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Undergraduate Courses 2017

German - BA (Hons)



Both culturally and commercially, German is an extremely important language. Within Europe, it is spoken by more people than English or French. Worldwide, it is the third most widely used language on the internet (after English and Japanese), and it is frequently used as a second language in Eastern Europe, where it serves as a means of communication across international boundaries. 

Fluency in the German language, combined with knowledge of political and cultural developments in the German-speaking world, opens up career opportunities in many parts of the continent. At Kent, we specialise in teaching the language, literature and culture of the German-speaking world of today, as well as in exploring its literary and social history.

Along with the other European language sections, German has state-of-the art computing and audio-visual facilities and many modules make extensive use of the internet. We benefit from having a language lector sponsored by the Austrian Exchange Service and native speaker language assistants from Germany. 

Many classes are taught in German, and all our courses offer the opportunity to spend a year in a German-speaking country, studying at a partner university, teaching English or working. German may be studied at Kent either post-A level or ‘ab inito’ (beginners) level.

Independent rankings

German at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2017.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

GE311 - Varieties of German Writing (15 credits)

This introduction to the modern period in German literature covers a variety of representative authors and works including lyric poetry, drama, the novella and short story. Texts are selected for their relevance, not only to the development of varieties of German writing, but also to the social and political development of the German-speaking territories during these seminal years. Literary movements discussed include the Sturm und Drang, Romanticism, Naturalism, Expressionism and political engagement in the interwar period. Political and social currents include the repression of free speech during the Vormärz, German Nationalism in the late nineteenth century, the Unification of Germany, the First World War and the rise of National Socialism.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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GE312 - Images of Germany, 1945-1990 (15 credits)

German cultural production since 1945 had been largely dominated by ideologies and politics, by the forced forty-year division into two republics in opposite camps in the Cold War, and by the legacy of National Socialism, which factors all contributed to the eruption of student unrest in the 1960s. The material studied on the module covers the problems of returning soldiers in 1945 and the hardships endured by the civilian population; the trauma of the Holocaust; the pioneering idealism in the foundational phase in the German Democratic Republic and a satirical take on that; the pain caused to ordinary individuals by the erection of the Berlin Wall; the significance of the Vietnam War to the Left in the 1960s and the turn to violence in the pursuit of political goals in the following decade; and the study of these materials will allow students to attain a well-grounded cultural and historical understanding of the period from 1945 to the present.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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GE326 - Introduction to German Literature (in translation) (15 credits)

This module is designed to introduce students with little or no knowledge of the German language to German-language literature and its development from the 1760s to 1933). All texts will be taught in English translation, and throughout the module students will be encouraged to consider the implications of literary translation and of studying translated texts. A variety of genres will be covered, including poetry, drama and narrative prose. Works will be analysed not only within their literary-historical but also their social and political context.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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GE328 - Post-1989 German Cinema (15 credits)

The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 led to fundamental cultural and political re-alignments in German-speaking countries, unleashing a wave of cultural comment and creative activity. The 1990s and early twenty-first century saw a revitalisation of the film scene in both Germany and Austria, evident not only in highly acclaimed niche productions but also in a series of international box-office hits. This module will explore the themes and styles of ‘post-Wende’ German-language cinema, focusing on representations of the GDR past and the phenomenon of ‘Ostalgie’; multiculturalism and migration; the transformation of Berlin and Vienna post-1989; and the documentary turn in German and Austrian film since 2000.

The films selected for study can also be made available with English subtitles.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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GE301 - Learning German 3 (Post A Level) (30 credits)

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE329 - Intensive Beginners German (30 credits)

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

GE507 - Learning German 4 (30 credits)

The module develops proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending German. It concentrates on translation into German and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken German. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines vocabulary development with discursive writing on topics of relevance to the contemporary German-speaking world. Oral classes with a native speaker develop oral competence through discussion, enabling students to speak confidently and effectively at the intermediate level.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE516 - Advanced Intermediate German (30 credits)

This module comprises: translation from German to English, grammar exercises, conversation classes, and the culture and politics of the German-speaking countries ('Landeskunde').

