BA Politics and German / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

The BA Politics and German course will enable you to explore world politics and gain an intercultural perspective that is at a premium in today's context of globalised studies and career paths.

Delivered jointly by the School of Social Sciences and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, this course offers flexibility through a combination of core and optional politics course units and units in your chosen language and culture.

Language study offers more than just language fluency. You'll explore the culture, society, history, politics and literature of German-speaking countries, helping you develop intercultural awareness and communication skills, both highly valued by employers.

You'll benefit from excellent teaching, student support and cutting-edge study facilities, as well as the vibrancy and cultural diversity of Manchester itself, Western Europe's most multilingual city.

Studying abroad at partner universities and in professional environments in a German-speaking country gives you an unforgettable and invaluable experience.

Aims

  • Develop strong analytical skills and understanding of key areas of global politics, including European/international politics, international relations, global security and international development.
  • Develop the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to access and engage fully with political, historical and cultural issues in your chosen language.
  • Offer an intercultural perspective on your studies and future career, facilitated by the possibility of studying a second language - either as a beginner or at a more advanced level.

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;
  • Manchester China Institute - promoting mutual understanding in UK-China relations through research, teaching, and activities;
  • 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

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

In Year 1 you will choose two from the following three courses as your core Politics units (40 credits):
  • Introduction to Comparative Politics;
  • Introduction to International Politics;
  • Introduction to Political Theory.

Sample optional units include (20 credits):

  • Introduction to Political Theory;
  • Politics of the Global Economy;
  • Power and the State;
  • Making Sense of Politics.

You will also study an additional 60-80 credits of 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
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10201 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10202 20 Mandatory
Introduction to International Politics POLI10601 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Mandatory
Introduction to German Linguistics GERM10040 20 Optional
Revolution and Reaction in German Culture GERM10350 20 Optional
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10202 20 Optional
Making Sense of Politics POLI10301 20 Optional
British Politics: Power and the State POLI10401 20 Optional
Politics of the Global Economy POLI10502 20 Optional
Introduction to International Politics POLI10601 20 Optional
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

In Year 2 you will choose from a selection of Politics units (40-60 credits), including:
  • Questions about International Politics;
  • The Politics of Globalisation;
  • The Politics of Development;
  • Ideals of Social Justice;
  • The Politics of (In)Security;
  • Challenges for Democratic Politics;
  • What is Europe?;
  • Environment Politics;
  • Chinese Politics Today;
  • The Politics of Policy Making.

You will also study an additional 60-80 credits of 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 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
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
Politics by Numbers POLI20311 20 Optional
The Politics of (in)Security POLI20332 20 Optional
Questions About International Politics POLI20521 20 Optional
Politics & Society in Britain Since 1940: From Blitz to Brexit POLI20531 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
The Politics of Globalisation POLI20711 20 Optional
The Politics of Development POLI20722 20 Optional
Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective POLI20742 20 Optional
The Politics of Policy Making POLI20802 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional
How to Conduct Politics Research POLI20902 20 Optional
Injustice and Resistance POLI20961 20 Optional
Environmental Politics POLI20982 20 Optional
Comparative West European Politics POLI21001 20 Optional
Southern European Politics POLI21012 20 Optional
Asia-Pacific Security POLI21041 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 21 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Year 3 is spent abroad under approved conditions.

Course content for year 4

In Year 4 you will choose from a selection of Politics units (40-60 credits) including:
  • Politics of the European Union;
  • Africa and Global Politics;
  • Terrorism and Political Violence;
  • Comparative Protest Politics;
  • War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia;
  • Borders, Identities and Citizenship;
  • News Media and International Crisis;
  • Peace Building;
  • Gender, Sex and Politics;
  • Children, Family and Social Justice.

You will also study an additional 60-80 credits of 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
The Politics of the European Union POLI30032 20 Optional
The Politics and Philosophy of Nationalism POLI30191 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Politics POLI30231 20 Optional
Elections and Voters in Britain POLI30242 20 Optional
Liberalism and Empire POLI30252 20 Optional
Dimensions of Peace and Conflict: Disciplinary and Regional Approaches POLI30262 20 Optional
Political Morality and Dirty Hands POLI30272 20 Optional
Chinese Politics POLI30281 20 Optional
Public Policy Problems POLI30291 20 Optional
Dissertation A POLI30300 40 Optional
Ethical Issues in World Politics POLI30321 20 Optional
Using Nudge to Change Lives POLI30331 20 Optional
Dissertation B POLI30380 20 Optional
Power, Space & Popular Culture: Thinking Critically About Geopolitics POLI30461 20 Optional
Introduction to International Political Economy POLI30721 20 Optional
Gender, War & Militarism POLI30791 20 Optional
Africa & Global Politics POLI30862 20 Optional
Comparative Protest Politics -Voting with their Feet POLI30922 20 Optional
War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia POLI31011 20 Optional
Children, Family and Social Justice POLI31032 20 Optional
Understanding Political Choice in Britain POLI31041 20 Optional
American Politics: Why Do They Do That? POLI31061 20 Optional
Global Capitalism, Crisis and Revolt POLI31091 20 Optional
Contemporary Parliamentary Studies and the British Political Tradition POLI32041 20 Optional
Postcolonial Politics POLI32061 20 Optional
The International Political Economy of Trade POLI32082 20 Optional
Sex, Bodies and Money: Feminist, Queer and Intersectional Political Economy POLI32092 20 Optional
United States Foreign Policy: Dominance and Decline in a Complex World POLI32132 20 Optional
United Nations Security Council in Practice POLI32151 20 Optional
Race, Ethnicity, Migration POLI32162 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 35 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 more than 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 at facilities

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