German and Music (BA)

Entry year

2018/19 2019/20

This joint honours degree programme enables students to combine the study of the popular European language of German with Music.

Our aim at the School of Modern Languages and Music is to develop and educate our students to become ‘global citizens’. By combining German and Music you will gain a variety 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.  

Germany is a major actor on the European and world stage, possessing a rich and sophisticated culture. German is one of the official working languages of the European Union and of the United Nations.

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 as you progress through your course.

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, and we aspire to offer a genuinely broad course that offers challenging and stimulating modules. 

Home to the arts, Cardiff is a great location for the study of music in the UK. The city has a professional opera company, Welsh National Opera, and a professional symphony orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The School of Music enjoys a fruitful relationship with both organisations that allows, for instance, our students to attend dress rehearsals and buy cut-price tickets for concerts. 

You are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one or more instruments or voice at the time of your application. You may be considered if you are not taking A-level Music but have Grade 8 Practical and Grade 7/8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level.

As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research. 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.   

Distinctive features

  • Research-led teaching that allows you to engage with new ideas that are helping to shape the future of German studies and Music.
  • High-quality language teaching delivered by native speakers.
  • A vibrant programme of extra-curricular activities to support your language learning and immersion into German culture.
  • A curriculum with a clear learning arc, drawing on the latest research and providing a thorough understanding of German culture.
  • The option of taking a credit-bearing work placement.
  • The opportunity to spend your third year either studying or working in Germany or a German speaking country.
  • An exciting range of opportunities beyond your formal studies to engage with local schools and communities in promoting language learning and develop your own skills and profile.
  • Fully-funded instrumental (or vocal) tuition on your principal study instrument.
  • The option in both subjects to write a dissertation lets you choose a topic that draws on both disciplines.
  • Exploring music within a broad cultural context, embracing the literary, the social and the political.
  • Opportunities for contact with active music professionals through composition workshops, performance masterclasses, the University concert series, and our careers talks.

Key facts

UCAS CodeWR32
Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration4 years
ModeFull time
Contact

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerThree A-level subjects, including a B in Music and a B in German for the advanced pathway. Exceptions can be made according to personal circumstances. Exceptions can be made according to personal circumstances. Two AS subjects may be considered in lieu of a third A-level. All joint honours applicants with Music are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one instrument or voice at the time of application. Consideration will be given to applicants who are not taking A-level Music but have Grade 8 Practical and Grade 7/8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level. 
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerThe Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.  Please also see ‘Other requirements’ below. 
Typical International Baccalaureate offer32 points with 6 in HL Music and 6 in HL in a modern language for the beginners pathway or 6 in HL in German for the advanced pathway. Please also see ‘other requirements’ below.
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Modern Languages and School of Music admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf 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 requirementsYou will need GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4. Alternatively, IGCSE English First Language or English Second Language will be considered at grade C. All joint honours applicants with Music are expected to have gained or shown evidence of working towards Grade 8 in one instrument or voice at the time of application. Consideration will be given to applicants who are not taking A-level Music but have Grade 8 Practical and Grade 7/8 Theory and are studying appropriate Humanities subjects at A-level.   Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Modern Languages and School of Music admissions criteria pages. Typical IELTS offer: 6.5 with, at least, 6.0 in each component.

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 2018 and this page will be updated by end of October 2018 to reflect the changes.

The BA German and Music is a four-year degree programme. It is structured in such a way that you will acquire high-level language and economic competencies, combined with the skills to become an independent and critical thinker, equipped for professional employment.

In each year of the programme you will study 120 credits, equally split between 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in German. Your third year will be spent studying or working abroad in Germany or another German-speaking country.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018. You are advised to check the final module descriptions when they are available to ensure that the programme meets your needs.

Year one

You will combine 60 credits of German with 60 credits of Music.

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. 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. 

You will also study a non-language module which introduces you to the development of Germany as a nation, exploring what it has symbolised for different groups at different moments in history. The module will enable you to develop a good understanding of intercultural awareness, and the highly-prized ability to mediate between cultures.

In the first year the School of Music offers core instruction in analysis, harmony and counterpoint, history of music, composition and practical musicianship. As a BA student you will take a free choice from these subjects.

To complement your academic study, you are actively encouraged to join the University Choir or Orchestra and other ensembles.

Module titleModule codeCredits
German History and Culture in Transnational ContextML718720 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Advanced German Language Year 1ML718840 credits
Beginners German Language Year 1ML718940 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Composition 1AMU110710 credits
Ethnomusicology 1: Music in Human LifeMU112410 credits
Elements of Tonal Music 1MU112520 credits
The Full WorksMU112710 credits
Elfennau 1MU113520 credits
Composition 1BMU120810 credits
A History of Popular MusicMU122610 credits
Elements of Tonal Music 2MU122720 credits
From Page to Stage: Dramaturgy in Musical TheatreMU123010 credits
Composing the LandscapeMU123110 credits
Elfennau 2MU123720 credits
Practical Musicianship 1MU131410 credits
Repertoire StudiesMU131720 credits
Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol IMU132410 credits
Astudiaethau RepertoireMU132720 credits

Year two

In year two you will again take 60 credits in Music and 60 credits in German.

