German Studies first year modules

Compulsory modules

German Core Advanced or Beginners I and II (20 credits + 20 credits)

Please note: Students of BA Geography and German Studies can only take Advanced German.

Our core modules, offering increased contact hours, will provide you with an introduction to the knowledge and skills you need to become a Birmingham Languages Graduate. You will have the opportunity to explore the key ideas that have shaped the German-speaking world: the key cultural movements, the social, political, and historical phenomena, and the linguistic issues. You will do all this through the medium of German, and using the latest technology, to develop your understanding and expertise within the language, so that you increase your ability to express complex ideas and conduct challenging conversations. We will also work to develop your critical thinking and study methods skills, so that you can engage with the breadth and depth of German studies in future years.

Optional modules

(20 credits each)

Outlines of German Literature: Texts in Context

Over the two semesters of this linked module, we will cover a selection of literary texts in German from the nineteenth and twentieth century. The first semester will normally deal with shorter texts from the post-1945 period, whilst the second semester will introduce some longer texts, including one or more texts written before 1945. Texts will be drawn from a variety of genres. Classes will discuss not only the content of the set texts, but also the techniques required in order to analyse literary texts.

Modern Germany: History and its Images

This lecture/seminar course consisting of a weekly hour-long lecture, hour-long seminars (six per term) and film viewings provides an introduction to modern German history and covers the period from 1945 to the present in Semester 1 and 1815 to 1945 in Semester 2. The course makes extensive use of video material and focuses on selected films for in-depth study.

Contemporary Germany: Unity and Diversity

The module will introduce students to the changing face of contemporary Germany, through some of the following topics: current affairs; memory and memorialisation; gender and sexuality; nationhood and migration; Germany and Europe; the German language in the twenty-first century; and contemporary culture. A key theme running through the module will be that of unity and diversity, as we examine how Germany is transforming itself and being transformed in the face of powerful global influences, institutions and movements. Drawing on relevant case studies, texts and artefacts, the module will develop students’ analytical skills by using specific examples in order to illuminate broader patterns. The module will be taught in German as far as possible. Students will use as much authentic material in German as possible in order to develop their reading and listening skills, and they will be expected to develop their speaking and writing skills over the course of the module.

German Translation in Practice 1  (Wirtschaftsdeutsch 1)

This course gives you an introduction to German to English translation in a number of consumer-oriented areas of German business, e.g. German-language commercials, branding and marketing, company websites and instructions for consumers such as cooking recipes, leaflets accompanying common medicines and simple DIY instructions.