German (BA)

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, when you will experience life in a German-speaking country at first hand.

We offer German for both advanced students and beginners. In your first year, in addition to your language tuition, an introduction to German History and Culture seeks to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies. From the second year onwards, students choose from a variety of options, which as a supplement to German-specific topics, normally include modules on European film, comparative literature and cultural history, as well as translation theory and practice.  In the final year, students have the opportunity to write a dissertation, which stimulates initiative, and can serve as a useful preparation for postgraduate study.

We aspire to offer a genuinely broad programme: challenging courses that cover not only intellectual history and language expertise, but also the practical skills of Business German and Translation Studies.

Key facts

UCAS CodeR200
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 185 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications
Typical A level offerABB including a B in a language. (General Studies is not accepted.)
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core plus grades BB at A-level, including B in a language (German or other language incl. Welsh). General Studies is not accepted.
Typical International Baccalaureate offerConsidered on individual merit
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Monika Hennemann, Course Administrator

Dr Monika Hennemann, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published in July 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Whether you come to Cardiff to study for Single or  Joint Honours German you will combine German with other modern languages modules in your first  year. This allows you to  study up to three languages  for a year and to change your degree programme after one year, should you wish  to do so and should you obtain the required  grades.

Year one

As well as students with A-level German, we also welcome students who have no previous knowledge of German. Such applicants will generally require an A-level in another modern foreign language. We run two pathways for languages: one for students with an A-level or equivalent competence in a language; the other for students with little or not previous knowledge or learning of the language.

Year two

Note that the list of modules below is indicative only and modules may vary from year to year

Year three: Sandwich year

You spend the third year of your German degree in Germany or Austria.  You have a range of options, which  include studying at one of our partner universities, working as an English  assistant in a school, or working for a German organisation.

While you are away from Cardiff, you will be assigned to the  Year Abroad coordinator who will keep in touch with you and monitor your  progress.

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.

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.

Jobs

  • Teaching
  • Banking and Finance
  • Interpreter

Duration

4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

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 search of employment. 

Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many pursue postgraduate studies such as one of the School’s MA degrees in European Studies or Translation or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their graduation, and their employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proof-readers, 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.

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The School of Modern Languages aims to develop and educate its students to become ‘global citizens’. 

German is the native language of nearly 100 million people. To speak German is to be part of a vibrant cultural, economic and political 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.

We offer German for both advanced students and beginners. The linguistic skills you acquire will give you direct access not only to contemporary society, but also German history, literature, drama, music and film.

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 German history and culture module seeks to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies. From the second year onwards, you choose from a variety of optional modules that, 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.

Your understanding of the language will be further developed and refined during your year abroad, when you will experience life in a German-speaking country at first hand.       

In the final year, you have the opportunity to write a dissertation, which stimulates initiative, and can serve as a useful preparation for postgraduate study.

It is important to remember that studying languages is not just about the language itself. It involves exploring many aspects of a country. We aspire to offer a genuinely broad programme that offers challenging and stimulating modules covering not only history and language expertise, but also the practical skills of Business German and Translation Studies 

On completion of this four-year programme, you will have a high level of proficiency in the language, as well as a critical understanding of key aspects of German history, culture, literature, politics and contemporary society. 

Our core offerings are supplemented by a wide variety of extracurricular activities including a film series, workshops, conversation groups, and Goethe Institute language exam preparations.  The student-run German Society organises a programme of seasonal social events and trips, which presently includes an annual trip to Germany.

What should I know about year five?

How is this course/programme structured?

This is a four-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits a year. The third year is spent abroad.

What should I know about year four?

German no longer distinguishes between beginner and advanced students in the final year as all students of German take the same language modules in year four.

You will refine your linguistic skills in terms of expression and translation, and pursue your areas of interest by choosing specialised module options, normally covering historical, literary and cultural topics, as well as European film and translation.

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.

Available modules may vary from year to year.

What should I know about year three?

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.

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 the best possible preparation for your final year and it gives language graduates the self-confidence and maturity that makes them so popular with future employers.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

What should I know about year one?

You will combine German with the study of another modern language or translation, allowing you to experience more than one field of study.

In year one we run two pathways for students; 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. Our ‘Core’ and ‘Key optional modules’ below indicate the modules you would be required to study depending on your subject specific A-levels. You are then free to choose from the ’further optional modules’ list.

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.

A varied timetable includes oral expression, aural comprehension and writing skills, which are taught in small groups to enhance confidence and active learning. Our teaching methods allow you to engage with a range of materials including videos, films and websites as well as interactive learning tools. Language classes are taught through the medium of German, allowing you to immerse yourself in the language right from the start.  Class materials include a range from literary and historical to contemporary journalistic texts, providing a broad insight into German language and culture.

In addition to your language tuition, an Introduction to German History and Culture module seeks to provide a solid foundation for more specialised studies. 

Other information

Distinctive features

The BA in German conforms to the standards set out in the Credit and Qualification Framework for Wales and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) benchmarks.

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • entry option for applicants who do not have German A-level (such applicants will generally require an A-level in another modern foreign language). German can therefore be studied at beginner or advanced level in years 1 and 2
  • both beginners and advance routes include option modules in film, literature, culture, Business German, politics and history
  • we place great emphasis on strengthening reading, writing, oral and aural skills. These vital communication skills are practiced and developed through regular classwork exercises, written work, use of video and audio material, and interaction with native speakers (including German Erasmus students hosted by the department)
  • German language is a core module throughout the course
  • year three is spent studying or working in Germany or Austria.

How will I be taught?

Language classes are taught in groups to enhance confidence and active learning.   We place great emphasis on strengthening reading, writing, oral and aural skills.  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 materials including videos, films, websites as well as interactive learning tools.

Most optional modules consist of a mixture of lectures and seminars that enable you to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment.

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 lecture in a small group environment. Seminars usually consist of around 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 you prepare for seminars (undertaking any set reading, developing independent critical thought) in order to gain the maximum benefit from the sessions.

Admissions tutors

Dr Monika Hennemann, Course Administrator

Dr Monika Hennemann, Admissions Tutor


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