German and Economics (BA)

Our German and Economics degree at Cardiff will provide you with a thorough understanding of economic analysis and will stimulate you to value this analysis in understanding economic problems and a wider range of social and political issues

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.

The linguistic skills you acquire will give you direct access to German history, literature, drama, music and film. Your understanding of the language will be further refined during your year abroad in your third year, when you will experience life in a German-speaking country at first hand.

Studying Economics at Cardiff will provide you with rigorous training that will be useful grounding for your future career.

Key facts

Duration4 Year(s)
Typical places availableThe School typically has 185 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications
Scholarships and bursaries
Typical A level offerABB with a B in a language and B in GCSE Maths.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerPass the Advanced Diploma and grades AA at A- level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32-34 points, including Mathematics at 6SL or 5HL. One of the IB options must be in German
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.
Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here.
QAA subject benchmark

Languages and related subjects, Economics

Academic School
Admissions tutor(s)

Ms Elke Oerter , Course Administrator

    Year one

    Students studying this course will be able to study modules outside of their allocated School(s) Core and Optional modules from another participating Academic School. An overview of the module collections available can be found here.

    Year two

    Module titleModule codeCredits
    Microeconomic TheoryBS255020 credits
    Macroeconomic TheoryBS254920 credits

    Year three: Sandwich year

    Year four

    The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

    Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping students to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop their own ideas.

    Seminars provide an opportunity for students to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment. Seminars would 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. Seminars offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field. It is vital that students prepare for seminars (undertaking any set reading, developing independent critical thought) in order to gain the maximum benefit from the sessions.

    Lectures and seminars enable students to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment.

    Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing students’ 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 enables students to produce their best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling students to develop their strengths and address any weaker areas.

    Dissertation: The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby 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.

    Pastoral Care: You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.

    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.

    The destinations from the School are often international in nature, with many graduates enjoying their overseas student experience to such an extent that they opt to take time out to travel further, or go abroad on graduation in the hope of securing employment. 

    Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many start work immediately following their studies. Their employment options are varied and many opt to utilise the language skills that they have developed over their degree, in roles such 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.


    4 Year(s)

    Next intake

    September 2016

    Places available

    Typical places available

    The School admits 550 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes

    Applications received

    Typical applications received



    QAA subject benchmark

    QAA subject benchmark

    Languages and related subjects, Economics

    What are the aims of this Programme?


    German at Cardiff can be taken at beginners or advanced level. First and foremost, studying for a degree in German involves dedicating yourself to learning the language. At Cardiff, we place great emphasis on strengthening reading, writing, oral and aural skills, which are vital communication skills. As regards the language, there are two routes in the first and second years, one for students who are beginners of German, and the other for students who are advanced. Both routes will include option modules in the fields of film, literature, history of art, politics and history. German language is a core module throughout your course.

    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 students are able to gain a better understanding of German culture and of how Germany and other German speaking countries has evolved over the centuries, becoming what it is today. If you study German, your career prospects will be enhanced, as the number of jobs for which knowledge of German is needed is on the increase. Opportunities exist not only in teaching, museum work and the fine arts, but also in banking, insurance, marketing, publishing, the media, the civil service, all branches of tourism and the higher echelons of the administrative fields. There has been a recent upsurge in career opportunities for graduates in German in the commercial and institutional links within the European Union.

    German students will develop high-level language skills with the aim being to achieve near-native competency along with in-depth knowledge of aspects of the culture, history, politics and/or society of Germany and other German speaking countries. 


    The overall and specific aims of the economics components of each of the three Economics with a European Languages Programmes are set out in the Programme Specification for the single honours programmes:

    • Economics

    • Business Economics

    • Banking and Finance

    The overall aim of the language components of the three programmes is to build on the student’s previous knowledge of the chosen language and to develop their skills in Economics and vocational foreign language communications.

    The Programmes offer the opportunity across the four years of study to follow a number of economics modules that will support the student’s choice of joint degree with a language. The Programmes encourage a range of transferable skills that will be of value to student in the subsequent careers.

