BA Politics and German

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
German Language 5

Course unit fact file
Unit code GERM51050
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This core language module consists of the following three elements: 
1) TRANSLATION FROM AND INTO GERMAN (seminar: one hour per week) 
Through its focus on translation skills (English-German and German-English) this element of the module aims to develop students' abilities to write accurate and idiomatic German and their sensitivity to different registers of written German. 
2) SPRACHPRAKTISCHE ÜBUNG (tutorial: one hour per week) 
This element of the module focuses on the development of oral communication. 
3) GRAMMATIK UND AUSDRUCK (seminar: one hour per week) 

This hour aims to improve students' competence in German grammar and their expression in written German including essay writing skills.  


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
German Language 4 GERM51040 Pre-Requisite Compulsory



GERM51040 (for post A-Level) or GERM51030 (for post-beginners). The module is available only as part of a degree programme where German is taken as a named Honours subject



On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: 

- Demonstrate mastery of a large range of grammar topics 

- Demonstrate a high level of competence in translating from German into English, with an excellent understanding of stylistic considerations 

- Demonstrate a good level of competence in translating from English into German, with a high level of understanding of stylistic considerations 

- Understand virtually any speech, TV news and current affairs programmes as well as films 

- Read and analyse articles and reports concerned with contemporary issues 

- Speak with a high degree of fluency and accuracy, and take an active part in discussion covering a large range of contexts, including academic issues 

- Orally present clear descriptions on a considerable range of subjects (including those of an academic nature), and discuss and evaluate conflicting viewpoints, spelling out in detail the advantages and disadvantages of various options 

- Write clear and linguistically sophisticated text (including essays and reports) on a range of subjects, giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view 

By the end of this course unit students will be able to perform at Level C1/C2 of the Common European Framework (CEF). 

Assessment methods

a) written examination at the end of Semester 2, comprising: 


i) Translation from German into English (25%) 


ii) Translation from English into German (25%) 


No dictionaries allowed.


b) invigilated coursework assignment at the end of Semester 1, consisting of an essay in German of 500-600 words (25%). 

No dictionaries allowed.


c) Oral examination at the end of Semester 2, week 12. 


This examination is conducted by lecturing staff in German Studies in collaboration with the external examiners. It consists primarily of a discussion on matters relating to the candidate's studies, although it may range more widely across the candidate's interests and experience of German-speaking countries, their culture, language and/or history (25%). 


A first-class mark in the oral exam leads to the award of a Distinction in the Spoken Language with the degree classification. 

Languages of assessment: German and English 


Feedback methods

Feedback methodFormative or Summative
In-class comments made during discussion regarding the relevance and linguistic quality of student responses and participation. Formative
Written feedback on practice translations and essays   Formative
Face-to-face discussion of any written feedback provided (on request) Formative
Face-to-face feedback on in-class presentations and supporting materials (on request) Formative
Detailed written feedback on invigilated coursework essays, followed by drop-in sessions to discuss the work as well as particular issues raised in the written feedback Formative and Summative
Written feedback on the January essay and exam translation (on request) Formative and Summative
Written feedback on the oral exam (on request), on the basis of the feedback form completed by the markers during the examination ) Formative and Summative
On request and during tutors’ office hours (or by appointment), face-to-face feedback on a range of aspects of an individual’s language competence, with practical advice on more effective learning, translation, writing, speaking and proof-reading techniques Formative

Recommended reading

Set texts:  

Collins German Dictionary, 9th edn. 2019. Glasgow: HarperCollins.  

Durrell, Martin. 2017. Hammer's German Grammar and Usage. 6th edn. Abingdon: Routledge. 

Durrell, Martin, Katrin Kohl and Claudia Kaiser. 2017. Practising German Grammar. 4th edn. Abingdon: Routledge. 

EITHER: Wahrig-Burfeind, Renate (ed.). 2012. WAHRIG Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 3rd edn. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.  

Langenscheidt Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache, Neubearbeitung. 2015. Berlin: Langenscheidt.  
Further reading:  

Durrell, Martin, Katrin Kohl, Claudia Kaiser and Gudrun Loftus. 2015. Essential German Grammar. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge. 

Fernández-Toro, María & Francis R. Jones. 2001. DIY techniques for language learners. London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (CILT) 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2.5
Practical classes & workshops 10
Seminars 44
Tutorials 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 131.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Wiebke Brockhaus-Grand Unit coordinator
Dorit Fellner-Whitgreave Unit coordinator

Additional notes

The course unit is available only as part of a degree programme where German is taken as a named Honours subject

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