The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.
This interdisciplinary 4-year BA degree scheme includes German language modules as well as modules on German linguistics, modern literature and film, history, politics and cultural studies. It is intended to appeal to students who wish to acquire a high level of competence in the German language but also a well-rounded understanding of the German-speaking countries. If you are interested in modern German and the German-speaking world this may well be the degree for you.
German, with over 90 million speakers, is the language of the greatest economic power in Europe. Language skills are important for the UK’s economic, political and strategic interests and languages graduates are in demand by employers. Whilst you will acquire the same skills as other Arts graduates, you will have one major advantage compared to other students: you will have lived independently in at least one foreign country, and have learnt the important social skill of intercultural communication. Employers value the independence, the social confidence and the high level of linguistic skill acquired during this time.
The Department of Modern Languages offers a range of attractive degree schemes which will equip you not only with a high level of linguistic competence but also provide you with a sound knowledge of the culture within which the language you are studying is used. During your time as a student you will be able to choose from a range of modules which appeal to a variety of interests. The Department is relatively small and this means that staff and students form a close-knit and friendly community. Many of the modules relate to staff research interests and you will benefit from being taught by staff who are experts in their fields and who are active members of national and international research communities.
The Department at Aberystwyth takes seriously its two major commitments – teaching and research. Knowledge is advancing at a faster rate than most textbooks are, and the Department feels that it is essential that students learn from experts at the forefront of academic research. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment the university was placed in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. Having submitted 77% of eligible staff it also found that 95% of the universities research was on an internationally recognised standard.
92% of our 2014 Modern Languages graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating. 78% were found to be working in 'professional' level work or in 'graduate' level education, 9 percentage points more than the overall national average (DLHE 2014).
In this scheme you will also take some modules from the History Department. History has been taught at Aberystwyth since the foundation of the University in 1872, making it the oldest History department in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain. Like the Department of European Languages, it is a friendly and welcoming community, and the lively History Society organizes a programme of guest lectures, visits to places of interest and social events throughout the year.
All of the lecturers in the Dept of Modern Languages are qualified to PhD level and are research active. We also employ language tutors, some of whom have a PhD, and all of whom are experienced teachers. We occasionally employ native-speakers from our partner universities abroad (lectors) who come to us highly recommended on the basis of their academic achievement at the home university, and many of whom have trained as teachers. The fourth group is part-time staff who are employed on the basis of their expertise in a particular specialist area.
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
Year 1 Options Advanced students must take GE19930 and Beginner students must take GE10740:
Year 1 Options Advanced students must take GE10910 and EL10820 and Beginner students must take EL10820. All students must also choose an additional 60 credits of the following (or other Level 1 content modules):
Year 2 Core (30 Credits) You must take:
German Language GE20100
German Language GE20130
Year 2 Options You must choose at least 70 credits of the following GE, EL or IC modules:
Extended Essay Module EL20500
An Introduction To Variation In German GE20420
The Language Of Economics GE21010
Extended Essay Module EL20510
Short Prose In German GE27110
German-speaking Refugees In Literature And Culture GE27220
Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages IC31920
Year 3 Core (120 Credits) Year Abroad: You must either submit a 10,000 word dissertation upon your return, or, in approved cases, sumbit marks gained from examinations sat abroad.
Year 4 Core (70 Credits) You must take:
Year 4 Options You must choose at least 30 credits of the following GE, EL or IC modules:
Language And Society In German-speaking Countries GE30420
Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages IC31920
Your BA in Modern German Studies opens up a range of exciting opportunities for employment and further training as you can draw on transferable skills you will have learnt in both Departments. Modern linguists are statistically amongst the most employable graduates. Many of our students go on to teach the languages they themselves have learned and a high proportion of our graduates go into administrative and managerial posts. A degree from the Modern Languages Department is a qualification which opens the door to many professions in Britain, such as the civil service, tourism, social work, librarianship, publishing and broadcasting, and our degrees also take our students across the world.
Your year abroad will set you apart from the majority of graduates, demonstrating your ability to live in a foreign environment, and immerse yourself in a different culture. Alongside this, the university will offer you a range of initiatives to help improve your employability skills. Paid work and work experience opportunities are available in the University and the town, and the Careers Advisory Service are able to assist you in planning your future, putting together a CV, and looking for work during and after your studies. Furthermore, the University’s Personal Development Portfolio, in which you record and reflect on your academic studies, the development of your skills and your plans for the future is a useful way of tracking your progress through your studies, and can help you to decide what career might be suitable for you.
Studying for a degree in Modern German Studies will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers.
GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.
German is available both for beginners and advanced students. Beginners follow an intensive course in the first year including guided and independent work in the Language Resource Centre. In the second year beginners and advanced students are taught together.
In German the core modules in each year are devoted to language work. You acquire and consolidate the three skills: writing, speaking and listening. In the first year, especially, in lectures and small groups, we seek to consolidate your knowledge of German grammar and to impart the necessary terminology to enable you to talk about the German language. Various methods are used to raise your language awareness and to improve your linguistic skills, e.g. translating into and out of German, free composition and grammar exercises. You will also get plenty of oral practice and the opportunity to hone your listening skills. The small groups give you the chance not only to speak German, but to practise your presentation skills and to learn more about the cultural context in which the language is used.
Between both Departments we offer a wide range of modules on aspects of German culture, history, literature, politics and linguistics. Some integrate the study of texts and films in order to throw light on a particular issue, e.g. the question of German identity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In linguistics, students have the opportunity to study variation in German, and to investigate the interrelations between language and society in the German-speaking countries. In other modules students learn about aspects of the German economy and political system whilst acquiring the specialist registers of these domains.
Within the Erasmus framework we currently enjoy special links with the universities of Augsburg, Heidelberg, Düsseldorf and Salzburg. Your year abroad, which forms your third year of study, may well be the most exciting, enjoyable and rewarding feature of a degree in Modern Languages. Having to spend a year living independently in a foreign country gives you an edge when it comes to impressing employers, as well as providing you with a memorable experience.
The Department believes in giving students a relatively free choice about the year abroad, although we do of course give you plenty of advice. Many students study at university. Or, if you prefer, you can work as an English assistant in a school. Being an assistant has the important benefits of a regular salary every month and daily contact with a large number of people, which means many opportunities for communicating in the foreign language.
You could also choose to be in other employment, and a good proportion of our students use their own initiative to find themselves employment for a year. There are also various EU-funded schemes which offer work placements abroad, e.g. Comenius or Leonardo. Full details will be made available to you in your second year. You can also choose a combination of these possibilities, for example studying for one semester and working for one; assistantships are also available for some countries for half-years.