    Specifically the language component of the three Economics with a European Language Programmes aim to:

    consolidate the students’ language skills.

    • enable the students to study effectively during their year aboard.

    • equip the students with the knowledge and skills to successfully undertake academic assessments and examinations for international business certificates.

    • enhance the students’ professional language skills.

    • develop the students understanding of the business environment and culture of their chosen EU country.

    • provide the skills that will allow student to take up a career using a foreign language.

    What is expected of me?

    It might seem that that you have very few hours of teaching, but as a student, you are expected to demonstrate that you are progressing academically by attending lectures, language classes, seminars and tutorials. It is extremely important that you attend all of your classes for the following reasons:

    It is in the lectures that you find out what the key topics in your subject are, which can help you structure your additional reading.

    Your seminars are the place for you to discuss issues raised in the course and from your reading, and to enhance and develop your understanding.

    Both your lectures and seminars will help you prepare your essays and revise for your exams.

    Your presence can also help others to learn (as well as you), whilst student absence disrupts the learning process for the whole group.

    Attendance at lectures, seminars, and tutorials is COMPULSORY. Therefore if you are unable to attend, you must notify your tutor or the Departmental secretary in advance by telephone, by email or in writing in order to explain your absence. Further information on illness, reporting extenuating circumstances, and leave of absences can be found in subject Handbooks and the Academic Regulations Handbook.

    The Department expects that Students will:

    ·         attend all classes, punctually, and to explain any absence (in advance where possible)

    ·         prepare adequately for and contribute to seminars and tutorials

    ·         avoid plagiarism (plagiarism being work which uses the words or ideas of others without acknowledging them as such)

    ·         take responsibility for their own learning, with appropriate guidance  monitor their own progress and take account of the feedback given

    ·         show respect for their fellow students, tutors and the learning environment

    ·         manage their time effectively so that they are adequately prepared for all classes and assignments

    ·         complete their assessments on time and in compliance with the instructions given

    ·          take responsibility for advising themselves of the regulations governing assessments

    ·         ensure that they are registered for the requisite number of modules and that the academic registry are aware of which modules they are taking

    ·         read all handbooks carefully and take appropriate action

    ·         regularly access their University e-mail account

    ·         ask members of staff before using their names as referee

    How is this Programme Structured?

    The BA in German and Economics is a full-time 4 year programmes of study with one year spent abroad studying economics at An EU University or business school.The programmes involve compulsory and optional modules over the 3 years at Cardiff, with compulsory language modules in each year. Students normally attain 480 in total.

    Just over two thirds of the modules the students complete are taught by the Business Schools Economics section as part of the single honours Economics/Business Economics/Banking and Finance degree programme. Just under one third are taught by the Language Section of Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning.

    The programme comes under the jurisdiction of the Economics Board of Studies. Details of the programme structure, requirements, modules and credits can be found in the Business School’s Module Catalogue. 

    Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?

    No specific equipment required

    What skills will I practise and develop?

    On completion of the programme students in German should be able to:

    ·         communicate ideas effectively and fluently;

    ·         use communication and information technologies for the retrieval and presentation od information;

    ·         work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management;

    ·         gather, organise and deploy information from a variety of sources;

    ·         develop a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement;

    ·         develop the learning ability needed to undertake further training of a professional or equivalent nature;

    ·         reflect on your learning progress and make use of constructive feedback;

    ·         manage your learning self-critically

    The acquisition of skills and of intellectual understanding generally is progressive. As you progress through your degree we will raise our expectations of the depth and breadth of your studies. In broad terms:

    Year One introduces you to a variety and range of approaches.

    Year Two provides you with specific training in the critical analysis of concepts, theories and methods.

    Year Three is a year abroad.

    Final Year provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills through a systematic engagement with, and interrogation of primary sources in your modules and in the production of a Dissertation based on original research.

