BA German and Portuguese / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

BA German and Portuguese provides a comprehensive grounding in the language, culture, linguistics, history and literature of the German and Portuguese-speaking worlds.

You will be equipped with the skills and expertise needed to thrive in both 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 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.
  • Enjoy strong links with the Goethe Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum, which sponsor a varied programme of cultural events.

  Portuguese

  • You will study both European and Brazilian Portuguese.
  • You will also explore a range of options in areas such as contemporary culture, colonialism, literature and cinema from Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique and Angola.
  • You will be taught by both Portuguese and Brazilian language teachers with specific training and, as a result, both your written and your oral work will be enhanced by constant exposure to accurate, idiomatic, and documented language.
  • Cultural content courses are led by academic staff with broad expertise and who publish widely in their field.
  • You will benefit from outstanding resources, including world-leading collections on Lusophone Africa within the library, and access to hundreds of films and texts on Portugal and Brazil.
  • 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 you with a comprehensive grounding in the language, culture, linguistics, history and literature of the German and Portuguese-speaking worlds.
  • Equip you with the skills and expertise needed to thrive in both environments.

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

Join the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Student Society and the very active German Society, and enjoy a wide range of cultural events and activities.

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

You will study 60 credits from each discipline.

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 is in English, so 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.

Portuguese

  • Students take a compulsory Portuguese language component - either for beginners, or for those with an A-level (or equivalent).
  • Students also explore the Portuguese-speaking cultures and colonial history of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola and Goa.

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 the Cultures of the Lusophone World SPLA10130 20 Mandatory
Study Project (Portuguese) SPLA10600 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 1 SPLA52010 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 2 SPLA52020 20 Mandatory
Portuguese Language 3 SPLA52030 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 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).
  • 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 film, and German-Turkish and German-Jewish relations.

Portuguese

  • You follow a compulsory Portuguese language course unit, building on your skills in the written and spoken language.
  • You take optional units in the cultures and literatures of Portugal and Brazil, including Brazilian literature and modern Portuguese cinema.

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
Portuguese Language 3 SPLA52030 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
Empire and its Aftermath: The Making of Modern Portugal in Literature, Art and Film SPLA20141 20 Optional
Brazilian Literature SPLA20832 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study is  spent 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
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Mandatory
Dissertation in German Studies GERM30000 40 Optional
German Dialects GERM30341 20 Optional
New German Identities: Turkish-German Culture GERM30632 20 Optional
German Language 5 GERM51050 20 Optional
Dissertation in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies SPLA30000 40 Optional

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

  • 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.

Portuguese

  • You take a compulsory language component reflecting the Portuguese you were exposed to in year 3.
  • You take optional course units that include the study of the Amazon (travel writing, literature, film, current affairs) and Portuguese cinema.
  • You can choose to research and write a 12,000-word dissertation with one-to-one supervision from an academic member of staff. (You may not do a dissertation in both German AND Portuguese).

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
Portuguese Language 5 SPLA52050 20 Mandatory
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
Reading the Rain Forest: Visions of the Amazon SPLA30801 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