BA German and Russian / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

Steven Kelly

"I remember reading through the course brochure and being genuinely excited at the prospect of a module on Russian film and the opportunity to delve head-first into German politics, or a dozen other pathways on offer.

"The experience turned out to be all I expected. I was also able to co-found the University Russian Society as a way to maintain the close ties I'd formed with friends on my course during my year abroad."

Steven Kelly / Content & Communications Professional, UN WIPO & Graduate

BA German and Russian is an extremely rewarding and coherent degree programme, where both sides reinforce one another through the study of a shared history in the contemporary period.

For both languages, you will be equipped with the skills and expertise needed to thrive in German and Russian-speaking environments, and explore a variety of topics that range across literature, film, linguistics, media studies and politics.

You will also develop your language skills to a superior level, while also developing your interests in and knowledge of a variety of other subject areas (such as film and media studies, sociology, history and politics, literary and cultural studies).

German

  • Our core German language courses (at post A-Level or beginners' level) are complemented by a variety of other subject areas, including linguistics, and a wide range of cultural and historical units that use German-language sources to improve your core language competence, as well as your wider knowledge of German-speaking countries.
  • Specialisms in German include historical and contemporary linguistics, literary studies, screen studies, gender and sexuality, modern cultural history, minority cultures and Holocaust studies.
  • The third year includes a period spent in a German-speaking country. You can choose a work placement, teach English in schools as part of the British Council's assistantship scheme, or study at our prestigious partner institutions in Berlin, Freiburg, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Basel and Innsbruck.
  • Our teaching, praised in the Teaching Quality Assessment and by external examiners, is backed up by an innovative Independent Language Learning Programme, enabling you to take control of your own learning experience.
  • Enjoy strong links with the Goethe Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum, which sponsor a varied programme of cultural events.

  Russian

  • You will be provided with a broad grounding in Russian area studies (including Eastern Europe), with an emphasis on the integrated study of language, culture and society.
  • Independent, monitored self-study will reinforce your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.
  • Our language courses are taught by native speakers of Russian and English speakers with a superior command of Russian, and are supplemented by structured independent language learning activities.
  • There are separate pathways for beginners and post-A level students in the first two years of study.
  • You will benefit from access to a range of Russian cultural and social events to further your study of the language and culture. You may also learn Polish.

Special features

Residence abroad

You can  study and/or work  for up to a year in a country or countries relevant to your chosen language(s) to improve your communicative language skills in a native-speaker environment.

Palaver Festival

Palaver Festival , a collaboration with the neighbouring Contact Theatre, offers you the opportunity to explore links between language and performance across a range of genres including literature, theatre, dance and more.

Collaborations and partnerships

The University has links with language and cultural institutions across the city, including:

  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film
  • Alliance Française - home of French language and culture.

Societies

The University is home to over 30 international and language-related  student societies  offering a breadth of cultural activities and experiences, including the German Society and the Russian Society.

Teaching and learning

You'll learn through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, spending approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions.

For every hour of university study, you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. You will also need to study during the holiday periods.

The individual study component could be spent reading, producing written work, revising for examinations or working in the University's Language Centre.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed in various ways, including:

  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • in your final year, a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Assessment methods vary from course unit to course unit - see individual course unit listings for more information.

Course content for year 1

You will study 60 credits from each discipline.

German

The first year equips you with a range of important skills: linguistic expertise; the ability to read and analyse material; and skills in presentation, group work and independent language learning. You are trained in modern spoken and written German through a core language course in which you work with German texts, write short essays and engage in discussions in German (this language instruction takes place in German and is taught principally by native speakers). At the same time you reinforce your grammar and vocabulary through monitored self-study.

You are given a detailed introduction to the German-speaking countries: their geography, politics, culture and society. You also get to explore a variety of important issues within these countries, such as the challenges faced by multicultural German society following Germany's reunification.

In addition you take a set of other broad-based courses designed to give you an essential grounding in key areas of German culture, history and linguistics. Most of the teaching on these courses is in English, so that you can focus fully on the new concepts introduced to you. In this way we hone not only your German language skills, but also your expression and accuracy in English: key transferable skills for the workplace following graduation.

Russian 

During the first year of study, you develop crucial Russian language skills through dedicated grammar classes, oral practice with native-speaker lectors, language laboratory work, and a range of independent learning activities. Separate language pathways are offered for beginners and post A-level students.

Our first-year content courses provide a solid base for your further studies, helping you to acquire and improve on important study skills and also giving you a thorough grounding in concepts and debates crucial to an understanding of Russian society and culture.

