Using up-to-date material from the German-speaking world this core module will help you improve your command of written and spoken German. Continuing with the four skills areas of A-level work (writing, reading, listening, and speaking) you will develop them further through a variety of exercises whilst gaining insights into contemporary German life, culture and politics. For this module you will have one 1-hour grammar lecture each week and two 1-hour tutorials per week where you will work in small groups.
German 1 - Beginners
This module is designed to take students from ab initio level (absolute beginners) to a level of written and aural comprehension, writing and speaking skills roughly commensurate with A-level. At the end of the module, students should be able to comprehend and respond to written and aural texts over a wide range of current affairs, cultural and every day topics and engage in everyday social conversation. For this module you will have one 1 hour lecture and five 1-hour tutorials per week.
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.
Reading German Literature I
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).
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.
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 German 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.
Dutch I (Inter Faculty Dutch1a)
This module will introduce you to the basics of Dutch language, including pronunciation, spelling and the morphology of nouns, adjectives, articles, pronouns and verbs, through topics relating to social and everyday life in the Netherlands. Each session will consist of a variety of activities arising from the themes and structures which underpin the course programme. You will be taught in small groups by a native speaker: one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar per week. This module assumes no prior knowledge of the language and is compulsory for students studying Dutch as part of their degree course and optional for students of German.
Culture and Society of the Low Countries
This module will examine the development of the Netherlands and Belgium since the First World War. It is compulsory for students studying Dutch as part of their degree course and optional for students of German. You will study the period from 1945 to the present day; society in the Netherlands and Belgium; and aspects of Dutch and Flemish culture. You will have one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week.
This core module consolidates your proficiency in the four skill areas of German 1 (writing, reading, listening, and speaking) in order to develop these further. Using contemporary material this module is also tailor-made to prepare you for the period you will spend in a German-speaking country studying, working or teaching. It includes German CV writing, interview preparations, presentations, translation from and into German and advanced grammar work. For this module you will be taught in small groups. You will have one 2-hour seminar and one 1- hour grammar tutorial each week.
German 2 - Beginners
This module will consolidate students' proficiency in the four skill areas of German 1 - Beginners (writing, reading, listening and speaking) and develop these further. The vehicles for instruction will be 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. You will have one 1-hour lecture and three 1-hour tutorials each week.
Introduction to Literary Translation
This module aims to give students an improved critical understanding of the linguistic and cultural differences between English and German, to enhance their translation skills and provide insights into the ways in which literary texts work. Within the module students translate a variety of German literary texts into English. We work on German prose, poetry and drama into English, exploring different strategies and theoretical approaches to translation. You will have one 2-hour seminar per week.
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.
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.
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.
Fremdsprachen lernen und lehren
This module introduces you to some major theories of how languages are learned and to some approaches to how languages can be taught, particularly focussing on German and English. We will consider the differences between first and second language acquisition; whether there is a ‘best’ age to learn a foreign language; why some people learn languages more easily than others; and some particular problems for English-speaking learners of German and German-speaking learners of English. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in linguistics, as well as to those who might be considering teaching on the Year Abroad or in the future. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar each week.
Runes to ROFL: History of the Germanic Languages
This module will introduce students to the history of the Germanic languages, from the earliest linguistic evidence up to the present day. We will investigate the major sound changes that distinguish Dutch, German and other Germanic languages like English from the rest of the Indo-European language family (which includes French, Greek, and many other European languages, as well as Sanskrit). We will then look at the process by which Dutch and German went their separate ways, ultimately emerging as two separate standardized languages in the 17th century. We will also look at how the languages are developing today, especially obvious in the borrowings from many other languages and in the innovations that have emerged in “computer mediated communication”. You will have one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar on this module.
Dutch II (Inter Faculty Dutch 2a)
This module assumes a basic knowledge of the Dutch language (usually acquired during year one of your course). You will revise and develop basic structures using contemporary material. The four skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing are expanded to enable participation in discussions with reasonable fluency and accuracy. Students on a degree course with Dutch are also prepared for their year abroad in a Dutch-speaking country. This module is compulsory for students studying Dutch as part of their degree course. You will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar per week.
Postwar Belgian Cinema
This module provides an introduction to Belgian cinema. You will focus on a number of films from 1950 to the present day and will study the films' narratives in relation to developments in Belgian history and society. The module will also introduce some critical tools for the analysis of visual media. It is compulsory for students studying Dutch as part of their degree course and optional for students of German. You will have one 2-hour seminar and one 1-hour workshop per week.
From Bourgeois Wife to New Woman: Sex and Gender in Modern Germany
This module focuses on three periods in the modern history of the German-speaking lands: the emergence of bourgeois gender roles in the nineteenth century & the women’s movement around 1848; the fin-de-siècle, with a particular focus on gender and sexuality in Viennese society; and the Weimar Republic, exploring the myth and reality of the so-called ‘New Woman’. Drawing on a range of political, theoretical and autobiographical texts and visual material, the module considers the interrelation between social and economic developments, gender roles and notions of masculinity and femininity. We also discuss the ways in which ideas and images of masculinity and femininity are deployed in the representation of political and social institutions and processes. Each week you will have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar.
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. In classes taught by native speakers of German, you will further refine your advanced proficiency in written and spoken German. 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 three 1-hour seminars each week working in small groups.
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.
German Studies Dissertation (10 credits)
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 The Weimar Republic (1919-1933) was one of the most fascinating and culturally productive periods of German history, but it was equally plagued 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 seminar per week.
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 seminar each week.
‘Heimat’ in the German Cinema
Heimat, a political and psychological concept of rural rootedness, is at the core of German identity, and the Heimat genre has been ever-present in the German cinema since the days of the silent cinema. This module will explore the cultural and historical contexts of the concept of Heimat through the study of Heimat films from different historical moments. We will explore the artistically ambitious and politically controversial 1920s/30s mountain films; the immensely popular Heimat films of the 1950s; the aesthetically challenging and critical anti-Heimat films of the 1960s/70s; Edgar Reitz’s landmark historical saga of the 1980s; and post-1990s reinventions of the genre. We shall ask why film-makers in Germany and Austria keep returning to this genre. In addition we shall consider the question of the alien within the Heimat, the gendering of Heimat and the representation of nature and modernity in these films. You will have a two hour seminar, a one hour syndicate workshop and a two hour screening.
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 two hours at university and seven 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.
Dutch Language III
This module aims to consolidate the language skills you acquired from time spent abroad in a Dutch-speaking country in year three. 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 modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.