The language elements build on the work undertaken in year one, and prepare you for your year abroad.

In addition to language, you will study 30 credits looking at Germany in a transnational context. This will introduce you to key approaches, methodologies and critical tools which you can apply to an in-depth study, looking at a range of topics such as culture, history and politics.

In Music, courses are more advanced and you will focus on more specialist topics, choosing from four groups: Composition and Electroacoustic Studies, Written and Practical Musicianship, Analytical and Critical Skills, and Historical Studies. Our year two modules on the Business of Music I/II are designed to help you better understand different branches of the music profession and give an opportunity for a short placement in an area related to music or the arts, either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits.

Outside of your formal studies, you will have the opportunity to take part in our highly-praised Student Mentoring Scheme, supported by the Welsh Assembly Government. Pupils in selected secondary schools are mentored by our specially-trained undergraduate students who go into schools to mentor pupils in small groups of two or three over a period of five weeks.

You may also choose to take part in the Student Language Ambassador (SLA) scheme, acting as advocates for language learning. Following specific training, as an SLA you may get the opportunity to speak publicly at events, sharing your personal experience of language learning. You may take part in a range of activities, such as language taster sessions, presenting and promoting the year abroad, supporting School language days and events, or promoting modern languages at career fairs or open days.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Cultures in Context (German)ML728230 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

Your third year is spent in Germany or another German-speaking country. The year abroad will enable you to develop your language skills, deepen your understanding of the target culture and develop your independence, resourcefulness and resilience.

Your options will 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 French organisation or company. 

If you choose the study option, we have established exchange programmes which provide opportunities to study in institutions in cities such as such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.

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.

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. It is also excellent preparation for your final year and gives you a level of self-confidence and maturity that has proven popular with employers.

Any student who undertakes a study placement or a traineeship/work placement in Europe is currently eligible to apply for an Erasmus grant.     

Year four

When we welcome you back to Cardiff in your final year, you will continue to develop your language skills, studying 30 credits of German language and a 30 credit German optional module, in addition to 60 credits from Music.

In Music, you choose again from the four subject groups, and can pursue one of the three major academic projects: Dissertation, Project in Ethnomusicology, or Project in Music Analysis. You may complete a short composition portfolio (Composition IV) and/or a ‘closed’ recital in front of examiners only (Practical Musicianship IV).

You will have the opportunity to build on the broad base of knowledge and skills you have developed to study an area of research expertise in the School, through taught modules and/or a dissertation. You will also have the opportunity to take part in our very popular teaching module, an accredited module where you will build on study and workshops at the University to undertake a teaching placement at one of our partner schools on the area.

Module titleModule codeCredits
High-Level Proficiency in German LanguageML736630 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Final Year Dissertation - German (in English/Welsh)ML735930 credits
Final Year Dissertation - German (in German)ML736130 credits
Screening the City: Berlin on FilmML736230 credits
The German Idea of HistoryML736330 credits
Geschichte oder Geschichten? - die Gegenwartsliteratur im historischen KontextML736430 credits
The GDR in Literature & CultureML736530 credits
Practical Musicianship 3 (Ensemble)MU313710 credits
The Birth of ModernismMU314910 credits
Studio Techniques 2: Audio and Hard Disk RecordingMU316320 credits
20th Century Contrapuntal PracticeMU316410 credits
The Birth of ModernismMU316520 credits
Nineteenth Century Italian OperaMU316810 credits
Nineteenth Century Italian OperaMU316920 credits
Studio Techniques 2: Audio and Hard Disk RecordingMU326720 credits
Wagner and Romantic OperaMU327410 credits
Wagner and Romantic OperaMU327520 credits
The Cultures of BeethovenMU328010 credits
The Cultures of BeethovenMU328120 credits
Performance Practice and Organology the Long Seventeenth Century, 1550-1700MU328410 credits
Performance Practice and Organology the Long Seventeenth Century, 1550-1700MU328520 credits
Jazz, Culture and PoliticsMU328610 credits
Jazz, Culture and PoliticsMU328720 credits
FugueMU328810 credits
DissertationMU334030 credits
Project in Music AnalysisMU334330 credits
Practical Musicianship 4 (Performance)MU334420 credits
Composition 4MU334520 credits
Project in EthnomusicologyMU334630 credits
Practical Contribution Portfolio 3MU334710 credits
TraethawdMU335030 credits
Cerddoriaeth Ymarferol IV (Perfformiad)MU335420 credits
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.

How will I be taught?

Most of our modules consist of a mixture of lectures, seminars and language classes that enable you to develop communication and analytical skills, and to develop critical thinking in a supportive environment. The teaching covers all the key competencies, and is enhanced by the inclusion of digital learning.

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 engage critically with key ideas and explore the ideas outlined in lectures in a small group environment, usually consisting 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.

