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BA German Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

BA German Studies is open to complete German language beginners (ab initio) and post-A-level standard German speakers.

The language element of this course is 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 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, 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.

You will benefit from our strong links with the Goethe Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum, which sponsor a varied programme of cultural events.

Aims

 BA German Studies aims to:
  • Provide you with a comprehensive grounding in the German language.
  • Deepen your understanding of German culture, linguistics, history and literature.
  • Equip you with the skills and expertise needed to thrive in a German-speaking environment.

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 Francaise - 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.

You can learn more about colloquialisms in language through native speakers and take part in discussion groups and socials.

Some of our societies also coordinate trips abroad to language-specific destinations.

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 in the 'Course details' tab for more information.

Course content for year 1

In Year 1 you will build a solid foundation in 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 unit 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.

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
German Study Project GERM10340 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

Course content for year 2

In Year 2, the core language course unit 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 course units 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 the German language today.

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
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20261 20 Mandatory
German Long Essay GERM20802 20 Mandatory
German Language 3 GERM51030 20 Mandatory
German Language 4 GERM51040 20 Mandatory
The German Language Today GERM20221 20 Optional
Translating New Writing GERM20481 20 Optional
German Language 4 GERM51040 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

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

Course content for year 4

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 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.

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
Dissertation in German Studies GERM30000 40 Optional
German Dialects GERM30341 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30482 20 Optional
New German Identities: Turkish-German Culture GERM30632 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30722 20 Optional
An Introduction to TESOL - Part 1 ULTD20011 10 Optional
An Introduction to TESOL Part 2 ULTD20022 10 Optional

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