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.
In English, you will have a choice of three core modules from the areas of English language, modern English literature, medieval studies and drama. 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.
You must choose three out of these four modules.
Language and Context
This module considers the main forms and functions of English vocabulary, grammar and discourse and explores how they are used in real social and cultural contexts. You will look at how language is used for different purposes and how people use language to reveal and conceal social realities as well other topics surrounding language and context. For this module you will have a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar per week.
Beginnings of English
You wll be introduced to the language, literature and culture of medieval England and study Old and Middle English texts. In this module you’ll familiarise yourself with the knowledge needed for reading and understanding medieval texts. In addition you will be introduced to the basics of grammar and spelling conventions. For this module you will have two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour seminar per week.
This module will introduce some of the core skills necessary for literary studies through focus on specific poetry and prose texts. You will address topics including: close reading, constructing an argument and handling critical material. For this module you will have a combination of lectures and seminars.
Introduction to Drama
For this module you’ll explore the variety of drama in the western dramatic tradition. You will consider some of the following: theatre of ancient Greece, medieval mystery and morality plays, the drama of Shakespeare and the Restoration, and nineteenth century naturalism. For this module you will study selected plays but also explore 20th century interpretations of the texts through use of video extracts. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars.
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.
Hitler and the Third Reich
This module will explore the period of National Socialism in Germany (1933-1945). You will be introduced to an outline of the historical context of this period and critically review the ideology and politics of the time with a focus on society and culture. You will evaluate original sources (in original and in translation) such as posters, speeches, newspapers and films. In addition, theoretical writings on select topics such as propaganda, ‘leader cult’, media, childhood, womanhood and ‘the other;’ will assist in your critical analysis. For this module you will have one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week in addition to four hours of private study.
In English, you will choose from a wide range of options to develop deeper understanding of the issues and critical approaches across at least two areas of the discipline, depending on what areas of literature, language and drama most interest you.
In German, your language studies will be consolidated and developed to prepare you for the year abroad. You will also take modules in literature, history, linguistics, politics and history from a choice of modules in German studies.
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.
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 have one 2-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
German Life Writing
The module examines autobiographies, biographies, memoirs, diaries, interviews, and letters written by well-known authors and by relatively unknown individuals who have lived through key turning points in the 20th Century Germany such as the First World War, The Second World War, the collapse of the GDR, and German Unification. In this module you will consider key themes such as freedom and compulsion, guilt and responsibility, and they will examine individuals’ interpretation of their lives, and how individuals locate themselves in the larger historical narratives. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar each week in addition to four hours of private study.
Introduction to Literary Translation
This module explores theoretical approaches and practical problems in literary translation. You will study different approaches to translating texts and compose a translation of a text of your choice. 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.
You must choose three modules in English covering at least two of the following areas:
Literature 1500 to the present
Each of the modules offered will provide a comprehensive introduction to the changes in the genres of prose, poetry and drama across the period studied, placing the works encountered in the context of key aesthetic, social and political/historical contexts.
English Language and Applied Linguistics
Building on the study of English language undertaken in year one, your second year language modules provide the exciting opportunity for you to explore aspects of language use in the mind, in society and in literature.
Medieval languages and literatures
You can choose to pursue one or more of the medieval areas introduced in year one, or you can opt to study a new but related area. In all cases you will develop your understanding of language change and variety, registers, styles, modes and genres, as they appear in medieval texts, and become more expert in reading with reference to wider medieval cultures.
Drama and Performance
Year two modules provide the opportunity to develop approaches from the first year by studying 20th and 21st-century theatre; by exploring key critical approaches to drama in theory and practice, and by focusing on a key period in the development of our nation’s theatre.
For a sample of typical modules from each area please see our single honours BA English listing.
Spent abroad in Germany or Austria, either as an English language assistant in a school, working for a private company, or studying at one of our partner universities.
You will choose from a wide range of modules enabling you to specialise in key areas of English. Joint honours students enjoy the same wide range of final-year options in English as single honours. 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, and you may choose to write a dissertation on an area of German studies.
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 3. 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.
Translation and Linguistic Exchange
This module offers in-depth discussion of grammatical, lexical and idiomatic aspects of German and English as well as issues of translation, register and cultural difference. You will be taught primarily through the medium of translation, both from and into German, using a variety of texts and passages on a range of topics and in a range of registers. You will work in a team with exchange students who are German native speakers and this will foster dialogue about linguistic and translation issues as well as general cultural exchange. You will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
German Studies Dissertation II
This module involves the in-depth study of a topic in German Studies resulting in a dissertation written in German. You will write a 4,000 word essay in German or English on a topic of your particular interest and expertise (normally related to a German module which you have taken in your second or final year). In addition to extensive private study you will have two 1-hour seminars per semester followed by five individual meetings with your supervisor. This module is also available as a 20 credit version where you will write a 7,000 word essay in German or English.
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.
The Morphology of Germany
In this module you will be introduced to morphology (the study of the structure of words) of German and the study of linguistics. Beginning with a general introduction to morphology, you will look at the form of morphology controlled by syntax before moving on to other aspects. You will also consider the differences between native German morphological processes and those borrowed from other languages. Major developments in the German morphological system will be traced from the Middle ages to the present day amongst other topics in relation to the Morphology of German. For this module you will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar each week in addition to four hours of private study.
Dutch Language III
This module aims to consolidate the language skills you acquired from time spent abroad in a Dutch-speaking country in Year 3. You will further improve your proficiency in written and spoken Dutch with support from a native speaker. The use of texts and discussions will be key feature on this module. For this module you will have two 1-hour tutorials each week. It is compulsory for students studying Dutch as part of their degree course.
The final year is when all the different strands of your teaching and learning experience as an undergraduate culminate in the opportunity to demonstrate and apply all the different kinds of skills you have acquired in researching a topic, extended analysis of specialist themes and areas, and in independent study.
You will have the opportunity to study a range of authors, genres, linguistic approaches, and textual forms and contexts, in both national and international contexts, thinking about English in the broadest possible terms. You will also have the opportunity to specialise in areas for which you have developed genuine aptitude and passion during your undergraduate career.
A typical list of options available can be found on our single honours BA English listing.