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BA English Literature and German / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

BA English Literature and German will enable you to explore a wide range of texts dating from a variety of periods.

You will also develop a firm 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.

English Literature

  • You will explore more than 1,000 years of literature and culture: from medieval romance to the postcolonial and postmodern.
  • You can specialise in English Literature, American, Irish and post-colonial literatures, cultural theory, creative writing and film.
  • You will engage with a range of literary/non-literary genres including film, music and texts, from Anglo-Saxon times to the present.
  • Benefit from our research activity in English and American Studies, with more than 12 active research groups ranging from Anglo Saxon literature to 21 st century writing and film.
  • Enjoy creative writing course unit options in your second and third years of study.

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.
  • 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.
 

Special features

Study abroad

Your year abroad will offer the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of life in a German-speaking country, and further develop your language skills.

Attend literary events

Manchester Literature Festival holds literary events across Manchester throughout the year, many in partnership with the University.

The Centre for New Writing also hosts a regular public event series, Literature Live, which brings contemporary novelists and poets to The University to read and engage in conversation.

Connect with like-minded people

You can get to know your fellow students outside of your course by joining the English Society or volunteering to work on the student-run Sonder Magazine. Learn more about our  English Literature and Creative Writing societies .

You can also join the very active German Society, which organises film nights, plays, trips and other types of cultural activities. Learn more about our Modern Languages and Cultures societies .

Teaching and learning

You will be taught mainly through lecture and tutor-led sessions. Tutorials will give you the opportunity to consider the same texts and topics as the lectures, but with a different approach. Tutorial groups usually meet at least once a week, and numbers are kept as low as possible so that you can get to know one another and share your ideas.

Other course units (mainly those in your final year) are taught through a weekly seminar led by a specialist member of staff.

For some course units, you will join in group work and other forms of collaborative learning. You'll also have access to our virtual learning environment, Blackboard and other digital resources to support your learning.

You will spend approximately 12 hours a week in formal study sessions. For every hour spent at University, you will be expected to complete a further two to three 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.

A significant part of your study time will be spent reading, taking notes, preparing presentations and writing essays (which examine particular aspects of a subject in greater depth).

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed using a variety of formats, including:

  • written examinations;
  • coursework essays;
  • research reports;
  • practical tests;
  • learning logs;
  • web contributions;
  • oral presentations;
  • final-year thesis.

Your second-year work counts toward 33% of your final degree result. Your third-year work accounts for the remaining 67%.

Course content for year 1

You will study 60 credits from each discipline in your first year. 

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 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.

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
Reading Literature ENGL10021 20 Mandatory
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
Mapping the Medieval ENGL10051 20 Optional
Theory and Text ENGL10062 20 Optional
Literature and History ENGL10072 20 Optional
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 can study up to two-thirds of your credits on either side of your studies. 

German  

You will build on the grounding in German¿already established in Year 1. This year's core language course¿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.

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
American Literature and Social Criticism, 1900-Present AMER20481 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL20002 20 Optional
Chaucer: Texts, Contexts, Conflicts ENGL20231 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and the Body: Theories and Histories ENGL20482 20 Optional
Writing, Identity and Nation ENGL20491 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL20901 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL20902 20 Optional
Medieval Metamorphoses ENGL21022 20 Optional
Renaissance Literature ENGL21151 20 Optional
Old English: Writing the Unreadable Past ENGL21161 20 Optional
Satire and the Novel: English Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century ENGL21182 20 Optional
Modernism ENGL21192 20 Optional
Romanticism (1776-1832) ENGL21521 20 Optional
The German Language Today GERM20221 20 Optional
Translating New Writing GERM20481 20 Optional
German Long Essay GERM20802 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You will spend your third year working or¿ studying abroad  under approved conditions.

