Skip to content
Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Linguistics with German (BA)

BA (Hons) Linguistics with German

Immerse yourself in German language and study the science behind communication

Year of entry: 2020

UCAS code

Q1R2

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB/ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£17,890 per year (2020/21)

Visit us

Join us on campus or online and find out what studying at York is really like.

Find out more

Study the most widely-spoken language in Europe; a language which has a global business reach. Combine the study of German with investigations into the nature of language itself. 

You'll be taught the language component of the course in German, so you'll become confident using German as a means of communication, and for critical thinking. You'll gain an understanding of German culture and society which will underpin your abilities as a high-level communicator.

Your communication skills will be complemented by studying linguistics. This will enable you to understand and interpret language, and to learn the science behind how we communicate. You’ll engage with the study of language on a conceptual level as well as the detailed level of raw linguistic data. The course has flexibility in terms of how much German and linguistics content you study. Your knowledge and understanding of how a language works, and how we communicate, will give you a solid foundation for many careers.

Highly ranked

We are in the top 10 in the UK for graduate prospects for Linguistics (Complete University Guide 2020). We have the second highest proportion of world-leading linguistics research in the UK (REF 2014). We are in the top 100 for Linguistics (QS World Rankings by Subject 2019).

Happy students

We have 94% overall satisfaction for Linguistics. For learning opportunities we have 98% for German. For teaching on my course we have 93% satisfaction for German and 90% for Linguistics from our student responses to the National Student Survey (NSS 2019).

I'd thoroughly recommend studying German ab initio because it's very different to learning a language at school - you acquire language skills and grammar through studying the culture and history of Germany (and Austria), rather than through repetitive exercises. The teaching is brilliant! The tutors provide the guidance you need and their enthusiasm for teaching their language is passed on.
Sarah, BA French and German with a year abroad

Course content

During your degree, you'll study modules in German and linguistics and may have the option to study elective modules from another department.

Your language modules will explore the society and culture of German-speaking societies and you'll be taught almost exclusively in German. These modules will help you to develop the cultural and linguistic knowledge you'll need to become a high-level communicator in each language.

Your linguistics modules will help you understand the nature of language itself: how it is structured, how it has evolved, and how we use and understand it within our society. These modules will enable you to think critically and approach your studies from an analytical point of view.

In your second and final years, you can tailor your degree to your interests. In the final year, you can choose from a range of advanced German modules designed to consolidate your critical skills through in-depth research and analysis. You'll also become proficient in all aspects of managing small-scale linguistic analysis projects, from identifying the research questions, to communicating the findings. Many final-year linguistics modules offer you the opportunity to focus on German language as the topic of research.

 

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

We also offer BA German and Linguistics (with a year abroad).

Year 1

If you have studied German to A level: you'll take two German modules and four linguistics modules.

If you are taking German ab initio (from scratch): you'll take three German modules and three linguistics modules.

Language

You'll take two 20-credit core modules in German. These modules focus on developing your fluency, accuracy and communication expertise

Ab initio German

If you are taking German ab initio, you'll take three 20-credit German modules and three linguistics modules.

Linguistics

You'll take three or four 20-credit linguistics modules depending on your background in German.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

You'll study six modules overall: two German modules, two linguistics modules, and two more from a range of options.

Language

You'll study one compulsory 20-credit language module in German.

You will choose one more 20-credit module in German from the following options:

Your studies will focus on issues of culture and society in the German-speaking world. You will develop skills in critical analysis of sources and communicate your findings using German in different registers. You'll tackle questions such as:

  • How do Germans view their role in a democratic society and what is their relationship with 'Vater Staat'?
  • How did historical events shape the Germany we know today?

Linguistics

You'll study one 20-credit core linguistics module.

You'll study one 20-credit module of either:

Option modules

You'll study two further modules in languages or linguistics, these can include one Languages For All module or an elective module offered by another department.

We can offer you unparalleled coverage of the field, with modules taught by world-leading academics in the core areas of syntax, phonetics and phonology, semantics, and sociolinguistics, and in sub-fields including second language acquisition, child bilingualism, and historical-comparative linguistics.

Year 3

You'll study six modules overall. You can choose from a range of options.

Language option modules (20 credits each)

Most linguistics modules require you to have taken certain modules in your first and second year. In some of these, you can choose to focus on a language of your choice. The list belows demonstrates some of the modules that are running this year:

Linguistics modules (20 credits each)

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Interact effectively, in a variety of contexts, having developed an awareness of and sensitivity to linguistic and intercultural norms and practices enabling you to solve bilingual communication-related problems.
  • Approach with confidence intricate, complex and unfamiliar linguistic phenomena, discern relevant patterns and convey their significance to different audiences.
  • Reflect on the learning process and apply a range of language acquisition strategies by taking advantage of both formal and informal bilingual settings in order to become an autonomous learner.
  • Acquire, synthesise and critically assess linguistic and culturally-sensitive information, from a variety of sources and formats, in order to better inform relevant linguistic research
  • Select and deploy appropriate qualitative and quantitative research methods acquired through the study of the nature, use, and acquisition of language to gain a holistic and multifaceted understanding of a range of issues in the cognitive and social sciences.
  • Show sensitivity and perceptiveness concerning aspects of social, cultural, and political realities where language plays an important role and be able to highlight the relevance of linguistic issues to policy-making in a globalised and interconnected world.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively to specialists and the general public the nature and relevance of linguistic questions and controversies, the pivotal significance of language for human cognition, and the ways knowledge of language influences behaviour.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £17,890

Additional costs

Set texts are available from the Library or online, but you may wish to buy your own copy for some modules. These typically cost between £10 and £30. For ab-initio languages you may need to buy books with a total cost of £50 to £60. Second hand books are often available more cheaply.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.