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.

Independent study forms a key part of your learning, and our independent learning portfolios have been developed to provide you with online resources to support your independent language learning.

How will I be supported?

Our BA in German and Music programme is team-taught, with the programme as a whole overseen by the Programme Director. You will be supported by a number of different staff, some focussing on academic performance in a particular area and some looking at learning and progress more holistically.

All academic staff have designated hours where they are available to meet with you to offer advice and feedback on the subjects that they teach.

You will also be allocated a personal tutor, who will meet with you regularly to reflect on your progress and development across your studies, and to think about how to build on your achievements and advance further. The personal tutor can also guide you if you are experiencing difficulties towards appropriate support.

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.

A skills development week each semester allows 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 to relevant learning resources, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

We pride ourselves on the level of engagement we have with our student body, giving you the opportunity to express your opinions and be partners in School decision-making where possible. We survey students regularly to make sure we are always working in your best interests.   

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, the Academic Skills Development Centre and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

Feedback on your work is given frequently and in a wide variety of formats and is intended to help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your learning, as well as give indications of how you might improve in your performance in examinations and coursework.

You will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

The focus of assessment is in supporting you to develop your ideas, skills and competencies, with the feedback you receive feeding forward into future work.

We use traditional assessment formats (such as essays, class tests, case studies, exams and dissertation) as well as more innovative forms of assessment, (such as blogs, participation in radio shows, video and audio projects, interviews, portfolios, and so forth).

Assessments include formative assessments (which enable you to develop your skills and do not count towards your final degree classification) and summative assessments (which do count towards your final classification).

As part of your skills training in year one, you will be supported in understanding how the assessments work, what is expected of you, how you will be marked and how to make the most of your feedback. As part of your skills training in year one, you will be supported in understanding how the assessments work, what is expected of you, how you will be marked and how to make the most of your feedback.

What skills will I practise and develop?

 

 

What are the learning outcomes of this course/programme?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to speak, write, and understand one or more foreign languages to a high level of competency.
  • An in-depth intercultural understanding including specific knowledge of other cultures, allied to the ability to navigate and mediate between more than one culture.
  • Musical creativity and imagination;
  • Key compositional techniques and skills.
  • Notate ideas effectively and correctly.
  • Knowledge of composers, their musical languages, techniques and styles.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Enhanced linguistic skills, as well as a broad appreciation of the culture, literature, and history of Germany and German speaking countries.
  • The ability to communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech, in English and German.
  • Critical reading, independent research, and writing skills.
  • Skills in literary analysis, interpretative reading, and written expression.
  • Analytical skills and developing instinct towards independent and informed, researched interpretation.
  • Notate musical ideas correctly and effectively.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Using a range of IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate.
  • Resilience and independence through time spent in immersive foreign language contexts.
  • Communication and critical-thinking skills.
  • Working to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time.
  • Skills when working as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving.
  • Use of a range of instruments and their technical capabilities.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to grasp complex issues with confidence.
  • The ability to analyse complex texts.
  • The ability to interpret and apply relevant data.
  • Practical research skills.
  • Imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence.
  • Learning from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights.
  • Taking responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.
  • Critical skills (reasoning, evaluating evidence, problem-solving, relating theory to practice).
  • Creativity and innovative thinking.
  • Leadership, teamwork and self-management skills.
  • Identifying, recording and communicating your relevant career attainments.

SCHOOL OF MODERN LANGUAGES   

In 2015/16, 94% 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 Postgraduate Taught degrees or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their studies, and our graduates go on to secure excellent careers in international diplomacy, the Civil Service, teaching, business and journalism. Other employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proof-readers.   

SCHOOL OF MUSIC

In 2015/16, 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 skills developed within a music degree help our students to progress to a wide range of careers, both within and beyond the music profession.

Employability skills are embedded in modules at the School of Music so that you will learn both music-specific and academic skills that are transferable to other domains, especially the workplace. Our second-year modules on the Business of Music are designed to help you better understand different branches of the music profession and provide an opportunity to undertake a short placement in a music-related or arts-related area.

Our annual series of talks on Careers in Music offer a great chance to meet professionals active in a range of fields such as performance, music education, music journalism, arts and artist management, production and licensing, and composing for media.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

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 (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£16,350None

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?

Many students choose to invest in personal copies of unabridged bilingual dictionaries and reference grammars. While copies of most course materials are available in the library, many students opt to acquire personal copies of set texts.

Other than your principal study instrument, you will not need any specific equipment.

Accomodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Each candidate's profile is considered as a complete picture, taking into account your interest in and suitability for the degree, as shown in your personal statement and referee's report, as well as achieved and predicted grades. Your ability to present an argument, evidence of intellectual curiosity and your enthusiasm for and commitment to studying will also be assessed.

If you are interested in teaching you may have the possibility of completing an internship teaching language in a UK secondary school in your final year.

Year two modules on the Business of Music I/II give an opportunity for a short placement, either in one block or as a series of regular workplace visits.

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