First year modules

German Post-A-Level: You embark upon a structured language course that leads you by stages from what you have learned at school or college up to final degree level. You are also introduced to German literature, history and linguistics (both contemporary and historical). In the first year, you will gain an introduction to the main areas of German Studies through the following modules:

  • Practical Language I
  • Texts in Context
  • EITHER Modern Germany: History and its Images OR German Linguistics Past and Present

Beginners in German: You will take 40 credits of intensive German this year, in order to achieve competence in using German in common situations, and you will study aspects of German grammar. You will also study the history of German. In the first year, you will take the following modules:

  • Intensive ab initio German I
  • Intensive ab initio German II
  • Modern Germany: History and its Images

All these modules are weighted at 20 credits. In addition, you will do 60 credits in your other subject.

German Practical Language I

Various tutors
20 credits - core module

The Year 1 advanced German language module aims to help you to make progress on four important areas of language competence:

  • German grammar is taught in small groups and deals systematically with areas of German grammar and usage with which advanced learners have difficulty; 
  • ‘Sprachpraxis’ provides training in vocabulary building, textual analysis, oral and written comprehension, and pronunciation; 
  • ‘Textarbeit’ offers a systematic introduction to reading, analysing and producing texts in German; 
  • ‘Introduction to Language Studies’ provides an introduction to modern linguistic concepts, focusing on the structures of German and English.

The module is taught over three contact hours per week. Grammar, Sprachpraxis and Textarbeit are all taught in small groups of 10-15 students, giving you plenty of opportunities to practise your spoken German and to ask questions.

Assessment: combination of coursework and end-of-year written and oral exams.

Outlines of German Literature: Texts in Context

Professor Bill Dodd and others
20 credits - core module

This weekly lecture and tutorial introduces you to a wide range of writers and texts, mainly from the twentieth century. The first semester cover shorter texts from the ‘Stunde Null’ in 1945 to the present day. In the second semester, you read fewer and longer texts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The weekly small-group tutorials help you to develop your skills of analysis and discussion, and your essay-writing skills.

Assessment: combination of coursework and an end-of-year exam

Modern Germany: History and its Images

Dr Joanne Sayner and others
20 credits - optional module

brandenburg-gateDo you know why gymnastics clubs were hotbeds of revolutionary ferment in Germany in the nineteenth century? Did you realise that Germans needed wheelbarrows full of money to buy a loaf of bread during the Weimar Republic? Have you ever wondered why no one stopped the building of the Berlin Wall? Taught as a combination of lectures and small-group seminars, this course provides an introduction to modern German history from 1815 to 1990. It uses images and films to bring history to life and to think about the way German history has been written. Want to know more already and to see images and sounds from the recent (and not so recent) past? Why not take a look at LeMO.

Assessment: combination of coursework and an end-of-year exam

German Linguistics Past and Present

Mr Robert Evans, Professor Bill Dodd
20 credits - optional module

German Linguistics Past provides an introduction to the early history of the German language, starting around 5000BC when the parent language of most of the modern languages of Europe and India, namely Proto-Indo-European, was a living language. The course then traces the development from Indo-European of the Germanic family of languages during the last two thousand years BC, a period when, believe it or not, English and German were indistinguishable from each other, until the emergence in the eighth and ninth centuries AD of a clearly identifiable High German language, the earliest ancestor of today's New High German. German Linguistics Present introduces key concepts of modern linguistics, including corpus linguistics, and the main areas of sociolinguistics, applied to the contemporary German language.

Assessment: two coursework essays.

Intensive ab initio German I

Mr Dietmar Wozniak
20 credits

This integrated language course is aimed at absolute beginners or near beginners in German. We use a very varied and lively approach involving both traditional and modern methods. The course will introduce you to the main grammatical structures and functions of the language through classroom exercises reinforced by private study. You will become sufficiently proficient in dealing with a wide range of common (predictable) situations and functions in all skills. Practical language classes will focus on productive and receptive skills helping you to achieve effective communicative competence up to ‘survival’ level. Aspects of modern Germany will be introduced in the target language and in English at appropriate points. The course will also help you to develop strategies for coping with German in real-life situations, using a variety of materials: semi authentic texts, dialogues and simulated radio & TV programmes. You will be given the opportunity to work in a group as well as individually.

Assessment: three class tests (speaking, listening and reading).

Intensive ab initio German II

Mr Dietmar Wozniak
20 credits

This module is a continuation from Intensive Ab Initio German I offering deeper and wider insights into key aspects of German language by adopting a very lively approach to teaching the language. We will examine to further key grammatical structures and functions of the language. You will become proficient in a wide range of common (predictable) situations and functions. Practical language classes will enhance your production and understanding of spoken and written German. You will also further develop your knowledge of modern Germany. The course will also help you to develop further strategies for coping with German in real-life situations, using a variety of materials: authentic texts, dialogues, short presentations, interviews and simulated radio & TV programmes. The course is supported by extensive WebCT material for self study.

Assessment: three class tests (reading, writing and grammar)