Important Academic Information
for Students Taking Courses in the
Department of French Studies

Le guide du Département d'études françaises

This document contains regulations and guidelines for students taking French courses. Download a PDF copy.

Other relevant topics:

Plagiarism, Cheating and Other Scholastic Offences

UWO statement on plagiarism: “Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site:”.

The Department of French Studies considers plagiarism, defined as “the act or instance of copying or stealing another’s words or ideas and attributing them as one’s own” (cited from Black’s Law Dictionary in UWO Scholastic Offence Policy [1]), to be a serious scholastic offence and will apply the UWO policy to deal with all cases detected.

Sometimes students commit plagiarism without being fully aware they are doing so. It is each student’s responsibility to become informed about what constitutes plagiarism and to take steps to avoid committing this scholastic offence by learning how to make proper use of sources. If you are uncertain about how to acknowledge sources you have used, consult your instructor before submitting the assignment. The UWO Ombuds Office publishes a useful guide that will help you avoid committing a mistake of this nature that could have serious consequences. [2]

Please note the following UWO statement on plagiarism checking: “All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between The University of Western Ontario and (” [1]

Other forms of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating on tests and examinations, will also be dealt with seriously according to the terms of University policy.

Please note that when evidence of a scholastic offence is detected, it is the Chair of the Department (or designate) who directs the investigation, and who makes a finding and imposes a penalty if the student is found to be guilty. The policy [1] outlines the process for appealing a Chair’s decision.

Prerequisites and Antirequisites

UWO Statement on requisites: Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you will be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.

Please note that you are responsible for ensuring that you have successfully completed the prerequisites for this course. Lack of prerequisites cannot be used as grounds for an appeal. You are responsible for ensuring that this course is not an antirequisite for another course you have already taken.

The French Placement Test is a mandatory requirement for any student taking a French course for the first time at Western who has not completed 12U French. You must submit the results of the test to the Department of French Studies office so that they will appear on your academic record. The Department of French Studies reserves the right to place you in a course that is appropriate to your level, based on the level of secondary school French you have completed. For example, if you have completed grade 12U French, you will not normally be eligible to enroll in French 1002 or 1010.

Under no circumstances will a student be allowed to take a language course in the series 1002, 1010, 1900E/1910, 2900, or 3900, concurrently with another language course that is a prerequisite for it.

Where to Go for Help

The website of the Office of the Registrar is a valuable resource for information about many administrative aspects of your studies at Western:

If you have any concerns about your progress with the academic material in a course, you should not hesitate to contact your instructor.

For advice on courses and programs / modules offered by the Department of French Studies, you should inquire at the Department office (UC 138) to find out the office hours of our academic advisors, who will be pleased to counsel you on your options.

If, due to circumstances beyond your control such as illness, you have to miss class for an extended period and/or you cannot meet assignment deadlines or write tests/exams at the scheduled times, you should arrange to submit documentation of the circumstances to the academic counseling office of your Home Faculty.

If you are feeling extremely stressed out or overwhelmed by your studies and/or personal circumstances, or if you feel you might be suffering from depression, the University has services to help you. Contact the Student Success Centre at: (519) 661-3559. After hours, contact the London Mental Health Crisis Service at: (519) 433-2023. The Academic Counsellors in your Home Faculty can also direct you to services where you can get assistance.

Accommodations for Work Missed Due to Problems

Students are required to respect all deadlines for submission of assignments and to write tests, mid-terms and exams on the scheduled dates, unless circumstances beyond their control prevent them from doing so.

Please take note of the UWO Policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness: [downloadable Student Medical Certificate (SMC):]. According to this policy, students seeking academic accommodation on medical grounds for any missed tests, exams, participation components and/or assignments worth 10% or more of their final grade must apply to the Academic Counselling office of their home Faculty and provide documentation. Academic accommodation cannot be granted in this case by the instructor or department. For policies regarding missed assignments worth less than 10% of the final grade, please refer to individual course outlines.

No term work may be submitted after the last day of classes for a course unless the student has successfully petitioned for Incomplete Standing on the basis of documentation submitted to the Academic Counselling office of her or his Home Faculty, with the approval of the Dean’s Office, the Department, and the instructor.

Final examinations must be written at the scheduled time unless formal alternative arrangements for a Special Examination have been approved (by the instructor, the Department and the Home Faculty Dean’s Office) based on valid documented grounds.

Academic accommodation is given for Religious Holidays – students should be careful to check the policy well in advance and be sure to follow the proper steps outlined in the University Calendar: [3]

Debarment from Final Examination for Excessive Unjustified Absence

With the exception of distance studies and on-line courses, attendance in all classes is an obligatory component of all courses in the Department of French Studies.

The UWO Handbook of Academic and Scholarship Policy [4] states the following: Any student who, in the opinion of the instructor, is absent too frequently from class or laboratory periods in any course will be reported to the Dean of the Faculty offering the course (after due warning has been given). On the recommendation of the Department concerned, and with the permission of the Dean of that Faculty, the student will be debarred from taking the regular examination in the course. The Dean of the Faculty offering the course will communicate that decision to the Dean of the Faculty of registration.

Academic Appeals

The UWO Handbook of Academic and Scholarship Policy sets out the policy for grade appeals [5] Students should note that the first step to take if they wish to contest a mark is to discuss the matter with the instructor. A student who wishes to pursue an appeal after consulting the instructor must appeal in writing to the Undergraduate Studies Chair of the Department of French Studies. Instructors in the Department of French Studies will not entertain requests to have a mark increased when the request is based solely on a student’s alleged need for a better mark for external reasons (e.g. maintaining a scholarship or gaining admission to a professional school or other academic program). In order to be given consideration, any academic appeal or informal request for reconsideration of a grade must be based on appropriate grounds of the kind set out in the UWO appeals policy.