Module information for incoming Erasmus and Exchange students interested in modules in German Studies.

Language Modules for non-native speakers of German

German language modules are offered by Languages for All.

Language Modules for those originating from German-speaking countries

Advanced German Translation for Native Speakers 09 12799/800 (20 credits, Semester 1 & 2)

This module offers German native speakers the opportunity to improve their translation skills. It combines practice and training in translation both into and from German with revision of English grammar.

Learning outcomes - by the end of the module the student should be able to: demonstrate an enhanced ability to translate from German to English; show an increased awareness of general issues of translation methodology; Demonstrate an enhanced ability to write fluently and cogently in English.

Assessment - Continuous assessment

Further information: John Klapper (

Non-language modules in German Studies

First-Year Modules

Texts in Context: 20th and 19th Century 09 08857/60 (20 credits Semester 1 & 2)

The module covers a selection of texts from the twentieth and nineteenth century

Assessment - One essay of 2000 words (40%) plus one 3hr examination (60%).

Further information: Dr Elystan Griffiths (

Modern Germany: History & its Images 09 14945/46  (20 credits Semester 1 & 2)

In Semester 1, this module offers an overview of German social and political history from the end of the Second World War up to the present and of the reflection of that history in various media (particularly film). The second semester focuses on the period from 1815 to 1945.

Assessment - One essay of 2000 words (40%) plus one 2hr examination (60%).

NB: This module is not suitable for those originating from German-speaking countries.

Further information: Dr Elystan Griffiths (

German Linguistics Past and Present (20 credits, Semester 1 and 2)

The module consists of two components, each taught in one semester: ‘German Linguistics Past’ and ‘German Linguistics Present’:

German Linguistics Past: This component will trace the development of the German language from its earliest Indo-European Germanic origins up to the end of the Old High German period (circa 1100 AD)

German Linguistics Present: This component introduces key concepts of modern linguistics, including corpus linguistics, and the main areas of sociolinguistics, applied to the contemporary German language.

Assessment - Two assessed essays of 2000 words – one based on each semester’s work. Essays are equally weighted (50% each).

Further information:  Robert Evans (

Second-Year Modules

Introduction to German Cinema (10 credits Semester 1)

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.

Assessment - 2000 word essay in English plus a 300-word analysis of a film scene.


Some of these films contain scenes of nudity and violence. If you think you may be offended by such material, you may not want to opt for this course!

Further information: Dr.Elystan Griffiths (

Wirtschaftsdeutsch 09 23921 (20 credits, both semesters)

The course provides an introduction into economic aspects of contemporary Germany and German culture. It should enable students to function appropriately in standard settings which they are likely to encounter on company visits or during internships. Students should be able to research topics in print and e-media, describe aspects of their topics both orally and in writing, listen to radio or TV broadcast and write notes, summaries, letters, e-mail, and interpret standard situations.

Students are required to attend a weekly one-hour class and work independently in their own time (3hrs a week), often by using aural sources on the German WebCT site or in the language labs.

Assessment: Continuous 4 assessments, weighted equally: 1 essay  in German (300-400 words), 1 class test (30 mins), 2 oral tests (20 mins each) (1 in German, 1 interpreting test) practising the oral skills acquired

NB: This module is not suitable for those originating from German-speaking countries.

Further information: Claudia Merz (

Knights, Maidens and Priests 09 23922 (Semester 1, 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.

Assessment: one essay of 2500 words.

More information: Dr Nigel Harris (

Representations of Women in Turn-of-the-Century German Literature (When Gender Hits You in the Face) 09 26766 (10 credits, Semester 2)

Using a range of primary texts, this course will study a selection of female writers and female protagonists in German and Austrian literature in the late 19th century.  Although it self-evidently cannot attempt to cover the totality of ideas about women, it will seek to enable students to develop an understanding of and sensitivity towards the topic. It thus aims to develop students’ appreciation of concepts relevant to the representation of women at the turn of the century. The course will also develop students’ critical understanding of the question of gender and gender theory and thus examine concepts about the space of woman (in the family, in the state, in creation) and body image. The course attempts to raise students’ awareness towards gendered concepts which in various guises still inform women’s (as well as men’s) self-image and actions today.

Assessment: one essay of 2500 words.

Further information: Ruth Whittle (

Final-Year Modules

Medieval German Epic and Romance 09 18452/53 (20 credits, Semester 1 & 2)

Availability in 2015-16 to be confirmed.

This course explores in detail four of the most important and fascinating works of the High Middle Ages. Aspects of Middle High German language will be considered, but the primary focus of the course will be on a variety of literary aspects of the set texts. These will include social and religious themes, characterization and the construction of identity, symbolism, narrative technique and questions of genre.

Assessment: 3-hour written exam in May (60%) plus an assessed seminar paper of 4000 words in English (40%).

Further information: Nigel Harris (

Comparative Germanic Philology 09 12817/18 (20 credits Semester 1 & 2)

Availability in 2015-16 to be confirmed.

This module will explore the comparative linguistics of the earliest Germanic languages, with particular reference to the Proto-Germanic parent language and Gothic

Assessment: 3 hour written exam in May (60%) plus an assessed seminar paper of 4000 words (40%)

Further information: Robert Evans (

Further modules in German Studies may be available but cannot be confirmed at the time of writing (April 2015). Please contact Dr Elystan Griffiths ( for details.