BA German Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
German Study Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code GERM10340
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


Running parallel with the Level-1 course units Revolution and Reaction in German Culture and Introduction to German Linguistics, this course will enable students to deepen their appreciation and understanding of German literature and develop their reading skills in German. Through small-group tutorials, individual meetings, and private study, students will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to write commentaries and essays on a wide variety of texts (e.g., short stories, poems, novels and films). The tutorials will focus on a range of tutor-led and student-led activities designed to develop understanding of German literature and methods of analysing and discussing it. 


Available to students studying Single Honors/Major in German.


  • To develop critical thinking, conceptual reasoning and analytical skills 

  • To develop the ability to read and analyse literary texts 

  • To develop the ability to place literary texts in social and political context 

  • To develop a better understanding of the historical and social realities of the German-speaking world 

  • To develop a better understanding of literary texts in German 


Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of canonical German literary texts 

  • write commentaries and essays discussing and analysing German literary texts 

  • place the texts in their historical context 

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • conceive their own commentary and essay topics 

  • demonstrate understanding of German literary language 

  • discuss and analyse German literary texts 

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • use the library, electronic and online resources. 

  • use reporting skills during student-led in-class activities 

  • write commentaries and essays on German literary texts 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On successful completion of course units in German Studies students will have developed their ability to: 

  • manage time, and work to deadlines; 

  • use information and communication technology (ICT); 

  • undertake independent learning and reflect upon their achievements; 

  • assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others; 

  • demonstrate powers of analysis; 

  • display good literacy skills in English and German; 

  • show an awareness of and a responsiveness to the nature and extent of intercultural diversity

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students taking this unit will be able to analyse and evaluate both existing literature on the texts studied and the primary set materials themselves. Above all, committed students will emerge from this course unit with a capacity to think critically, i.e. knowledgeably, rigorously, confidently and independently.
On this unit students are encouraged to respond imaginatively and independently to the questions and ideas raised by existing literature on the topic and the primary corpus of texts studied.
Project management
Students taking this unit will be able to work towards deadlines and to manage their time effectively.
Students on this unit will be required to digest, summarise and present large amounts of information. They are encouraged to enrich their responses and arguments with a wide range of further reading.
Written communication
Students on this unit will develop their ability to write in a way that is lucid, precise and compelling.

Assessment methods

Assessment task  

Formative or Summative 

Weighting within unit (if summative) 

Commentary plan 











Essay plan and bibliography 









Resit Assessment

Assessment task  


Feedback methods

Feedback method  

Formative or Summative 

  • Written and oral feedback on the commentary plan  


  • Written feedback on the commentary 


  • Written and oral feedback on essay plan and bibliography 


  • Written feedback on the essay 


Recommended reading

Set Texts: 


Semester 1: A selection of short stories, poems and films will be made available on Blackboard 


Semester 2: Students will be guided in selecting a suitable text and formulating a research question for discussion in their essay. Relevant materials will be available via the University of Manchester library and in affordable pocket editions. 


Suggested further readings 


Belsey, Catherine, Critical Practice, London: Routledge, 2002 (2nd ed.)    


Chambers, Ellie, and Andrew Northledge, The Arts Good Study Guide (Milton Keynes: Oxford University Press, 1997) 


Cuddon, J. A., The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (any edition) 

Jacobs, Richard, A Beginner’s Guide to Critical Reading: Reading for Students, London: Routledge, 2001 NetLib ebook 

Montgomery, Martin et al, Ways of Reading: Advanced Reading Skills for Students of English Literature, London: Routledge, 2000  


Reardon, Denis, Doing Your Undergraduate Project (London: SAGE, 2004) Bal, Mieke, Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative, London/Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985  


Rimmon-Kenan, Shlomith, Narrative Fiction, London/NY: Methuen, 2002 (2nd edn.) 



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 4
Seminars 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 191

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Matthew Jefferies Unit coordinator

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