General Knowledge


The method conference in general knowledge is based on a transversal approach combining the application of knowledge and critical thinking  (understood in the etymological sense of the word "critical": " having the knowledge, ability, or discernment to pass judgment ").

It provides an opportunity to merge knowledge from different disciplines in the fields of human and social sciences, taught at Sciences Po Bordeaux. It combines different disciplines and types of knowledge, as a basis for a reflection on the contemporary world.   It enables students to develop critical thinking skills by helping them to gain perspective on current issues,  by examining problems from a diachronic and a synchronic point of view. The class combines a method based on written and oral expression, acquisition and further development of knowledge, and builds on solid spatial and temporal benchmarks (importance of history and geography, history of ideas) and promotes the development of informed personal opinions. In the fourth year, a theme-based approach related to the students’ majors is introduced.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

A good knowledge of contemporary history; constant and thorough monitoring of current affairs; reading classic and contemporary works on a regular basis.

Educational formula

Types of exercises practiced by students: Oral presentations (Practicing for the generalist final oral examination, presentations, geographical landmarks, landmarks in the history of ideas (themes of the major), importance of oral participation and debate); written work (trial runs: 1st, generalist run (same subject for all fourth year students), 2nd run, specific to each course or group of courses within the same major, two detailed plans, knowledge tests, a book or film review (themes chosen by the teacher)).

Additional information

For the BIRD course, the method conference is delivered in English.

In brief

Year Fourth year

Teaching languageFrench

Teaching term Annual

ECTS credits 5.0

Number of hours 36.0

Teaching activityMethod seminar

ValidationFinal oral examination

Mandatory teaching



Educational manager :
Taliano Françoise [+]