German and English Literature (BA)
The joint honours degree in English Literature and German provides you with the opportunity of specialising in two university honours subjects.
Many students find studying a joint honours stimulating and rewarding as they are able to observe both similarities and differences between the two subjects. By combining English Literature and German, you will gain a wealth of transferable skills and knowledge beneficial to the world of employment, making you competitive and attractive in an increasingly global workforce and opening the doors to a variety of career paths.
English literature at Cardiff has long enjoyed an international reputation for its teaching and research. But more than this – we pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment for our students. We aim for the best and for success in all we do.
Our curriculum offers access to the whole span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century. Nor is the curriculum restricted to the printed word – we are intrigued by the connections between literature and film, art, music, history, language and popular culture, and our teaching reflects these interests.
There are no compulsory modules in English literature at Cardiff after year one. We give you choice – but we also give you the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions from a diverse range of options which includes creative writing.
German is the native language of nearly one hundred million people. To speak German is to be part of a crucially important political, economic and cultural world. A recent survey by the UK's leading employers' organisation, the CBI, rated German as the language most valued by UK managers. Germany is considered to be the lynchpin of the European Union, making knowledge of the language as important in Brussels as in Berlin.
In terms of language acquisition, this course will enable you to develop your writing, oral and aural skills through a range of learning activities, and using a variety of audio-visual materials. In your first year, in addition to your language tuition, an introduction to history and culture seeks to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies as you progress through your course.
You will develop high-level language skills with the aim of achieving near-native competency along with in-depth knowledge of aspects of the culture, history, politics and society of Germany. You will spend your third year in a German-speaking country, practising and developing your language skills. We offer German for both advanced students and beginners.
It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves examining many aspects of a country and its culture, its social structures and institutions, politics, history, literature and cinema. Through the study of such areas you are able to gain a better understanding of German culture and of how it has evolved over the centuries, becoming what it is today.
On completion of this four-year programme, you will have a high level of language proficiency, as well as a critical understanding of key aspects of German history, culture, literature, politics and contemporary society.
Each school involved in delivering the degree offers a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent staff-student relationships.
- core modules that provide a solid base for all, but then allow you, with advice from your personal tutor, to carve out a programme that will best fit your interests and career aspirations
- research-led teaching allowing you to engage with new ideas that are helping to shape the future of English Literature and German studies
- a pathway into this degree for beginners who do not have German A-level
- a year spent studying or working in a German-speaking country
- Teaching across the whole chronological and geographical span of English literature, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 21st century
- a reputation for theoretically informed reading, bringing texts from all periods into dialogue with contemporary concerns about gender, identity, sexuality, nationality, race, the body, the environment and digital technology
- a strong tradition in creative writing, taught by writers making their mark on today’s culture.
|Next intake||September 2017|
|Typical places available||The School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||AAB including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing, B in a modern language for the German beginners pathway or B in German for the advanced pathway. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted. Exceptions can be made according to personal circumstances.|
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||WBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding English Literature or English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing for English Literature degrees.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||35 points, 6 in Higher English and 6 in a Modern European Language.|
|Alternative qualifications||Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy and School of Modern Languages admissions criteria pages.|
|English Language requirements||If you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.|
|Other requirements||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.|
We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2017 and this page will be updated by end of October 2017 to reflect the changes.
This full-time course lasts for four years with two semesters per year. There are 120 credits a year, split equally between the two subjects. Most modules are worth 20 credits. The third year is spent abroad.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2017.
Year one is a foundation year to give you the skills for advanced study and an overview of the two subjects to inform your later choices. You will take 120 credits in total equally split between 60 credits in English Literature and 60 credits in German.
Your first year in English Literature is a foundation year designed to equip you with the skills for advanced study and to give you an overview of the subject that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in years two and three.
In year one German you will build on core linguistic skills and be introduced to German culture, literature, civilisation and politics. There are two pathways available: an advanced pathway for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in German and a beginner’s pathway for students with limited or no knowledge of German.
The first year of this programme provides a thorough foundation in the grammar of the language for those students on the beginner’s pathway, and develops the linguistic skills for post A-level students on the advanced pathway.
To provide a foundation for more specialised studies, you also study modules devoted to relevant history, culture, politics, economics and society.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|German History and Culture in Transnational Context||ML7187||20 credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Drama: Stage and Page||SE2139||20 credits|
|Star-cross'd Lovers: the Politics of Desire||SE2140||20 credits|
|Transforming Visions: Text and Image||SE2142||20 credits|
|Authoring the Self: Romantics and Victorians||SE2143||20 credits|
|Creative Reading||SE2144||20 credits|
|Creative Writing||SE2145||20 credits|
|Critical Reading and Critical Writing||SE2146||20 credits|
|Transgressive Bodies in Medieval Literature||SE2147||20 credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Advanced German Language Year 1||ML7188||40 credits|
|Beginners German Language Year 1||ML7189||40 credits|
In year two you will again take 60 credits in English Literature and 60 credits in German.
In year two there are no compulsory English Literature modules. You may select from a range of modules based on period, genre or theme in which you will be reading a variety of texts in their historical and cultural contexts.
