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 languages taught at Kent, German has state-of-the art computing and audio-visual facilities, and benefits 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 German may be studied at Kent either post-A level or ‘ab inito’ (from beginners) level.
You also have the opportunity to take part in a mentoring scheme for secondary school pupils. By helping them to increase their ability to speak, read and write fluently in a foreign language, you will gain valuable work experience for future careers in education or leadership roles in any field.
You are required to spend a year working or studying abroad between your second and final year of study. In previous years, students have studied at our partner institutions in a country appropriate to their programme of study. You’ll develop your language skills, grow in self-confidence, gain a new academic perspective, and enhance your employability.
Dr Tobias Heinrich, Lecturer in German, talks about his research in the role of the media in German culture, and what he enjoys most about teaching students at Kent.
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.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- German Language
- German and Germanic Literature and cultures from the 17th to the 21st centuries
- German and Germanic History
- German and Germanic Critical Theory
- German and Germanic Cultural Theory
- German and Germanic civilisation and contemporary society, through first-hand experience
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 communication skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge
- Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of texts and other cultural products in a critical manner
- Study and reach conclusions independently
- Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument
- Utilise problem-solving skills related to everyday and academic or professional life in a German-speaking country
You gain subject-specific skills in how to:
- Communicate effectively in German for a range of purposes and audiences
- Develop language skills in reception (listening and reading); production (speaking and writing); and mediation between at least two languages (translation and interpreting)
- Demonstrate detailed knowledge and effective understanding of the various structures and registers of German
- Translate accurately and efficiently into and from the target language
- Analyse critically a variety of texts be they journalistic, historical, visual or literary
- Gain intercultural awareness and competence, and an appreciation of cultural diversity
- Ability to mediate and display qualities of empathy in an intercultural context
- Acquire intercultural awareness through everyday experience of and interaction with German-speaking communities1).
You gain transferable skills in:
- Communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
- Evaluate one’s own academic performance
- Problem-solving skills in a variety of theoretical and practical situations
- Accurate and effective note-taking and summarising skills
- Library and bibliographical research skills
- Take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development
- Manage time and prioritise workloads, think and perform under pressure
- Capacity for teamwork
- Leadership abilities
- Work creatively and flexibly
- Deploy a range of Information Technology skills effectively, such as word processing text with footnotes, basic formatting, using e-mail, searching databases and text-files, navigating the Web
- Develop independence and self-reliance while accommodating to and living in a German-speaking country
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.
- Provide students with the opportunity to spend a full academic year in a German-speaking country. They may attend one of the partner universities in Germany or Austria, work as a language assistant in a school through the British Council, or arrange suitable employment (which must be verified by the University of Kent).
- Provide students with the opportunity to improve their spoken and written language skills in educational, professional and social contexts.