Course units for year 3

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
Climate Change & Culture Wars AMER30572 20 Optional
Progressivism in the United States AMER30581 20 Optional
Beat Writing AMER30792 20 Optional
Long Essay ENGL30002 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL30121 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL30122 20 Optional
Narrative Theory and Victorian Fiction ENGL30171 20 Optional
Culture and Conflict: Neoliberalism and Cultural Production ENGL30261 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL30901 20 Optional
Irish Fiction Since 1990 ENGL30942 20 Optional
Kipling, Forster and India ENGL31112 20 Optional
Radical Turns: Culture and Politics in the 1930s ENGL31141 20 Optional
Revenge Tragedy: Wild Justice on the English Renaissance Stage ENGL31762 20 Optional
Creative Writing Screenwriting ENGL31951 20 Optional
Gendered Experiments: Women's Innovative Writing in the Twentieth Century ENGL33061 20 Optional
Sex, Disease and the Body: 1660-1800 ENGL33082 20 Optional
Imagining the Early Modern: From Henry V to Game of Thrones ENGL34011 20 Optional
Telling Tales: Verse and Narrative from Chaucer to Shakespeare ENGL34042 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction ENGL34052 20 Optional
Romantic Venice ENGL34071 20 Optional
Vital Matters: Medieval Ecologies ENGL34111 20 Optional
Literary and Sexual Experimentalism Between the Wars ENGL34141 20 Optional
Contemporary South Asian Literatures ENGL34151 20 Optional
Literary Landscapes ENGL34162 20 Optional
World Literature and Climate Crisis ENGL34212 20 Optional
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
Displaying 10 of 30 course units for year 3

Course content for year 4

Students can take up to two-thirds of their units in either business and management or language and cultural studies. 

German

You resume your language¿studies in Manchester with a core language course and choose from a wide range of specialised 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 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
Climate Change & Culture Wars AMER30572 20 Optional
Progressivism in the United States AMER30581 20 Optional
Beat Writing AMER30792 20 Optional
Long Essay ENGL30002 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL30121 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Fiction ENGL30122 20 Optional
Narrative Theory and Victorian Fiction ENGL30171 20 Optional
Culture and Conflict: Neoliberalism and Cultural Production ENGL30261 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Poetry ENGL30901 20 Optional
Irish Fiction Since 1990 ENGL30942 20 Optional
Kipling, Forster and India ENGL31112 20 Optional
Radical Turns: Culture and Politics in the 1930s ENGL31141 20 Optional
Revenge Tragedy: Wild Justice on the English Renaissance Stage ENGL31762 20 Optional
Creative Writing Screenwriting ENGL31951 20 Optional
Gendered Experiments: Women's Innovative Writing in the Twentieth Century ENGL33061 20 Optional
Sex, Disease and the Body: 1660-1800 ENGL33082 20 Optional
Imagining the Early Modern: From Henry V to Game of Thrones ENGL34011 20 Optional
Telling Tales: Verse and Narrative from Chaucer to Shakespeare ENGL34042 20 Optional
Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction ENGL34052 20 Optional
Romantic Venice ENGL34071 20 Optional
Vital Matters: Medieval Ecologies ENGL34111 20 Optional
Literary and Sexual Experimentalism Between the Wars ENGL34141 20 Optional
Contemporary South Asian Literatures ENGL34151 20 Optional
Literary Landscapes ENGL34162 20 Optional
World Literature and Climate Crisis ENGL34212 20 Optional
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
Displaying 10 of 30 course units for year 4

Facilities

The John Rylands Library

Home to one of the world's richest and most unique collections of manuscripts, maps, works of art and objects.

You'll have access to the library's impressive special collections, including papyri, early printed books, key archives such as the Women's Suffrage Movement archive and Shakespeare's first folio.

The Centre for New Writing

The University is home to a major hub for new writing excellence and award-winning teaching staff, including Granta Best Young British Novelist Kamila Shamsie and Jeanette Winterson CBE.

The Centre also hosts Literature Live - a public event series which brings contemporary novelists and poets to the University to showcase their work.

The University of Manchester Library

One of only five National Research Libraries; you'll have access to our internationally renowned medieval, Victorian and American literary collections, including the Walt Whitman Collection and the Upton Sinclair Collection.

As well as making use of the wider University library network, you will have access to the University Language Centre , a modern open learning facility where you can study independently and make use of a library and audio-visual resources. There are also language laboratories and multimedia facilities.

You'll also have access to other cultural assets on campus, including the award-winning  Whitworth Art Gallery  and Manchester Museum .

Find out more on the Facilities pages for English Literature and Modern Languages and Cultures .

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