Accessibility statement

German language and society III

Auferstanden aus Ruinen…


This module aims to deepen students’ critical knowledge and understanding of contemporary Germany in its European context. In addition, and building on the knowledge and skills acquired during the year abroad, the module aims to increase proficiency in the practice of different registers of German, both written and spoken. It will also enable students to master the techniques of extended essay writing in German.

Satisfactory completion of the course should enable students to:

  • Demonstrate an in depth understanding of aspects of contemporary German society and culture.
  • Demonstrate an ability to undertake personal research.
  • Present sources from a critical perspective and develop arguments effectively in both spoken and written German.
  • Achieve a high level of accuracy in the production of both written and spoken German.


Students must have successfully completed one of the following:

  • A semester in a German-speaking country
  • A year in a German-speaking country


Contact hours

Two seminar hours in terms 1 and 2. There will be no timetabled teaching sessions in week 10 of term 2 to allow for individual consultations to discuss the end of year paper. In term 3, there will be one seminar in weeks 1 and 2 focusing primarily on consolidation of knowledge and language skills. Weeks 3 and 4 will focus on oral presentations.

Teaching programme

All the lessons are conducted as seminars in order to encourage discussion and interaction. Therefore, completing weekly tasks in preparation for class discussion is an essential part of students’ commitment.

The classes will cover a number of themes which are important to understand the making of contemporary Germany as an influential state in contemporary Europe. The critical analysis of intellectual controversies about its past and national identity as well as political debates about its geopolitical role and economic model in the European context will form the centre of the seminar enquiry.

Using authentic materials from a range of sources (television broadcast, newspaper articles, books, websites), particular emphasis will be given to developing students’ ability to present and analyse sources from a critical perspective. The medium of instruction is German.

Teaching materials

A dossier of texts and materials will be provided by the tutor. Additional resources will be available on the VLE site of the module. In addition, students are expected to keep up with German current affairs.

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on formative work

  • Written formative work
    • Written comments on the work, and mark on University mark scale
    • Oral/written feedback in class, discussing major issues and mistakes/content/structure
    • Individual feedback during office hours, when necessary
  • Oral formative work:
    • Feedback on oral presentations and class discussions
    • Direct oral feedback in class discussions
    • Written feedback form for oral presentations with mark on university marking scale, comments on different aspects of the presentation, i.e. content, argumentation, logic, register etc.
    • Individual feedback during my office hours, when necessary

Written feedback will usually be given within two weeks.

Summative assessment and feedback

  • Oral presentation in Summer term
    • Weight: 40%
    • Feedback: written feedback sheet within four weeks.
  • 3000-word research paper  to be submitted in Summer term 
    • Essay topic to be chosen and developed by students in consultation with tutor.
    • Weight: 60%
    • Feedback: written feedback form with a mark on the university marking scale, confirmed by the second marker; and written comments on different aspects of the work, i.e. structure, content, logic and argumentation, grammatical accuracy, examples of typical mistakes (language). Feedback will be given by week 9, when students will also be able to see comments on their written assignment at an appointed time.

Transferable skills developed in this module

All modules provide an opportunity to work on general oral/written communication skills (in class and in assessments) and general self management (organising your studies), alongside the specific skills in language or linguistics that the module teaches.

In addition to these, this module will allow you to particularly develop skills in social and intercultural awareness.  By investigating current issues in societies where German is spoken, you will learn how historical and political events shape societies, how cultural expectations inform debates and how you can best communicate your understanding in German.

Follow this link to hear how past students use transferable skills from their degree in their current jobs.

About this module

  • Module name
    German language and society III
    Deutsche Sprache und Gesellschaft III
  • Course code
    G10H (LAN00010H)
  • Teacher 
    Thomas Jochum-Critchley
  • Term(s) taught
    All terms
  • Credits