In German and Chinese, your language studies will be consolidated to prepare you for the year abroad. You will take modules in culture, history, and society from a wide choice of modules in both German and Chinese Studies.
You must pass year 2 which is weighted at 33% of your final degree classification.
You will take 60 credits of German and 60 credits of Contemporary Chinese Studies modules as follows:
German 2 - Beginners
Now that you've gained good German language skills by completing Beginners' German, we're going to take you to the next level. By the end of this course, you'll be ready to spend time living in a German-speaking country.
Working at a steady pace, we'll focus on getting you confident in your German reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities, encouraging you to push yourselves to gain the best German skills possible.
In class we'll keep your studies interesting and relevant by using a variety of contemporary texts, including journalistic articles, poems and short stories, videos, clips from TV programmes and news items.
Leben und Arbeiten in Deutschland: Introduction to Contemporary Germany
This module is aimed at students on our intensive beginners’ pathway. The module will use a range of authentic and adapted German sources to combine language learning with an introduction to some aspects of contemporary German society, focusing on elements which are particularly relevant for the year abroad. We will practise working with the types of texts that are particularly useful for students preparing for the year abroad, as well as text genres which you will encounter during your time in Germany and Austria (e.g. application letters, CVs, how to approach an interview). Classes will also help you to develop your understanding of key aspects of contemporary German society.
Please note, not all of the below will be available to those who have taken German from Beginners' level.
Reading German History: Nation and Society
This module offers an introduction to the study of German history based on issues surrounding nationhood at key points from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century. We will examine the emergence and development of the great political ideologies of liberalism, conservatism and socialism that shaped German state and society throughout this period.
Through the study of relevant primary sources, the module focuses on the revolutionary changes and constitutional settlements experienced in modern German history at three key stages of national political development: the 1848 Revolution, National Unification in 1871 and the Revolution of 1918/19 that gave birth to the Weimar Republic in 1919.
The Life and Demise of the GDR
This module investigates GDR society over four decades of communist rule and considers social changes in Eastern Germany after the demise of the GDR. We will examine the principles of communist ideology that the Socialist Unity Party attempted to legitimise as the only viable alternative to fascism. We will also look at how people negotiated their lives within officially imposed ideological structures. Finally we will look at how a new kind of “public authority” during the Wende period in the GDR triggered the disintegration of communist power structures.
English Literature in Modern Languages contexts
This is a comparative literature module that considers key authors and works of English literature in European and American contexts, and with a particular emphasis on the language studied for which it will count as 10 credits non-subsid. module.
The module integrates the study of canonical British/Irish literature with an international resonance – such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Othello or The Tempest, British Romantic poetry, or selected novels by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte – into the analysis of its international reception across the Americas and Europe.
At the same time it also explores international literary responses to these canonical English works from the eighteenth century to the present, including postcolonial authors ‘writing back’, along with transnational writing in English by authors such as James Joyce, Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov.
Discussing English literature from international perspectives and using current comparative methodology, it covers North American literature and literature in the European languages (French, German, Russian and others) that is available in English translation.
The Language of German Media - Linguistic and Journalistic Perspectives
This module investigates the specific language used by the German media from linguistic and journalistic perspectives. You will learn about the distinctive pragmatic and semantic features of the language used on radio, on television and in the print media. This linguistic analysis then enables us to explore how journalists attract their target audience.
We will look at various text types and media genres including news and advertisements, as well as analyse the differences between media-specific language and the language used in society at large. In this context you will not only learn how journalists write for different media and genres, but also about the ethics of journalistic writing and how ethical concerns affect the language of the media.
Introduction to Literary Translation
The module provides an introduction to literary translation from German into English. We will analyse key issues of cultural difference and historical distance by comparing different translations of the same original text. As part of the assessment for the module you will compose your own translation of a literary text of your choice and summarise your translation strategy. Class discussions and the translation work you undertake for this module will help you to improve your understanding of the linguistic and cultural differences between English and German, develop enhanced translation skills, and gain insights into literary texts.
