Département de géographie et d’histoire — Université Cergy-Pontoise

Département de géographie et d’histoire — Université Cergy-Pontoise

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UFR Lettres & Sciences Humaines

Site des Chênes II,
33 boulevard du Port F-95011 Cergy-Pontoise cedex

Directeur de l’UFR

Directeur du département
géographie et d’histoire
et resp. filière géographie
Antoine BEYER

Resp. de la filière histoire

Resp. administratif

Delphine DELARUE
tél. 01 34 25 64 25.

Coordinatrice des Langues Vivantes

Responsable des Relations Internationales



  • LICENCES professionnelles Bureau 100
    Valérie GODICHEAU
    tél. 01 34 25 64 35
    Transport des voyageurs


Picking History or Geography Courses at UCP : A Guide for Exchange Students

A standard semester of study at UCP means doing 30 UCP or ECTS credits. Remember, you are here to experience the French system, so be ready to accept that your curriculum here will not look like your curriculum at home. This is a system in which students specialise very early on. Indeed, students studying geography or history only have the possibility of choosing one single subject outside of the department. If you have lots of requirements to fulfil across different subject areas, as is common in most other university systems, you may find this impossible, and I would suggest that you fulfil these requirements at your home institution.

Please note that all ERASMUS or CREPUQ exchange students must attend classes for a total of 30 ECTS credits per semester. Exceptions may be made for Master students, if their Home Coordinator requires that they write a thesis paper that will be rated when they go back to their home institution.

To enable you to pick courses that match your time period here, and are appropriate for your academic and language level, this document explains how to decode all the codes that may be found on our website (http://www.geographie-histoire-ucp.org/spip.php?rubrique432for the BA in geography, http://www.geographie-histoire-ucp.org/spip.php?rubrique435 for the BA in history. Please send an email to the coordinator for Master courses and modules). Here is what the letters and numbers mean, so that you can pick appropriate courses :

Here are a few examples of typical course codes that may be found on our website :

  • UE L1F1
  • UE L2C1
  • UE L3LVE

U.E. means “Unité d’enseignement”. In other words, you may translate that by : « course unit ».

L1 means “first year level”
L2 means “second year level”
L3 means “third year level”

N.B. Each year is divided into 2 semesters. The first year (L1) is composed of “semestre 1” (S1) and “semestre 2” (S2). L2 is composed of “semestre 3” (S3) and “semestre 4” (S4), and L3 comprises “semestre 5” (S5) and “semestre 6” (S6).

All codes starting with an F (F1, F2…) mean the selected course is a “Fundamental course”, i.e. a compulsory History or Geography course for French students.
All codes starting with a C (C1, C2…) mean the selected course is an “Optional course”, i.e. French students may take this course as part of their two or three compulsory Optional courses.

Finally, LVE means the selected course is a “Language course”, i.e. compulsory language course for French students.

When reading the list of courses, you will see that some classes are codified as “CM” classes, and others as “TD” classes. Here is the difference between the two of them :

  • CM : cours magistraux = lecture classes (these classes are taught in amphitheatres, so attendance is not compulsory and thus cannot be checked)
  • TD : travaux dirigés = small classes of 12 to 40 students (attendance is systematically checked) N.B. : Some courses comprise a CM class + a compulsory TD class

French language demands :
The L1, L2 and L3 courses are available to all exchange students, provided they have reached a B2 level in French. Students with a level inferior to B2 will NOT be able to attend L2 and L3 courses.
The reading requirements are likely to be more structured in the first year, and there is more classroom time. Therefore, if the French language is not your strongest area, it can be advisable to do courses at this level, where reading is more fixed. If you are a confident speaker/ reader of French with near native-speaker ability, and you feel happy that you could do the most advanced courses in the subject in your home institution then you may wish to opt for courses later in the curriculum. Be careful : do not let your pride force you into a course which you will struggle with !
Please note that all exchange students may attend a special French course for exchange students (called : “French-CILFAC”) which does not appear on our lists of courses. This course is worth 6 ECTS per semester. Students with a French level inferior to B2 must attend CILFAC classes if they wish to attend L2 or L3 courses in our department.
Students must register at the international office. We do not guarantee that the CILFAC schedule is compatible with that of the Geography and History department.

article mis à jour le 10 juin 2011
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