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE580 - German Extended Essay (15 credits)

Each extended essay will require a different programme of study, depending on the topic (chosen by the student in close consultation with the supervisor). Typically, the work will be divided into three periods: (1) gathering information and identifying the essay’s exact focus, (2) writing up individual chapters and discussing these with a supervisor, and (3) putting the extended essay into its final form and observing the conventions necessary for this type of work.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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GE584 - Order and Madness: Classical German Literature (15 credits)

This module examines a selection of essential texts drawn from the period from 1775 to the first years of the nineteenth century, in which German literature achieved European stature. It looks at innovation and newly emerging confidence in the treatment of the major literary forms (prose fiction, drama, lyric poetry). But it also studies the currents of violence, passion and madness which these forms were used to convey in an era defined by the iconoclasm of the Sturm und Drang movement and by revolutionary upheaval in France. We will look at the original angry young men of German literature (Werther, Die Räuber), dramas of love and betrayal (Faust), as well as prose fiction which retains its power to shock and puzzle even today (Kleist). The texts studied treat desire, problematic relationships of power and gender, and the crisis of individuals caught up in the painful birth of European modernity.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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GE589 - Wien-Berlin: Tales of Two Cities (15 credits)

This module focuses on the recent history of Vienna and Berlin, the cultural capitals of the German-speaking world. Many of the key events and movements that influenced Europe over the past century are intimately linked to these two cities, from the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, the development of extremist left- and right-wing parties in the interwar period to the division and re-uniting of Europe as embodied by the Berlin Wall. Changes and continuities in the political, social and physical topography of Vienna and Berlin will be traced by studying representations of both cities in a range of texts and films from the early twentieth to the early twenty-first century. Alongside feature films and prose genres such as short stories and reportage, the module will also consider theoretical texts on the city and the contribution of urban life to modern German-language culture. Central themes are the interplay of individual and collective, urban anonymity and liberation versus alienation and uniformity, multiculturalism and migration.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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GE573 - The German Novelle (15 credits)

Students will learn to analyse literary texts and respond critically to a challenging body of work, with a particular emphasis on commentaries and close reading. Both their linguistic and their analytical skills will be developed through sustained exposure to a representative cross-section of one of the key genres in German literature, the Novella. The module will trace the emergence of the short prose narrative around 1800 and examine its adaptation during the nineteenth century, when realism asserted itself and became the subject of critical controversy. It will look at the major writers of the period to see what scope the development of realism offered them for artistic variation and psychological depth. Their works will be studied as reflections of the societies and regions to which they belonged and as indications of the profound political and economic changes occurring during the period.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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GE587 - Life After Modernism? An Introduction to Postmodernist Literature in Ge (15 credits)

'Postmodernism', by definition, resists and obscures the idea of modernism and implies a complete knowledge of the modern which has been surpassed by a new age (Appignanesi, Garrat 1995, 4). With the advent of the digital age, our concepts and perception of literature and art, theory and economic history have changed dramatically and a new understanding of what reality is pervades all aspects of life. German literature after 1965 mirrors this development in multiple ways and authors have incorporated a multitude of postmodern aesthetic strategies in their writing processes and works, notably changing the character of German-language literature from a literature of crisis and "Vergangenheitsbewältigung" (coming to terms with the past) to a literature that, especially after 1990, addresses problems of self-representation, the hypermodernist 'loss of reality' and power-relations in the global context of the western world.

This module introduces a number texts representative of postmodern literature in German, and provides methods for the analysis of these heterogeneous texts and new forms of authorial self-representation, based on key theoretical texts like Roland Barthes’ "Death of the Author", “Text and Pleasure” or Michel Foucault’s “What is an Author” to outline principle changes of literary production and authorship after 1965.

Narrative techniques like pastiche, intertextuality, the deconstruction of textual coherence and ironic representations of ideological concepts by means of combining contradictory genres will be analysed and put into the socio-political context of German-speaking countries.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability. 

All German BA students are required to spend a Year Abroad between Stages 2 and 3. You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stage 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. If the requirement is not met, you may have to postpone your Year Abroad.

The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. You spend the year working as an English language assistant or in approved employment, or studying at one of our partner universities. For a full list of our partner universities, please visit Go Abroad.

Possible modules may include:

LA514 - Year Abroad Module (120 credits)

Students either study at a relevant foreign university or work (either as teaching assistants or in some other approved capacity).

