BA German and Italian / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

BA German and Italian provides a comprehensive grounding in the German and Italian language, culture, linguistics, history and literature. You will be equipped with the skills and expertise needed to thrive in German and Italian-speaking environments.

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 ofGerman-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, Basle 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.

  Italian

  • The course units offered combine the study of history, politics, and the literary, linguistic and visual culture of the peninsula, and are taught by specialists in the fields.
  • We offer a linguistics pathway through the course for those interested in the history of the Italian language and its dialects.
  • Language courses, taught by native speakers at post A-Level or beginners' level, involve comprehension, translation, grammar and oral work.
  • Our excellence in teaching and learning in Italian has been recognised internally and nationally: a colleague won a Teaching Excellence Award and one has secured national funding to develop use of digital resources in teaching by bringing our libraries' special collections into the age of the app.
  • You will benefit from extensive interaction with Italian cultural agencies in the North West.
  • You will also benefit from the world-class Italian holdings of the John Rylands Library, including one of the largest collections of early Italian printed books in the UK.

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.

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

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.

German

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 course units designed to give you an essential grounding in key areas of German culture, history and linguistics.

Most of the teaching on these course units 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.

Italian

In Year 1 Italian language instruction is divided between 'ab initio' and post-A-level groups (with the majority of students being beginners).

'Ab initio' students have five contact hours per week with their nominated mother-tongue teacher as part of a course specifically designed to build confidence in comprehension, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Post-A-level students have 3 hours consolidating and building competency on specific language points.

The Italian culture units offer a range of courses from the filmic and literary to the historic and linguistic, all of which reflect academic staff research interests.

Year 1 is specifically designed to begin furnishing candidates with the tools to enable them to read cultural products with confidence, be they texts, pictures, buildings or linguistic constructions.

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
Italian Cultural Studies ITAL10300 20 Mandatory
Reading Italy: Medieval to Modern ITAL10500 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 1 ITAL51011 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 2 ITAL51022 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 3 ITAL51030 20 Mandatory
Introduction to German Linguistics GERM10040 20 Optional
Revolution and Reaction in German Culture GERM10350 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You may choose to study up to two-thirds of your credits from either discipline or maintain equal weighting.

German

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 20th-century Germany, post-1990 German literature and film, and German-Turkish and German-Jewish relations.

Italian

In Years 2 and 4, the language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

Options are available that range from Italian medieval urban culture and the afterlife, to the politics of the Risorgimento, Gothic and Fantastic literature, Fascism, and the history of the Italian book.

Most culture units involve two contact hours per week that serve as points of departure and reference for subsequent self-study. The units are largely assessed by coursework.

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
Italian Language 4 ITAL51040 20 Mandatory
Italian Language 5 ITAL51050 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
The Italian Economic Boom: Places and Spaces ITAL20452 20 Optional
Aesthetics and Politics of Italian Fascism ITAL20501 20 Optional
Gendering the Canon: Women, Authorship and Voice in the Italian Trecento ITAL20611 20 Optional

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 from either language.

German

In your final year, you resume your studies in Manchester with a core language course unit and choose from a wide range of specialised course units. 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 course units.

Italian

There is the opportunity to study Business Italian, undertake a research-orientated dissertation in Italian (often using the primary sources held in the Rylands Library, which has outstanding Italian holdings), and participate in the Italian department's mentoring and outreach work.

The language component of the course includes three contact hours per week in addition to working on set assignments and undertaking private study.

In Years 2 and 4, options are available that range from Italian medieval urban culture and the afterlife, to the politics of the Risorgimento, Gothic and Fantastic literature, Fascism, and the history of the Italian book.

Most culture units involve two contact hours per week that serve as points of departure and reference for subsequent self-study. The units are largely assessed by coursework.

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
Italian Language 6 ITAL51060 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
Dissertation in Italian Studies ITAL30000 40 Optional
Italian Visual and Literary Cultures from Surrealism to Neo-Realism ITAL30341 20 Optional
Beyond the Text: The Book and its Body ITAL30432 20 Optional
Topics in Romance Linguistics ITAL32001 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 4

Scholarships and bursaries

Residence Abroad Support We offer dedicated financial support packages of up to £2,000 for residence abroad students, based on household income. You will be automatically assessed for this, based on your Student Finance finance assessment - you just need to make sure you apply for a financial assessment in the academic year in which your residence abroad will take place.

RWS Brode Scholarship You may be eligible for this scholarship if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • Your qualifications were achieved at a state-funded school in the UK
  • your total household income does not exceed £60K (as verified by the Student Loan Company)
  • You achieve high marks in your A-levels (or equivalent qualifications), usually AAB or above
  • You apply to (and remain on) either a single honours Language programme, or a dual-language programme

Awards will be made according to a sliding scale, benefitting those who have the achieved the highest marks, whilst being from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.  Again, you will be automatically assessed for this, after you have registered on your degree programme. You simply need to make sure you allow the University access to your records when applying for your Student Loan (we cannot otherwise assess your eligibility).

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