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BA German and Japanese / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

BA German and Japanese 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 study Japanese throughout the course. The core language teaching will enable you to develop various linguistic skills including speaking and writing accurately, understanding and analysing audio, video and written materials, using different registers, speaking to a group with confidence, and translating with appropriate sensitivity. 

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.

  Japanese

  • You will follow a Japanese Studies curriculum through which you will learn about Japan-related topics in historical, linguistic, cultural, religious and other contexts, drawing on the wide range of research carried out by staff in Japanese Studies.
  • The course centres on a core framework in Year 1 but some choice of modules from Year 2 onwards will enable you to focus on particular areas of interest in the study of Japan and East Asia.
  • Japanese Studies at Manchester is taught by a diverse team of academic specialists in the field.
  • The course gives you the opportunity to build on existing knowledge of either language, and to study one as a beginner.

Aims

  • Provide you with 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.
  • Give you the core Japanese language teaching you need to develop various linguistic skills including speaking and writing accurately, understanding and analysing audio, video and written materials, using different registers, speaking to a group with confidence, and translating with appropriate sensitivity.

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.

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.

Applicants should be aware that learning Japanese is very intensive and that a great deal of time is required for this throughout the course (extending through the summer period between Years 1 and 2, particularly for beginners).

The first few weeks may be particularly intensive for those who have not encountered Japanese script, and we strongly advise all applicants to ensure that they have learned at least the hiragana script prior to Week 1 of teaching; guidance on materials to help with this can be obtained from language tutors.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

Japanese

  • The Year 1 language courses include an Independent Language Learning Programme for post-beginners, through which you build up a portfolio of independent work by making linguistic notes on, for example, Japanese videos, satellite TV, or newspapers. This enables you to develop not only your linguistic expertise, but also your skills in independent learning - a vital requirement in today's knowledge-based society.
  • The intensive language teaching programme puts a heavy emphasis on thoroughly covering core language structures to provide secure foundations for progression to higher levels in subsequent years.
  • Students take core courses (with an external option for single honours) introducing them to academic skills and providing essential knowledge of history and society.

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
Introduction to Japanese Studies JAPA10030 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 1 JAPA51011 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 2 JAPA51022 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 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 from either discipline or maintain equal weighting.

German

  • Year 2's 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.

Japanese

  • The Japanese language courses in Year 2 continue to build competence and the Independent Language Learning Portfolio and learning partnerships remain central to this process.
  • In addition students develop their studies of Japan via a choice of courses in areas such as Japanese history, religion, society and culture, and begin to prepare for residence 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
Japanese Language 3 JAPA51031 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 4 JAPA51042 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 Mandatory
The German Language Today GERM20221 20 Optional
Translating New Writing GERM20481 20 Optional
German Long Essay GERM20802 20 Optional
Modern and Contemporary Japan: Social Dynamics JAPA20121 20 Optional
Core Themes in Animated Film and Visual Culture of Postwar Japan JAPA20131 20 Optional
Religion in Japan JAPA20212 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 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 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.

Japanese

  • Students will select from various Japanese modules in religion, historical, cultural and social science areas.
  • The language teaching programme continues to develop skills such as reading and writing Japanese, and includes work on interpreting and on translation as practical skills.
  • 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.

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
Japanese Language 6 JAPA51060 20 Mandatory
Japanese Language 7 JAPA51071 20 Mandatory
Dissertation in German Studies GERM30000 40 Optional
Screening the Holocaust GERM30481 20 Optional
New German Identities: Turkish-German Culture GERM30632 20 Optional
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30722 20 Optional
Bodies, Sex and Gender in Japan JAPA33071 20 Optional
Buddhism in Japan JAPA33082 20 Optional
Japanese Language 5 JAPA51050 20 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