mini dissertation.

Module aims

The module will provide a foundation for studying modern languages and cultures at university level for students of single honours degrees and students of language with Film degrees. The module will provide students with support to develop their study skills, linked to the SMLC study skills training programme, while also developing their capacity to undertake independent research into a topic suitable to their first year of study. The module will also develop students' subject-specific skills in that it will link to a topic covered in their culture module.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

In addition to regular skills sessions led by the module leader, students will work on a regular basis with project supervisors on an area of interest related to the main cultural module in their chosen language. A full syllabus will be published on the module Moodle page.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate capacity to identify suitable primary and secondary material to complete independent research
  • Evidence the capacity to build on continuous feedback to improve work
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the challenges of studying modern languages across the university sector
  • Demonstrate suitable ICT skills when developing project materials
  • Demonstrate the capacity to engage with complex themes related to the cultural module linked to their chosen language
Research element

The project necessarily involves independent research under the close supervision of the supervisor. Training on aspects of modern languages research will be delivered by colleagues from the Library, from the Modern Records Centre and from the module leader. This will be 'light-touch' research training, noting that students are just beginning their time at Warwick, but this will include a more comprehensive induction to the Library and its collections and to the MRC.
Training in public engagement will be delivered in conjunction with the Warwick Institute of Engagement where possible.


All SMLC modules are necessarily international, engaging as they do with material beyond the Anglophone world.

Subject specific skills

Students will develop capacity to undertake some independent research closely guided by a supervisor.
Students will develop awareness of aspects of culture of their chosen language, normally specialising in a specific area of interest.
Students will develop an awareness of the challenges facing modern languages as a discipline and consider ways of promoting the subject to potential students of languages.

Transferable skills

Students will develop:

  • Independent research skills under close supervision
  • Capacity to identify source material and employ this when completing their project
  • Written and verbal communication skills in English and in their chosen language
  • Capacity to convey complex topics in a meaningful and comprehensive way to a diverse range of audiences

Study time

Type Required
Tutorials 18 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Project supervision 3 sessions of 1 hour (1%)
Fieldwork 2 sessions of 1 hour (1%)
Private study 277 hours (92%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Independent study will include undertaking independent research into specific issues connected to the culture(s) of their chosen language; to completing the public engagement project and to undertaking formative tasks connected to the relevant collections at the University.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
Literature review 30%

A critical reflection on scholarship in students' broad areas of interest, normally related to one of the themes from their cultural module.

Public engagement piece 25%

A student-created public engagement piece designed to consider the challenges facing modern languages across the University sector, suggestions for tackling these challenges and advice for future students of languages. This could include a poster or short podcast recording.

Independent research project 45%

The final project assignment. This will normally take the form of an essay.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback will be provided throughout the course of the module, including on formative pieces of work, through tutorials with the module leader, through supervisions with project supervisors and using appropriate cultural module marking criteria on summative work. Feedback will be verbal and written where relevant.


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of ULNA-R300 BA in Italian Studies
  • Year 1 of UFRA-R101 Undergraduate French Studies
  • Year 1 of UGEA-R200 Undergraduate German Studies

This module is Unusual option for:

  • Year 1 of UFRA-R1WA Undergraduate French with Film Studies

This module is Core option list A for:

  • UFRA-R10P Undergraduate French Studies
    • Year 1 of R10P French Studies (Part-Time)
    • Year 1 of R10P French Studies (Part-Time)

This module is Core option list B for:

  • Year 1 of ULNA-R9Q2 Undergraduate Modern Languages with Linguistics

This module is Core option list C for:

  • Year 1 of ULNA-R9Q1 Undergraduate Modern Languages and Linguistics

This module is Option list C for:

  • Year 1 of UGEA-RP33 Undergraduate German with Film Studies