In German you will have training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods. The language elements of year two German focus on preparation for the year abroad. This is complemented by a variety of optional modules which, as a supplement to German-specific topics, normally include modules on comparative literature and cultural history, as well as Business German and translation theory and practice.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|German Language Year 2 (Ex-Beginners)||ML7298||20 credits|
|German Language Year 2 (Ex-Advanced)||ML7299||20 credits|
Year three: Sandwich year
Year three is spent in Germany or Austria. Your options include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English assistant in a school through the British Council Scheme, or working for a German organisation or company. No matter what you choose, the year abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your understanding of the language, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain international study or work experience.
If you choose the study option, we have established academic links with universities in Berlin, Frankfurt, Kassel, Saarbrucken, Mainz, Heidelberg, Rostock, Bochum and Passau.
Placements for teaching assistants on a scheme run by the British Council can take you to either a major city or a small, rural town. This option provides first-hand teaching experience and allows you to earn a salary sufficient to live on, although you only work on a part-time basis. Prior to the start of your placement, the British Council provides a training weekend in the destination country. In addition, the school you have been assigned to should also guide you in your role as a teacher and help you to find a place to live.
The third option consists of a work placement with an organisation or company in the German-speaking world. The necessary arrangements can be made through personal contacts you may have or by approaching organisations directly. In order to ensure that your work placement affords you plenty of opportunity to speak German and provides you with a beneficial experience, such arrangements will require prior approval by the School.
Any student who undertakes a study placement or a traineeship/work placement in Europe is eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.
The year abroad is a great opportunity for you to improve your understanding of the language, immerse yourself in another culture, and gain international study or work experience.
While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned a year abroad coordinator, who will keep in touch with you and monitor your progress. You may also get a visit from one of your lecturers who will be keen to find out how you are getting on.
Final year students are usually happy to help with our regular year abroad briefings and have contributed to our extensive ‘year abroad module’ on Learning Central which provides you with student-centred advice throughout your year abroad.
Studying or working abroad is excellent preparation for your final year and gives you a level of self-confidence and maturity that has proven popular with employers.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Intercalary Year Abroad German: Study Abroad (Spring Semester)||ML7093||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad: Semester Work Placement Abroad (German, Spring)||ML7094||60 credits|
|Intercalary Semester Abroad: Semester Work Placement Abroad||ML7097||60 credits|
|Intercalary Year Abroad German (Semester)||ML7099||60 credits|
In your final year you will take 60 credits in English Literature and 60 credits in German.
You will by now have gained experience of a variety of literary periods, topics, genres and approaches, developing your critical faculties and your skills in analysing texts and contexts. You will therefore be in an excellent position to choose between a range of more specialised modules that engage with current issues in research and scholarship in relation to authors and texts both well-known and possibly less well-known to you.
We no longer distinguish between beginner and advanced German students in the final year and all students will take the same language modules. You will refine your linguistic skills in terms of expression and translation, and specialise in your areas of interest by choosing specialised module options.
Our final year dissertation module gives you the option to write a dissertation and engage more deeply with a chosen topic area, as well as extending your research and analytical skills.
How will I be taught?
We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.
You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas. Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures.
Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.
Language classes are taught in groups to enhance confidence and active learning. A varied timetable includes oral expression, aural comprehension and writing skills, which are taught in small groups to enhance confidence and active learning. These vital communication skills are practiced and developed through regular classwork exercises and written work. Our teaching methods allow you to engage with a range of language-learning technologies. Materials including textbooks, videos, films, novels, audio files and websites are supported by online resources that compliment classroom activities and promote and enable independent learning. Class materials include a range from literary and historical to contemporary journalistic texts, providing a broad insight into language and culture.
How will I be supported?
As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor in each course, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. These weeks are also used by staff to visit students on their year abroad.
You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.
The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.
We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback, personalised feedback on written work and general feedback in relation to examinations. You will also be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.
How will I be assessed?
A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.
Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.
The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.
What skills will I practise and develop?
As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’. These will allow you to:
- grasp complex issues with confidence
- ask the right questions of complex texts
- have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
- identify and apply relevant data
- develop practical research skills
- linguistic skills and a broad range appreciation of the cukture, literature and history of Germany and German-speaking countries
- propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
- communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
- work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
- learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
- work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
- use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
- take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.
School of Modern Languages
In 2013/14, 95% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.
Many graduates enjoy their year overseas so much that they take time out for more travel, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of finding a job. Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies.
Employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proofreaders, working with their languages in organisations such as Bearmach Ltd, the British Council, Global Response and Inter Global.
There has been an upsurge in career opportunities for graduates in German in the commercial and institutional links within the European Union. Opportunities also exist in teaching, museum work, the fine arts, banking, insurance, marketing, publishing, the media, the civil service and tourism.
School of English, Communication and Philosophy
In 2013/14, 91% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.
We provide our students with a highly satisfying academic experience that assists their development as critically-minded, culturally-aware citizens whose high analytic skills, powers of expression and progressive self-reliance make them extremely attractive to employers.
English literature graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.
UK and EU students (2017/18)
Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Students from outside the EU (2017/18)
Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes and Medical and Dental courses. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?
You will not need any specific equipment.
Year three is spent working or studying in a German-speaking country.