Explore German history, culture and politics
Why take this course?
Germany has changed beyond recognition in the last few decades: its borders, economy, political identity and demography have all altered dramatically. This course will enable you to understand these transformations and their impact through history, politics, economics, and cultural and social studies focusing on contemporary Germany. You will also have the chance to take specialist options, focussing, for example, on the Third Reich, the division of Germany after the Second World War, everyday life in East Germany, the legacy of dictatorship (National Socialism and communism) and the influence of Germany on Europe and in the world. You will have the opportunity to discuss current affairs including the rise of the right-wing AfD party and they key position of Germany in the European Union. By gaining access to German culture, and opting for units such as translation, interpreting, or ‘German language for professional communication’ you will also become culturally aware and linguistically fluent in German.
You do not need prior knowledge of German to follow this course; it is possible to follow our excellent beginners programme in your first years of study, and achieve the same level of fluency at graduation. In recent figures, 50 percent of our beginner intake got a distinction in their final year language assessments.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Develop high levels of fluency in German, with language learning fully integrated into the course. You do not need prior knowledge of German to follow this course; it is possible to follow our excellent beginners programme in your first years of study, and achieve the same level of fluency at graduation. You can also study a second language as an option.
- Gain career enhancing skills alongside your academic study with skills training ‘built-in’ to courses, work placements and the possibility to learn another language. You can develop an in-depth knowledge of German history, society, politics, and culture, or German as a key international actor.
- Immerse yourself in the German way of life by spending a year in Germany or Austria, and develop your linguistic, cultural and professional skills.
- Study with experienced lecturers employing innovative and exciting teaching techniques such as interactive lectures, simulations, scenario exercises, debate-discussions and the use of audio-visual sources. In particular, our state-of- the-art ‘Conference Interpreting Suite’ allows our students to develop valuable first-hand experience in interpreting.
What opportunities might it lead to?
Language is used in a range of professional contexts including business, tourism, and finance – not just language teaching. Your transferable skills and area studies expertise can be used in many careers across the private, public and voluntary sectors. You may enhance your graduate employment opportunities, owing to strong partnerships with organisations across the globe. This course is great preparation for work at home or abroad and you will have a very wide range of career paths open to you. Our graduates have found employment in such diverse careers as travel and tourism, working for international organisations, international research and consultancy, marketing, translation, interpreting, the media, NGOs, investment banking, journalism and teaching foreign languages.
The German Studies course has been enjoyable in a number of ways – from the friendly and encouraging tutors to the variety of units on offer.
Natalie Wardrop, BA (Hons) German Studies student 2013
Find out more and book your place
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years full time with language year abroad
- 2017 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
- The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
96-120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements
We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000 p/a**
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 8299
- School of Languages and Area Studies
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
This year is your introduction to and the beginning of your in-depth study of the German-speaking world. You will focus on contemporary Germany from a historical and social perspective with an exploration of the effects of the country’s re-unification.
Core units in this year include:
- German General Language Grade 1 and 2 OR German General Language Grade 3 and Language Project
- Introduction to German Studies
- The Making of Modern Europe 1500–1990
- Studying at University
- Developing Research Skills
Continue to study units in German language with the choice to start a beginner’s course in a second language if you wish. Preparation for your year abroad and preliminary work on your dissertation is also incorporated into this year.
Core units in this year include:
- German General Language Grade 3 and 4 OR German General Language Grade 4 and Language For Professional Communication 1
- Politics in Post-War Germany 1945-1990
Options to choose from in this year include:
- German Unity and its Consequences
- Text and Translation
- Business and Markets in Global Environment
- Nation, Language and Identity
- Culture and Ideas in Twentieth Century Europe
- Managing Across Cultures
Complete your dissertation in your final year and specialise in the topics that intrigue you the most.
Core units in this year include:
- German General Language Grade 6
- Language for Professional Communication 2
- Coming to Terms with the Nazi Past: 1945-Today
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Nazi Germany
- Translation Theory and Practice
*On this programme you will spend your third year in a German-speaking country
Teaching and Assessment
We provide a varied, creative and stimulating learning environment. Teaching is via lectures and seminars which are supported by the University’s interactive learning facilities. Classes may also take the form of hands-on skills development sessions where you learn how to access electronic resources in our MELISSI multimedia digital classrooms (they are much more than language laboratories!) or via small oral practice classes with Language Assistants.
How are you assessed?
Our assessment methods are varied, with relatively few formal examinations. Here’s how we assess your work:
- written essays and reports
- case studies
- book reviews
- group and individual projects
- oral presentations
Facilities & Features
On this programme you will spend your third year in a country where your target languages are spoken. You may take advantage of our well-established links with universities in Germany and Austria, should you wish to spend this period studying; alternatively, with University approval, you may be able to arrange a work placement abroad.
Learning Resources Centre
You will have access to our recently refurbished Learning Resource Centre, which provides access to texts, study rooms, software, computers and a wireless laptop area that can augment your learning outside the classroom, enhance your research and support your assignment work.
We have four state-of-the-art Language Laboratories, where you can manipulate video, sound, text and Internet sources in a rich, multimedia language-learning environment. Our staff are at the forefront in exploiting the potential afforded by this technology to create their own packages of materials.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Other costs to consider
For placements abroad that are taken in countries outside the EU/EEA, you will be required to meet travel costs. These costs will be in the region of £1000.
You will also be required to meet any extra tuition costs for units of study taken outside of your agreed study abroad programme. These costs will be in the region of £200.
Careers & Opportunities
Language is used in a range of professional contexts – not just language teaching. Your transferable skills and intercultural awareness can be used in many careers across the private, public and voluntary sectors. This course is great preparation for work at home or abroad and you will have a very wide range of career paths open to you.
Like all modern language graduates you will be highly employable. You can expect to find work in areas as diverse as management, banking, marketing and sales, commerce, export, tourism and the media, among others.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- bilingual consultant
- multilingual project coordinator
- market analyst
- contracts representative
Would you like to live in Germany or a German-speaking country for a year? Time spent abroad will enhance your intercultural awareness, which is a quality increasingly appreciated by employers in a globalised economy.
Work as a teaching assistant in a school in Germany or Austria, in cities such as Bremen, Marburg, Duisburg or Salzburg, among others.
This course also allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you’re involved in alongside your study.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.