We aim to bring our graduates up to native or near-native level in German, providing training and practice in all key language skills. The Department has a dedicated language-teaching team consisting of four full-time members of staff, all of whom are native speakers of German. The year abroad is an integral part of the degree programme and excellent for improving oral and aural skills, as well as offering opportunities for “total immersion” in a German-speaking culture (Germany or Austria). We tailor language teaching to suit your level, offering an intensive language course for beginners (ab initio), who take German in combination with another language or subject, and more advanced classes for those taking the language post-A-level (or equivalent).
The Single Honours German programme offers the widest coverage of German Studies, embracing language, literature, history, linguistics and thought. During the first two years you may also study units from taught in other Departments, including film studies.
The Joint Honours German degree programmes enable you to develop your German while learning another language, or studying another subject. Most of our Joint Honours programmes are also available to complete or near beginners, who typically reach the same standards in language skills as our post-A-level entrants by the third year abroad.
The first year of all programmes introduces you to a broad range of the disciplines covered in the Department. While language teaching remains core in all years, second and final year students determine the rest of their programme from a range of options.
Our teaching programme is delivered in a variety of formats. Language skills are taught in groups which allow tutors to work closely with every student. In literature, linguistics and other cultural units there are discussion groups or seminars, supported in the first year by lectures (about 50-60 students). History/politics units are usually taught as informal lectures, often supported by seminars. Individual tutorials are always available to discuss essays and all other work. In addition to the timetabled contact time with lecturers and language teachers, you will spend much of your time in guided private study, reading around a topic, preparing assignments, discovering ideas, developing your own ideas and learning to express them in English and in German.
All German programmes last four years and include a period of residence abroad in a German-speaking country during the third year.
You may choose to spend your year abroad working. This allows you to gain valuable professional experience. Approximately a third of our students work in approved employment during their time abroad. In recent years, students have worked in multinational companies, translation agencies, theatres, management consultancies and a wide range of other firms. Some students work as assistant English teachers in German or Austrian schools.
Alternatively, you can spend your year abroad studying at a German or Austrian University. The Department has Erasmus links with Berlin Humboldt, Hannover, Heidelberg, Kiel, Leipzig, Augsburg and Graz Universities. The University’s Study and Work Abroad Office will help you with arranging university, work and teaching placements and assist you with the necessary formalities.
If you choose to study German with another language, you will spend half of your third year abroad in a German-speaking country and the remaining half in the country where your other language is spoken. Many students find that studying two languages enables them to become stronger linguists.
Your year abroad will provide you with a highly attractive skills set for employers.
The ratio between each type of assessment depends upon which optional units are chosen. As well as undertaking coursework and examinations, you will have regular non-assessed language exercises (translations, essays, comprehension, grammar exercises, oral presentations, and aural comprehension).
Please note that the School of Modern Languages always keeps its curriculum under review and the programme structure may change.