Topics and themes introduced in first-year content courses are explored in depth in optional content courses in the second and final years. As a result, these courses also help you to make informed choices for subsequent years of study based on your own particular interests.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to German Linguistics GERM10040 20 Mandatory
Revolution and Reaction in German Culture GERM10350 20 Mandatory
German Language 1 GERM51011 20 Mandatory
German Language 2 GERM51022 20 Mandatory
German Language 3 GERM51030 20 Mandatory
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS10242 20 Mandatory
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS10251 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 1 RUSS51011 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 2 RUSS51022 20 Mandatory
Introduction to German Linguistics GERM10040 20 Optional
Revolution and Reaction in German Culture GERM10350 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You may study up to two-thirds of your credits in either discipline.

German

In the second year of your programme you build on the grounding already established in year one. This year's core language course develops that of the previous year and prepares you for the linguistic challenges of your year abroad. Within it you can continue with a study of culture and society in Germany and Austria, or take a course in business German (Wirtschaftsdeutsch).

You also continue your programme of monitored self-study to complement your language classes.

The other courses available in your second year are more numerous and more specialised than in the first year, allowing you to explore a diverse range of areas including history, culture and power in twentieth-century Germany, post-1990 German literature and film, and German-Turkish and German-Jewish relations.

Russian

During the second year, you continue with your intensive study of Russian language.

You also choose from optional courses in a range of areas (such as Russian culture and thought, literature, translation studies, Central European and Balkan history and culture, and Polish language).

In addition, you begin to prepare for the compulsory year abroad, through meetings and consultations with our Residence Abroad Tutor and with final-year students who have recently returned from the year abroad.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
German Language 3 GERM51030 20 Mandatory
German Language 4 GERM51040 20 Mandatory
Russian Literature and Society from Pushkin to Putin RUSS20700 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 3 RUSS51030 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 4 RUSS51040 20 Mandatory
The German Language Today GERM20221 20 Optional
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20262 20 Optional
German Long Essay GERM20802 20 Optional
100 Years of Revolution: Russia from Lenin to Putin RUSS20242 20 Optional
The Making of Modern Russia RUSS20251 20 Optional
The 1989 Revolutions and their Aftermaths RUSS20471 20 Optional
Russian Studies Long Essay RUSS20502 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is  spent abroad  under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

You may divide your studies equally between both languages or study up to two-thirds of your credits from either language.

German

In your final year you resume your studies in Manchester with a core language course and choose from a wide range of specialised courses. Language study is centred on translation into and out of German, essay writing, and oral work involving discussion of texts, debates and presentations.

Also available in this year are course units that cover topics closely related to the research interests of individual members of staff, covering a broad range of linguistic, literary, historical and cultural topics.

As part of your final-year work, you can write a dissertation on a theme of your choice related to one of your courses, which students find an especially rewarding experience.

Russian

The compulsory element of your studies consists of an advanced Russian language course, which focuses on oral proficiency, translation from and into Russian and composition in Russian.

Optional courses in subjects including Business Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, Russian popular culture, Russian and Soviet politics and history and memory in post-socialist Eastern Europe round out your studies.

You may also choose to complete a dissertation, which is supervised by an appropriate member of staff within Russian and East European Studies. In researching and writing your dissertation, you explore in depth a subject of particular interest to you. The topic of your dissertation may be related to one of the final-year optional courses, but this is not obligatory.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
German Language 5 GERM51050 20 Mandatory
Russian Language 5 RUSS51050 20 Mandatory
The Cinema of Michael Haneke FREN30141 20 Optional
Dissertation in German Studies GERM30000 40 Optional
German Dialects GERM30342 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30481 20 Optional
New German Identities: Turkish-German Culture GERM30632 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30721 20 Optional
War, Memory and Politics of Commemoration in Eastern Europe HIST31842 20 Optional
Russian Politics POLI30072 20 Optional
Dissertation in Russian Studies RUSS30000 40 Optional
Russian Translation: Theory and practice RUSS30441 20 Optional
Culture, Media and Politics in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia RUSS30601 20 Optional
Post-Intermediate Polish ULPL20020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units for year 4

Facilities

The  University Language Centre  is home to language resources, including a new interpreting suite, purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages.

The Centre also offers multilingual word processing, language learning software, off-air recording and AV duplication, multilingual terrestrial and satellite TV, and extensive support and advice for learners.

Learn more on the  Facilities  page.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk