BA Sociology and German / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Sociology and languages are inherently tied. 

No study of society can ignore language, and no study of language can be removed from its specific social context. 

You will be challenged to think about the nature of the social worlds in which we live and about how language and culture build and inform such worlds. 

You will study social life and social change, from the reproduction of inequalities in relation to social categories (such as race, class or gender), to the way that wider cultural contexts shape intimate relationships. 

You will develop advanced language skills and learn about the cultures and histories related to that language. 

In the third year of this four-year course, you will undertake a period of residence abroad, studying or working in a country that speaks your language of study. 

Our aim is to help you develop analytical, investigative and linguistic skills, training you to become independent thinkers and researchers with the confidence to work in both English and another language.

Aims

  • To a coherent curriculum in sociology that is strongly informed by leading contemporary research. 
  • To impart knowledge and understanding in sociological theory and methods allowing them to progress to further study. 
  • To develop advanced communicative skills in German based on a sound understanding of the structures of the language. 
  • To build knowledge and understanding of several contemporary or historical aspects of the cultures or societies of one or more countries where German is spoken.

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 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: 

  • Confucius Institute - a hub for Chinese culture; 
  • Instituto Cervantes - a centre for Spanish culture; 
  • HOME - international and contemporary art, theatre and film; 
  • Alliance Française - 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

Sociology and German is taught through a mixture of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, and language classes. You will be expected to study independently outside the classroom. Assessment varies according to the course units studied but will typically include:
  • written and oral examinations;
  • presentations;
  • coursework (which may include library research, linguistic fieldwork and data collection, or web-based research);
  • and, in your final year, the option of writing a dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

Course content for year 1

Students take a total of 40-60 credits in Sociology.

You will study our core Sociology unit, SOCY10440 Researching Culture & Society. In addition, you will study optional units (total 20-40 credits), such as:

  • SOCY10441 Media, Culture and Society;
  • SOCY10462 Global Social Challenges.

You will also study an additional 60 credits of Modern Language and Culture course units in your modern language subject.

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.

You will take only the language units relevant to your level of language in each year of study.

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
Researching Culture and Society SOCY10440 20 Mandatory
Introduction to German Linguistics GERM10040 20 Optional
Revolution and Reaction in German Culture GERM10350 20 Optional
Inequalities in Contemporary British Society SOCY10401 20 Optional
Contested Foundations of Social Thought SOCY10421 20 Optional
Contemporary Social Thought SOCY10432 20 Optional
Media, Culture & Society SOCY10441 20 Optional
Global Social Challenges SOCY10461 20 Optional
Work, Organisations and Society SOCY10912 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Students take a total of 40-60 credits in Sociology.

You will study one of the following core Sociology units (total 20 credits):

  • SOCY20091 Qualitative Social Research Design & Methods;
  • SOST20012 The Survey Method in Social Research.

In addition, you will study optional units (total 20-40 credits), such as:

  • SOCY20501 Social Thought from the Global South;
  • SOCY20012 Sociology of Popular Music;
  • SOCY20962 Racism and Ethnicity in the UK;
  • SOCY20232 Sustainability, Consumption and Global Responsibilities.

You will also study an additional 60 credits of Modern Language and Culture course units in your modern language subject.

Year 2 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 will 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 Weimar culture, post-1945 German and Austrian culture.

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
Qualitative Research Design & Methods SOCY20091 20 Mandatory
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Mandatory
Weimar Culture? Art, Film and Politics in Germany, 1918-33 GERM20262 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
Sociology of Popular Music SOCY20012 20 Optional
Work, Economy and Society SOCY20031 20 Optional
Education and Society SOCY20052 20 Optional
Qualitative Research Design & Methods SOCY20091 20 Optional
Sustainability, Consumption & Global Responsibilities SOCY20231 20 Optional
New Media SOCY20241 20 Optional
Social Change in China SOCY20282 20 Optional
Self and Society SOCY20402 20 Optional
Social Class and Inequality in Britain SOCY20602 20 Optional
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

In the third year, all students will complete a year studying abroad in a German-speaking country.

Course content for year 4

Students take a total of 40-60 credits in Sociology from course units such as:

  • SOCY30920 Dissertation A (20 credits) or SOCY30930 Dissertation B (40 credits);
  • SOCY30061 Urban Sociology;
  • SOCY30091 Changing Social Attitudes;
  • SOCY30141 Body and Society;
  • SOCY30181 Sociology of Cultural Participation and Cultural Policy;
  • SOCY30191 Material Culture: The Social Life of Things;
  • SOCY30241 A Sense of Inequality;
  • SOCY30042 The Sociology of Human-Animal Relations.

You will also study an additional 60 credits of Modern Language and Culture course units in your modern language subject.

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.

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
Culture and Society in Germany 1871-1918 GERM30722 20 Optional
Sociology of Human Animal Relations SOCY30041 20 Optional
Urban Sociology SOCY30061 20 Optional
Body and Society SOCY30142 20 Optional
Secrets, Lies & Mass Deception SOCY30152 20 Optional
Material Culture: The Social Life of Things SOCY30191 20 Optional
A Sense of Inequality: Everyday Understandings of Inequality SOCY30241 20 Optional
Alternative Economies - Ordinary Economies SOCY30252 20 Optional
Dissertation (20 credits) SOCY30920 20 Optional
Dissertation B (40 credits) SOCY30930 40 Optional
Theory & Method in Demography SOST30012 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units for year 4

Additional fee information

Fees for entry in 2021 have not yet been set. For entry in 2020 the tuition fees were £9,250 per annum for home/EU students, and are expected to increase slightly for 2021 entry.

Facilities

The University of Manchester Library is one of only five National Research Libraries and one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country. It includes: 

  • more than 4 million printed books and manuscripts; 
  • more than 41,000 electronic journals; 
  • 500,000 electronic books; 
  • several hundred databases. 

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is a state-of-the-art study and learning centre in the heart of the Oxford Road campus featuring: 

  • exclusive group learning rooms; 
  • flexible break out and workspaces with multimedia facilities; 
  • 400 fixed workstations with live update availability information so you don't have to wait; 
  • printing, scanning and photocopying; 
  • Wi-Fi access throughout the building, including outdoor café areas; 
  • charging stations to charge laptops, tablets and smart phones; 
  • online and group workshops on library and information literacy, academic and study skills workshops, and career and employability skills clinics. 

The University Language Centre  is home to language resources including: 

  • a new interpreting suite; 
  • purpose-built recording rooms and resources for over 70 languages; 
  • multilingual word processing, language learning software; 
  • 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