    You are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and for the presentation of your findings. We cannot learn for you, but it is our responsibility to help you learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, and to help you become independent learners.

    How will I be taught?

    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Core knowledge and understanding is taught and learnt through lectures, workshops, classes IT based language laboratory sessions and assigned reading. Classes provide the means for reinforcing knowledge and understanding.

    More advanced knowledge and understanding is acquired and developed by independent study, speaking and reading extensively in the foreign language, and in classes working on authentic documents.

    The use of the University’s language services laboratories (audio studios, interactive computer, language learning software, interactive video packages, video viewing facilities, networked PC’s and continental satellite TV) is incorporated into teaching and learning. Students are encouraged to use the full range of open access facilities.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Intellectual skills are taught and learnt through workshops, classes; IT based laboratory sessions and assigned reading. Classes focused on foreign and English documents provide the means for reinforcing intellectual skills.

    More advanced intellectual skills are acquired and developed by independent study, speaking and reading extensively in the foreign language and working on various forms of communication.

    How will I be assessed?


    There will also be opportunities to prepare formative tasks. These are tasks that are not counted in determining your final mark, but give you an opportunity to have feedback on your progress. These tasks can be oral presentations in seminars, essay plans, short written pieces or computer tasks.


    Students will receive written feedback on written assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and their contributions to seminars. The opportunity to understand and use feedback constructively will also be provided through regular meetings with Personal Tutors at key moments every year. 


    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Knowledge and understanding are assessed summatively through written tests, aural tests, oral tests and presentations, class work and assignments.

    Formative assessment is provided in classes. Individual feedback indicating errors, strengths, weaknesses and direction for improvement are offered to each student.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Intellectual skills are assessed summatively through written tests, aural test, oral tests and presentations, class work and assignments.

    Formative assessment is provided in classes, as part of group activities discussing current affairs. The smallness of the groups makes continuous and detailed individual feedback to each student possible.                                                                                                                                   

    How will I be supported?

    Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor with whom to discuss and reflect upon academic progress and discuss any problems or circumstances that adversely affect your studies. Please see the relevant Notice Boards for information on your Personal Tutor. If your Personal Tutor is unavailable, and you wish urgently to discuss matters with a member of staff, you may seek advice from the Senior Tutor or another member of staff. Every member of staff has weekly office hours in which you may seek further support.

    What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?


    Graduates from this programme will be able to:

    • demonstrate critical understanding;
    • demonstrate a high level of language competency in German, both orally and in writing;
    • demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of human society across a wide geographical and chronological range;
    • identify patterns of change and to locate detailed examination of particular themes, episodes and events within them;
    • develop a reasoned, coherent, argument about specific problems, deploying appropriate evidence, and demonstrating awareness of the limits of their knowledge;
    • achieve the above objectives both independently and as part of a team.


    The specific outcomes for the language component, in terms of knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills are set out below.

    Students who gain the award will have demonstrated achievement of the following language Learning Outcomes:

    A Knowledge and Understanding 

    Upon completion of the Economics/Business Economics/Banking and Finance with a European Language Programme a typical student should be able to:

    • be familiar with the basic economic and business vocabulary of their chosen language.

    • have a sound knowledge of advanced grammar and syntax of their chosen language.

    • comprehend various forms of communications in their chosen language.

    •understanding the key economic and business features of their chosen European country.

    B Intellectual Skills     

    Upon completion of the Economics/Business Economics/Banking and Finance with a European Language Programme a typical student should be able to:

    • translate economics and business documents competently.

    • analyse and comment on various forms of communication in their chosen language.

    • discuss current affairs accurately in their chosen language.

    • write intelligently in their chosen language on economic and business subjects, including those relating to their chosen country.                                                                                                                     

    Other information

    Students will develop a range of discipline-specific skills that employers also value. Students learn to assess critically a body of knowledge, to develop hypotheses, test them against qualitative and quantitative evidence, and present conclusions both in writing and orally.

    Admissions tutors

    Ms Elke Oerter , Course Administrator

      Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.