Credits: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

GE503 - Learning German 5 (30 credits)

The module develops advanced proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending German. It concentrates on translation into German and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken German. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of advanced texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines discursive writing on advanced topics with the development of proper oral competence through discussion. Conversation classes with a native speaker develop presentational ability, and enable students to speak fluently and idiomatically at the advanced level.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE506 - German Dissertation (30 credits)

Each dissertation will require a different programme of study. Typically, the year will be divided into three periods: (1) gathering information,(2) writing up individual chapters and discussing these with a supervisor, and (3) putting the dissertation into its final form and observing the conventions necessary for this type of work.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SCL502 - Languages in the Classroom (30 credits)

The student will spend one half-day per week for ten weeks in a school. Students will work in a school, with a nominated teacher, for ten half days during the Spring Term and will have the opportunity to promote their subject in a variety of ways. The Course Convenor will place students in appropriate schools, either primary or secondary. They will observe sessions taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. They will act to some extent in the role of a teaching assistant, by helping individual pupils who are having difficulties or by working with small groups. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a language topic or talk about aspects of University life. They must keep a weekly journal reflecting on their activities at their designated school. The university sessions and weekly school work will complement each other. Therefore, attendance to university sessions is crucial as it will also give the students the opportunity to discuss aspects related to their weekly placement and receive guidance.

Some travel may be required by students taking this module. In this instance, it should be noted that the University is unable to cover the cost of any such journey.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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Teaching & Assessment

Teaching is by a combination of lectures and seminars. You have regular teaching and conversation sessions with German native speakers.

Assessment at Stage 1 is by 100% coursework (essays, class participation) in the first half of the year, and a 50:50 combination of coursework and examination in the second half of the year. At Stage 2/3, depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays or dissertation), to a combination of examination and coursework, in a ratio that will normally be 50:50, 70:30.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a sound grounding in the German language in all its aspects, through extensive reading in German and through the use of German as spoken and written medium
  • immerse you in German-speaking culture by enabling you to spend one year in a German-speaking country or, usually, six months if you combine German with another language. In most cases, you'll be an exchange student at one of our partner German universities, a language assistant in a German or Austrian school or be working in one of several commercial companies with whom we have links
  • develop a critical awareness of the factors that have influenced the contemporary society and culture of German-speaking Europe
  • increase your awareness of the development of the German language over the last few centuries
  • train you to translate from German into English and English into German
  • assist you in developing sound methodological approaches to the analysis of cultural, historical, social and linguistic phenomena
  • provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship
  • provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector
  • develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied in a wide range of situations
  • train you in the use of the internet as a resource and to assist you in mastering relevant aspects of information technology.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • German language
  • German literature from the 18th to the 21st century
  • German linguistics
  • German fiction (novel, novella and short story)
  • German cinema
  • German theatre
  • German youth culture
  • the role of German within Europe
  • German history.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in how to:

  • apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
  • evaluate information critically
  • synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject
  • utilise problem-solving skills
  • develop and maximise communication skills for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge
  • analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of evidence in a critical manner
  • study and reach conclusions independently
  • formulate original opinions in a self-critical manner on the basis of sound factual knowledge and from a balanced perspective.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in how to:

  • communicate effectively in German
  • develop reading speed in German
  • demonstrate detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the various structures and registers of the German language
  • translate accurately and efficiently from and into German
  • analyse critically a variety of texts of linguistic, historical and literary significance
  • work independently in a German-speaking environment
  • develop skills in these three related areas: reception (listening and reading); production (speaking and writing); and mediation between at least two languages (translation and interpreting).

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • effective communication with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
  • evaluating your own academic performance
  • accurate and effective note-taking and summarising skills
  • library and bibliographical research skills
  • use of the internet and other forms of information technology
  • techniques for using German language source materials
  • personal and professional learning and development
  • time management and prioritising
  • performing under pressure
  • a capacity for teamwork
  • leadership skills
  • working creatively and flexibly
  • a range of information technology skills.


German students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey).

Recent graduates have gone into careers such as teaching German, teaching EFL, translation, accountancy, law, customs, finance, publishing, journalism and tourism.

The ability to speak another European language is a key asset in the global employment market, and many employers view a graduate with overseas study experience as significantly more employable. 

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB including B in a modern European language other than English

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL, including 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a modern European language other than English

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Enquire or order a prospectus


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The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810

Fees for Year Abroad/Industry

As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Key Information Sets

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

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