German Studies second year modules

Core modules:

German Language Intermediate I - 20 credits

This module consolidates and further extends skills acquired in LC German Language Beginners I & II. Most main (remaining) grammatical structures and functions of the language will be dealt with through classroom exercises reinforced by private study. Students will become proficient in a wide range of less predictable and complex situations and functions. Practical language classes will focus on productive and receptive skills helping students to achieve effective communicative competence in even unpredictable situations. Simple texts for translations from German into English and vice versa will be introduced. Wide-ranging aspects of modern Germany will be integrated at appropriate points by using a variety of materials: complex authentic texts, dialogues, short presentations, interviews and semi-authentic radio & TV programmes. In addition, a native speaker of German (ERASMUS student) is paired with a native speaker of English in order to learn each other's language and cultural aspects of their respective home countries.

German Language Intermediate II (20 credits)

This module consolidates and further extends skills acquired in German Language Intermediate II  All remaining grammatical structures and functions of the language will be dealt with through classroom exercises reinforced by private study. Students will become proficient in a wide range of unpredictable and complex situations and functions. Practical language classes will focus on productive and receptive skills helping students to achieve effective communicative competence in even unpredictable situations. Several sessions will be dedicated to the development of translation skills (English - German / German - English) as well as to reading skills to enable students to access highly complex texts. Wide-ranging aspects of modern Germany will be integrated at appropriate points by using a variety of materials: complex authentic texts, dialogues, short presentations, interviews and semi-authentic radio & TV programmes. Students will be given the opportunity to work in a group as well as individually. Strategies for independent learning will continue to be developed. . By the end of this course all students should have reached B1.2 of the Common European Framework (CEFR) in all skills and possibly, B2.1 in some receptive skills.

German Language Advanced II - 20 credits

The Year 2 advanced course helps you to develop your German language through three weekly class:

  • Grammar and Translation, a weekly class, taught in small groups, which addresses certain specific grammar problems and offers training in translation both into and out of German;
  • ‘Sprachpraxis’, a weekly class taught in small groups, focuses on improving your written and oral German and your comprehension skills, helping you to develop your vocabulary and your awareness of how German is used;
  • Landeskunde-Vorlesung: A weekly hour-long lecture in German in Semester 2, dealing primarily with aspects of German and Austrian arts and culture.

By the end of the module, you should have achieved level B2/C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Optional modules:

Those who entered the programme as beginners must take Introduction to German Cinema and Political Parties and Part Government. 

Bühne und gesellschaftlicher Alltag nach 1945 - 20 credits

The aim of this course is to deepen students’ understanding of social contexts and cultural life in post-1945 Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Students should be able to reflect upon and deepen the cultural awareness acquired in this course during their year abroad. During the first semester, students will have a weekly one-hour class covering the history of German theatre after 1945. In the second semester, there are fewer group meetings and students will work mainly independently on a group project dealing with a chosen aspect of contemporary German, Austrian or Swiss society or culture.

Wirtschaftsdeutsch - 20 credits

The aim of the module is to give an introduction to economic aspects in contemporary Germany and German culture. The module will focus on companies and company structure in Germany as well as providing an introduction to interpreting in a business setting.

Old High German Language and Literature - 10 credits

The module will seek to introduce students to the main linguistic features (e.g. umlaut in OHG, OHG dialectology) and literary works (e.g. Das Hildebrandslied) of the Old High German period (circa 750-1100 AD).

Introduction to German Cinema - 10 credits

This module will offer an overview of German cinema history. Topics covered will normally include the early flowering of German Cinema in the Weimar Republic, German cinema under National Socialism, the cinematic production of the divided Germany and contemporary German film. At each stage, films will be related to their cultural and political context as appropriate. The course will be structured around a series of key films, but key movements in German cinema will also be discussed as appropriate. A key focus of the course will be the analysis of cinematic techniques, and students will be expected to develop their knowledge of relevant technical vocabulary.

German Political Parties & Party Government - 10 credits

Although the German constitution explicitly states that the political parties are only one of many participants in the political 'Meinungsbildnugsprozess', the practice looks quite different. Indeed, political parties have become the predominant force in German politics. They are the backbone of the German political system. This module attempts to analyse the German version of party government and the eminent role that parties play in public life in order to understand German politics and democracy. It aims to give a comprehensive introduction to the major issues concerning the working of the 'Parteienstaat' and 'Parteiendemokratie'. It will look at the development of the party system since 1945, examine the role and functions of parties, study the major political parties and analyse the current debate about the future of party government.

Enlightenment Germany - 10 credits

The module will examine aspects of German culture and history in the long eighteenth century. Students will study how the Enlightenment impacted upon German thought, culture and history in the eighteenth century, transforming many aspects of life. We will examine the forces that resisted the currents of Enlightenment, as well as the ways in which the Enlightenment produced some unintended consequences, including the greatest upheaval of the eighteenth century, the French Revolution. Other topics to be studied may include the rise of Prussia, the concept of enlightened absolutism and the impact of Napoleon on Germany.

Cultures of Protest and Terror in West Germany, 1967-1977 - 10 credits

The module will explore the history, politics and cultural memory of the West German student movement and its violent offshoot, the Red Army Faction, during the period 1967–77. Materials studied will include contemporary media reports and terrorist manifestos as well as a range of cultural phenomena associated with protest and terrorism in West Germany in this period, such as documentary and feature films and (semi-)fictional writings by Heinrich Böll, Bernhard Schlink and others.

Representations of Women in 19th Century German Literature - 10 credits

This module will explore a selection of female writers and female protagonists in German literature between 1801 and 1904. Although it self-evidently cannot attempt to cover a totality of ideas about women, it will seek to enable students to develop a knowledge of and sensitivity towards the topic.

Post-War German Literature - 10 credits

This text-based course explores developments in (West) German Literature from 1945 to the early 1960s. It examines the following key issues and concepts: "Nullpunkt", inner emigration, "Sprachkritik", "Restauration". It also considers the socio-political background of the period. Students will normally read four texts and study one in depth.

Knights, Maidens and Priests - 10 credits

The module will study some short works from the medieval and early modern periods of German literature: Hartmann von Aue’s Der arme Heinrich, Der Stricker’s Der Pfaffe Amis, and poems or short pieces by Mechthild von Magdeburg, Oswald von Wolkenstein, and Martin Luther. These will be analysed as literary texts, but also as sources of information about and criticism of medieval culture and society. Particular emphasis will be placed on themes relating to the three social groupings named in the title; and hence the problematic but fruitful relationship between religious and secular perspectives and stereotypes will be an especially important recurring theme.