Reason and its Rivals from Kant to Freud
In this module we will examine a selection of approaches to modernity, beginning with Kant’s assertion of individual reason as the founding stone of enlightened social organisation. We will move on to examine how Marx and Engels, Nietzsche and Freud all interrogated Kant’s position in their work. Our discussions will touch on the nature of the individual subject, the role of culture, as well as competing ideas of the status of reality as based in social conditions, or the product of the will, drives, or ideology.
Media in Germany
This module explores the history of print and broadcasting in Germany from 1933 to the 1990s, and investigates 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 between media and ideology. You will also have the opportunity to undertake research into primary sources from our extensive newspaper archive.
The Fairy Tale in German Culture
This module explores key moments in the history of the fairy tale in German culture, from their 19th century appropriation to underpin notions of a national folk culture to critical reworkings of fairy tales. We use a number of different approaches in analysing the tales and investigating their cultural significance, including Marxism, feminism and psychoanalysis.
Primary material includes folk tales, literary fairy tales and fairy tale films such as the Brothers Grimm Kinder- und Hausmärchen collection, East German fairy tale films, Weimar proletarian tales, Lotte Reiniger’s silhouette animations, and Wolfgang Petersen’s film The Neverending Story.
German National Socialism (1933-1945): Hitler and the Third Reich
This module explores the period of National Socialism in Germany (1933-1945). After an outline of the historical context of this period we will critically view the ideology and politics of the time with particular focus on society and culture.
We will evaluate original sources (in translation) such as posters, speeches, newspapers and films. Theoretical writings on select topics such as propaganda, leader cult, media, childhood, womanhood and 'the other' will assist our critical analysis.
National Socialist Germany
This module focuses on the social, economic and political-ideological structures which shaped domestic and foreign policy between 1933 and 1945. We will begin by examining the process through which Weimar democracy was overthrown and the structures of dictatorship imposed. We will then turn to the social, economic and ideological factors which shaped the transformation of Germany into a Volks-gemeinschaft before examining the development of Nazi foreign policy and the genesis of the Holocaust. Throughout the module we will consider political, social, economic and ideological factors in shaping Nazi policy at home and abroad.
Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages
This module introduces you to some major theories of how languages are learned and to some approaches to how languages can be taught. We will consider:
- the differences between first and second language acquisition
- whether there is a best age to learn a foreign language
- factors affecting language learning
- the role of technology in language learning and teaching
- the role of culture in language classroom
Students will have the opportunity to investigate one or more of these questions in their assessed essays.
Contemporary Translation Studies
Explore possible career avenues and gain practical experience in this interesting module which will show you how to apply your language learning to translation.
You'll gain a good understanding of the key concepts of translation theory, including equivalence, text type and skopos alongside linguistic theories such as register and relevance.
With these theories under your belt, you'll be guided through their application to your own translations. We'll work on the translation of a variety of texts to help you strengthen and embed your new skills.
Mandarin Chinese for Research
This module will focus mainly on:
- reading skills for understanding research-relevant texts
- writing skills for presenting academic ideas and debating in such contexts
- understanding spoken Mandarin Chinese for academic contexts and about social and cultural issues
- communication in spoken Mandarin Chinese for such contexts
Mandarin Chinese for Proficiency Level
This module includes:
- topics such as careers, job application, contemporary Chinese families and marriages, gift cultures corruption and life for Chinese people today
- vocabulary on the above
- grammar knowledge for the level
- language functions such as expression ideal situations, reasoning for choices and opinions
- understanding of authentic materials on the above topics
- productive skills for the above topics
Mandarin Chinese for Intermediate Level
Now that you have gained in confidence and ability, we're going to take your Mandarin skills to the next level!
We'll use interesting examples from online resources to further develop your Chinese comprehension (written and aural) and expression (written and oral).
You'll also learn about Chinese culture and society, preparing you for the exciting time you'll spend in China during year three.
Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level
Now that you have gained solid Mandarin language skills, we'll push you to develop them to a more sophisticated level. Not only will you continue to improve your understanding of the language but also the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world.
With your increased proficiency you'll be able to examine more complex texts covering themes such as leisure activities and lifestyles, personalities, love and relationships, economic developments, language learning, and social customs.
You will be asked to reflect and compare your own culture and the target culture via group discussions and debates to enhance both, your cultural awareness and intercultural competence.