BA French and German

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
German Long Essay

Course unit fact file
Unit code GERM20802
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit gives students the freedom to formulate and investigate an individual research topic within a range of areas not covered by taught course units currently offered at L2. The range of available research areas will vary from year to year; however, they will typically include aspects of German history, society, thought, language, literature and culture from the 19th-21st centuries. Under the supervision of an appropriate member of staff in German Studies, students undertake guided reading; the formulation of an appropriate research question and preliminary bibliography; the delivery of a short oral presentation on their research; and the writing and submission of a 4,000-word essay. 


This course unit is open to Final Year students in German, but may not be taken alongside GERM30000: Dissertation.

Medium of language 

English. However, students will be expected to draw upon some sources in German as appropriate to their research topic and level of study. 


  • to provide students with an opportunity to investigate and write in depth on an aspect of German Studies outside the range of taught courses offered at L2; 
  • to build on and develop independent study, research and critical thinking skills; 
  • to build on and develop proficiency in presenting sophisticated arguments orally and in writing; 
  • to prepare students to undertake a dissertation at L3, if they so choose. 

Knowledge and understanding

This will vary according to the topic chosen. By the end of this course unit the successful student will have demonstrated: 

• Independence in choosing a research area and formulating a suitable research topic based on their particular interests; 

• Resourcefulness, including the ability to use electronic resources as appropriate, in researching that topic; 

• Self-confidence in presenting their topic orally to an interested non-specialist audience; 
• Intellectual and organisational skills requisite to the production of an extended piece of written work. 


Intellectual skills

• Identifying a research topic; 

• Developing a suitable approach to researching it; 

• Analysing primary source material; 

• Evaluating and organising secondary source material; 

• Presenting a cogent argument. 


Practical skills

•Researching a problem; 

•Working with an experienced member of staff to develop a solution to the problem; 

• Presenting a cogent argument orally and in writing. 


Transferable skills and personal qualities

All of the intellectual and practical skills listed above are also transferable skills.

Employability skills

All of the intellectual and practical skills listed above are also employability skills.

Assessment methods

Assessment task  

Formative or Summative 

Weighting within unit (if summative) 

Research Question and Preliminary Bibliography (due in Week 5) 



Oral Presentation (due in Week  8-9)



Essay (due in Week 11) 




Resit Assessment

Assessment task  


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Individual oral feedback in supervision meetings


Individual written feedback on summative assessment tasks

Formative and Summative


Recommended reading

Recommended readings will depend on the research area chosen. Students will receive a list of recommended readings appropriate to their research area at the beginning of the semester.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 194

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sebastian Truskolaski Unit coordinator

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