You will normally divide your time equally between German and politics, taking core modules in both subjects along with options from a wide range of module which will allow you to tailor your degree to your own interests.
You will take an intensive beginners' course in German to enable you to capitalise on your proven language-learning ability and develop German to degree level. A wide choice of modules in German literature, linguistics, history, politics, culture and film will enable you to tailor the course to match your interests. In politics, you will take a range of options from three core areas: political theory, comparative politics and international relations.
In German, you will begin a structured course in the language to take you from beginners' to advanced level and will also be introduced to aspects of German culture and history. In politics, you take modules in contemporary political theory, comparative politics and international relations. You will learn to apply and gain a thorough understanding of the history of political ideas.
Your German language skills will be consolidated to prepare you for the year abroad. You will take modules in German literature, history, politics and society. Modules in linguistics, media and film are also normally available. In politics, you will take a range of options from three designated 'core' areas: political theory, comparative politics and international relations.
Spent in Germany or Austria as a language assistant in a school, on an approved course of study or on a work placement.
You will develop your command of German to a high level and use it in increasingly sophisticated contexts. You will also study optional modules drawn from the areas of literature, history, politics, society, media and linguistics. In German, you may also choose to write a dissertation. In politics, you may elect to research and write a dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff, and/or take options in political theory, comparative politics and international relations.
See also the School of Politics and International Relations
A levels: ABB, and evidence of language-learning ability
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 100 (no less that 20 in speaking and 19 in each other element)
For details please see the alternative qualifications page
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Typical Year One Modules
Beginners' German Language
This core module is designed to take beginners in German to a level of written and aural comprehension, writing and speaking skills usually comparable to A-level standard. At the end of the module, you will be able to comprehend and respond to written and aural texts over a comprehensive range of current affairs, cultural and everyday topics and engage in everyday social conversation. In this module you will have four 1-hour seminars and one 1-hour lecture each week.
Political Ideas in Revolution
You will be introduced to some of the founding fathers of political thought such as Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli and Hobbes. The evolution of political thought such as the concepts of liberty, equality and the Enlightenment will also be examined. You will consider their impact on modern political thought and practice, bringing together key political ideas with historical development. In this module you will have two hours of lectures per week.
Power and the State
In this module you will compare and contrast the decision-making structures of modern states by examining different topics such as Democratic and Authoritarian Rule, Political Culture and Legal and Constitutional Frameworks. You will also be introduced to the method of comparative politics and theory testing. There is a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops on different weeks totalling around three hours per week throughout the semester.
Problems in Global Politics
For this module, joint honours students will explore a range of issues in contemporary international relations. It focuses on the problems of security and insecurity since the end of the Cold War. You will learn to develop critical and reflective thinking using a variety of approaches and methods related to the study of global politics. You will have three hours of lectures, seminars and workshops per week studying this module.
Introduction to German Studies
This year-long module provides an introduction to the study of German and is compulsory for most students of German. It covers the main fields of German Studies: literature, culture, history, linguistics, media and film. You will be introduced to the study skills required for academic study: critical and analytic skills, reading skills, presentation skills and writing skills. For this module you will have one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Reading German Literature 1
In this module you will be introduced to the critical reading and textual analysis of German narrative literature and poetry from the late 18th century to today. You will study two mid-length narrative texts and a selection of poems which represent key phases and aspects of German literary and cultural development from ‘Goethezeit’ to the post-1945 and contemporary period. In analysing and discussing a range of texts and authors, you will be introduced to key concepts and techniques of textual analysis, to the structures of narrative and poetry, and to selected themes and developments in literary criticism. The module combines one 1-hour introductory lecture per week with in-depth study in small tutorial groups (one 1-hour tutorial per week), in addition you will undertake four hours of private study per week.
Reading German Culture
In this module you will learn to analyse short literary and popular texts (including film) which portray life in the metropolis Berlin and represent key phases in German historical and social development in the 20th Century: the 1920s, the immediate post war-period, post-unification Berlin. Exploring cultural representations of urban life the course will address key questions such as: How do textual perceptions of the ‘big’ city reflect attitudes towards relationships conditioned by class, gender and race? For this module you will have one 2-hour seminars each week in addition to four hours of private study.
Typical Year Two Modules
German Language (Post-Beginners')
This module will consolidate your proficiency in the four skill areas of the German language (writing, reading, listening and speaking) and develop these further. You will work with texts from newspapers and other sources, which will be used for discussion of translation issues and grammatical structures, linguistic analysis and textual comparison, oral presentation, and essay writing. The module will use texts that cover a broad range of general, journalistic and academic topics, as well as those that will help to prepare students for living, working and studying during their year abroad. You will have one 1-hour lecture and four 1-hour tutorials per week in addition to private study.