Departmental Scholarship

Find out more about funding specific to Languages and Linguistics.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

The staff at York are inspiring, approachable and most of all, great at teaching languages.
Jacob, Spanish and Italian student

Read more on Jacob's blog.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

In your first year we offer you extra study support in several ways. You can work with other students with our Peer Assisted Learning programme, add an optional contact hour with one of our staff each week as well as receive designated support with easing into university life.

Language

Our focus at York is on effective communication in German. That is why:

  • we teach mainly in small seminars (not more than 15)
  • classroom interactions are in German
  • we use authentic German materials (eg resources designed for native speakers of the language)
  • we emphasise issues of culture and society, allowing you to develop a high level of cultural awareness to underpin your language skills

Linguistics

Core linguistics modules are taught through lectures (some with over 100 students), accompanied by sessions in smaller groups (15–20 students). With more advanced linguistics modules, you'll typically have more interactive classroom activities, such as group presentations or practical sessions, in addition to lectures. In final-year linguistics modules, most teaching is in smaller groups. Depending on the module, your work may focus on library-based study using primary research papers, lab-based analysis of linguistic corpora, or lectures and seminars in one the advanced areas of specialism of our staff.

In first and second year of the degree, you will typically spend 11 hours per teaching week in the classroom (including both languages and linguistics), or 12 hours per week if you are taking ab initio German. Contact hours in the final year will vary depending on individual module choices.

In addition to your classroom time, you should expect to devote at least 30 additional hours a week to independent study. This will include completing exercises, reading and digesting assigned papers, researching projects, writing and revising coursework, and preparing for assessments. Twice a year, in the middle of Autumn and Spring Terms, we have a reading week, which is devoted to independent study. You will receive guidance on your goals for each reading week.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars216 hours204 hours132 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.

Facilities

All of our modules have Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) websites where all crucial materials—reading lists, handouts, discussion boards—are always accessible. Most first-year modules provide additional self-study practice exercises on the VLE.

We have our own departmental e-Lab for the teaching and study time of our students. Here you will have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software and online language-learning materials. Several undergraduate modules are taught in this laboratory and you'll receive training in using these resources.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in Vanbrugh College, with some additional teaching on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, projects, written, oral and listening exams. Assessments include formative work which will help you practice or develop skills, but will not count towards your final degree mark. 

Instructors provide you with feedback in a variety of forms eg written feedback on work that you have handed in, in-class discussion of common problems on an assignment, model answers, one-on-one discussion of research projects, or online responses to questions posted on the module discussion board.

We can make reasonable adjustments to assessment procedures for students with disabilities. However, if you have dyslexia please note that, it is not possible to make adjustments in the marking of work written in a closed language exam. This is because accurate spelling is one of the assessment objectives for language exams. Closed exams make up only a proportion of the assessment types used for languages, there are other assessment types such as coursework and oral presentations which are also used. As a student with dyslexia you could apply for extra time in closed exams, if this would be of assistance. See the University's disability support pages for further details.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams44%63%28%
Coursework42%28%67%
Practical exams14%9%5%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Spanish seminar

Learning in your target languages

In our French, German, Italian and Spanish programmes, we emphasise oral and written fluency, as well as accurate language use in its social and cultural context. All our core language modules are taught in your target languages, in small groups. We teach a range of content modules, with topics on current issues, media, film, social trends and politics, and with an introduction to translation in the final year. Our focus is on your competence in the culture and language, providing you with the means to function in the language at a professional level.

Careers and skills

Effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills are central to most careers. The study of language and linguistics at York equips you with these skills and others, which translate readily into any work context.

Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation.

Apart from your knowledge of linguistics, you will leave with the confidence and skills that come from successfully completing a demanding course and participating fully in university life.

There are specialist careers that lead directly from your degree, after additional postgraduate training, including: clinical linguistics (speech and language therapy), forensic linguistics (forensic speech science), teaching (primary and secondary) teaching English as a foreign language, academic research and higher/further education.

Career opportunities

  • marketing and communications
  • publishing
  • broadcasting and journalism
  • local government and public service
  • business, finance and accountancy
  • teaching
  • translation and interpreting
  • IT and software development

Transferable skills

  • effective communication skills
  • intercultural awareness
  • critical thinking
  • project management
  • independent learning
  • data analysis
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

AAB/ABB

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall average
International Baccalaureate 35/34 points

If you successfully complete our Accents, Attitudes and Identity online course, you may be eligible for a reduced offer.

Our language programmes are designed to develop fluency. For this reason we do not normally offer places to native or near-native speakers of who wish to study their own language.

You can take the German part of this programme ab initio (ie, from scratch, or with a qualification below A-level), or you can study German on a route designed for those who have an A level in the subject.

Applying for the ab initio route in German

Qualifications

GCSE or AS level German may be appropriate qualifications for entry onto the ab initio German programme. However, even if you do not have one of these qualifications, but you can demonstrate an aptitude for languages through other experience (eg, successful study of a different foreign language), you may be eligible for this programme.

Language interviews

Some students who do not have an A level in the language that they wish to study may nonetheless already have A level standard knowledge of the language (eg, a student who took GCSE and then spent time in a country where the target language is spoken, before university). At the time of application, we will conduct an interview and task, to determine which route would be most appropriate for students who do not have an A level in a language they wish to study.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 51 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 162 each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of Language and Linguistic Science

Related courses

This course does not include a year abroad. If you would like to spend a year of your studies in a German-speaking country, consider our four-year course, German and Linguistics (with a year abroad).

You can study German on a variety of other courses:

You can study linguistics on other degree courses, too:

Discover York

Accommodation

We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.

Student life

Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.

The city

Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.