BA German and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

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

You will also develop a thorough grounding in the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world as well as the opportunity to learn Catalan. 

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.

  Spanish

  • Alongside your study of Spanish language, you will explore a range of options in visual culture (including film), area-specific history, linguistics and literature.
  • The breadth of expertise among staff across Spanish and Latin American Studies means an unusually rich and broad curriculum.
  • 80% of our staff are first-language Spanish-speakers, and language courses are taught by native speakers with specific training.
  • You will also benefit from us working closely with the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and we maintain strong links with the Instituto Cervantes located here in Manchester.

Aims

  • Provide a comprehensive grounding in the German language, and the opportunity to explore German culture, linguistics, history and literature. You will be equipped with the skills and expertise needed to thrive in a German-speaking environment.
  • Help you develop a thorough grounding in the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world as well as the opportunity to learn Catalan.

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.

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, including the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Student Society and the German 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 both disciplines.

Year 1 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.

In addition, you take a set of other broad-based course units designed to give you an essential grounding in key areas of 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.

German

  • 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.

Spanish

  • In Year 1 you are trained in the modern spoken and written Spanish language through compulsory core course units.
  • You also develop a clear understanding of key developments in the history and culture of Spain and Latin America.

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
Cultures of the Hispanic World SPLA10410 20 Mandatory
Themes in Spanish and Latin American Studies SPLA10420 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 1 SPLA51011 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 2 SPLA51022 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 3 SPLA51030 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.

In the second year of your programme you build on the grounding already established in Year 1. You also continue your programme of monitored self-study to complement your language classes.

German

  • This year's core language course unit 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).
  • 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 film, and German-Turkish and German-Jewish relations.

Spanish

  • You follow a compulsory Spanish language course unit and take optional units in the cultures and histories of the Spanish-speaking world.

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
Spanish Language 4 SPLA51040 20 Mandatory
Spanish Language 5 SPLA51050 20 Mandatory
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20261 20 Optional
German Long Essay GERM20802 20 Optional
Spectres of Fascism: Literature, Film and Visual Arts in Germany and Austria since 1945 GERM20901 20 Optional
Visual Culture in Modern Spain: Film, Painting and Photography SPLA20062 20 Optional
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Writing Women in the Spanish Golden Age SPLA20161 20 Optional
History of Latin America SPLA20362 20 Optional
Spanish Linguistics SPLA20772 20 Optional
Modern Latin American Literature SPLA20881 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 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 choose to 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 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, which students find an especially rewarding experience.

Spanish

  • Continue your studies of the Spanish language and perfect your writing and oral skills.
  • Choose from a wide range of course unit options in film, history and literature.

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
Spanish Language 6 SPLA51060 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Interpreting: Context, Skills and Modes ELAN30242 20 Optional
Dissertation in German Studies GERM30000 40 Optional
German Dialects GERM30341 20 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30482 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30722 20 Optional
Dissertation in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies SPLA30000 40 Optional
Social Issues in Portuguese and Spanish Film SPLA30642 20 Optional
Modern Spanish Music: A Cultural History SPLA31082 20 Optional
The Politics of Business in Latin America SPLA31091 20 Optional
The Supernatural in Latin American Literature and Film SPLA31132 20 Optional
Memory and Culture in Post-Franco Spain SPLA31141 20 Optional
History of the Spanish Atlantic World: Empire, Trade, War SPLA31151 20 Optional
Language, Art and Empire in the Early Modern Hispanic World SPLA31162 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 1 SPLA53010 20 Optional
Catalan Language & Culture 2 SPLA53020 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 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