New German Cinema
Between the mid 1960s and the mid 1980s West German cinema rose to new national and international success due to the work of a number of young directors who were commonly perceived as representatives of a "New" or "Young" German cinema. This module will analyse selected films from this period. You will be introduced to the individual styles of different directors (Fassbinder, Herzog, Wenders) as well as to their common thematic preoccupations. The analysis will aim to situate the "New German Cinema" within the contexts both of the development of the film industry and of contemporary social and political developments in West Germany. You will have one 2-hour seminar and one 1-hour workshop per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Reason and Its Rivals from Kant to Freud
This module discusses a selection of theoretical approaches to modernity. You will start by studying Immanuel Kant’s assertion of individual reason as the founding stone of enlightened social organisation. You will then explore interrogations of that position in the work of Marx and Engels, Nietzsche and Freud. You will have one 2-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Media in Germany
The aim of this module is to explore the history of print and broadcasting in Germany from 1933 to the 1990s, and investigate the relationship between media content and culture. You will develop a foundation in the key concepts of media studies and gain insight into the connection of media and ideology. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
The Fantastic in German Literature
The module examines a selection of literary texts in German which focus on the uncanny, the strange, the supernatural and above all the inexplicable, whilst also illustrating the development of German literature from Romanticism to Modernism. You will explore how authors make use of the literary devices of the unusual, seemingly supernatural or plain disturbing, look at the relationship between author, narrator and reader, and at whether the literary Fantastic changes from the early nineteenth century to the early twentieth. You will study literary texts featuring the strange, uncanny and inexplicable by authors such as E. T. A. Hoffman, Jeremias Gotthelf, Theodor Storm and Franz Kafka, authors writing at different times and from different geographical, intellectual and literary perspectives. A wide range of literary movements and aspects (of culture, literary technique - especially narrative perspective - and belief) will thereby be addressed, as will different approaches to reading and analysing literature. You will have one 2-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Democracy and Its Critics
You will examine the concept and organisation of democracy using primary sources to investigate historic and contemporary debates. You’ll consider the principles and arguments of democracy and its critics as well as the future for democracy in the context of accelerating globalisation. A variety of approaches and methods will be used to help you develop your skills for the study of political theory. You will have three hours a week of lectures and seminars studying this module.
Civilisation and Barbarism
You will explore some of the major themes of international relations using a variety of different sources including novels, essays, manifestos, treatise and film. Power and Order is the underlying theme linking together areas such as imperialism, emancipation, human rights, terrorism and torture among others. The interconnectivity between all of these areas and the sources will help you appreciate texts from the breadth of your studies. There will be three hours a week of seminars and lectures for this module.
Year Three: You will spend this year in Germany or Austria as a language assistant in a school, on an approved course of study or on a work placement. For more information, see the Department of German Studies' Study Abroad Page.
Typical Year Four Modules
German Essay and Oral
This core module aims to consolidate the high level of language skills you will have acquired during the time spent in a German-speaking country in Year Three. You will further refine your advanced proficiency in written and spoken German, usually with support from a native speaker. Contemporary texts and discussions of up-to-date topics are a key feature of this module and you will be encouraged to build on the knowledge and skills acquired during your year abroad. For this module you will have two 1-hour seminars each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Translation from German
This core module will enhance your practical command and effective understanding of written and German and English on the basis of your progress during your year abroad, through translation of a variety of German texts and passages. This module will develop your translation skills towards professional standards for translation into English. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Politics and Drugs
This module examines the implications of narcotics abuse for the political system from both a national and international perspective. Contemporary British drug policy will be the explored and questions raised by drug control policy will be discussed. You will consider the production, consumption and trade of drugs as a global problem. You will spend around three hours a week in lectures and seminars studying for this module.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
This module introduces a range of debates concerning weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to give you an appreciation of the importance of the issue. The reasons for states to develop or acquire WMDs will be explored through core concepts such as deterrence, the security dilemma and organisation theory. You will discuss whether WMDs are good or bad and if Britain should build a missile defence system among other topics. Three hours a week are spent in lectures and seminars studying for this module.
Culture and Society in the Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic (1919-1933) was one of the most fascinating and culturally productive periods of German history, but it was equally ridden by crises and violent conflicts. This module aims to introduce central issues in the literary and social developments of Weimar Germany. You will study a wide range of materials (literary texts, film, aesthetic and political programmes) to analyse key features of the period. Topics will include the impact of the Great War, developments in the press and the cinema, political confrontations, cabaret, and unemployment. You will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Recent Women's Writing
In this module you will explore a number of novels and stories written since 1960 by German-speaking women writers. You will also study selected texts on the cultural, political and social contexts of the rise of the second wave feminism in the 1970’s, the changing position of women in the FRG, GDR and Austria, and the increasing awareness of ethnic pluralities. You will compare texts and contexts and explore a variety of reading strategies developed in feminist criticism. For this module you will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar each week in
addition to four hours of private study.
Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors
In this module you will take part in the nationwide Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme which works with universities to provide academic modules that enable students to go into local schools to act as inspiring role-models. Students split their time between the university-based seminar and their allocated school, where they are placed in the language department as a language assistant. Students are required to design and deliver a teaching project aimed at improving pupil understanding of selected aspects of the German language and culture. Students will be supported by the module convenor and the education specialist on campus, and by their contact teacher at their school. Typically there are fortnightly seminars of 2-hours at university and 7 half-days spent in school. Students can choose to be ambassadors for German or French, Spanish, and Russian. Placements are predominantly in secondary schools, with a limited number in primary schools.
You will have a broad understanding of political theories and ideas, and the ability to think independently and to develop a reasoned argument. You will acquire a high level of expertise in spoken and written German, and your international experience will demonstrate to employers that you are independent, adaptable and able to cope in challenging situations.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2012, 92.3% of first-degree graduates in the Department of German Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,365 with the highest being £30,000.*
In 2012, 91.3% of first-degree graduates in the School of Politics and International Relations who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,368 with the highest being £60,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.
Scholarships and bursaries
The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.
There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.
To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.
* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.
The International Office provides support and advice on financing your degree and offers a number of scholarships to help you with tuition fees and living costs.