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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GERM2311 Politics, Society and Culture in the 'Berlin Republic'

15 creditsClass Size: 9

Module manager: Dr Ingo Cornils

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

Completion of level 1 German or equivalent


GERM1030German Core Language 1

This module is mutually exclusive with

GERM2310Politics, Society and Culture in the 'Berlin Republic'

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Since unification in 1990, Germany has undergone great social, economic, political and cultural changes. The problem of dealing with the effects of reunification and a changing international environment, along with immigration and the continuing legacy of the Nazi past have had a huge impact upon the so-called 'Berlin Republic' and its place in the world. Through an examination of a wide range of material from political speeches, intellectual debates, newspapers to film, television and popular music, this module will introduce students to the key issues and debates which are shaping the identity, politics and culture in Germany today.The module will be conducted entirely in German.


The aims of this module are:
- To examine political, social and cultural developments in Germany since reunification
- To explore key issues and debates that have shaped contemporary Germany
- To grasp how questions of what it means to be German are implicated in many political, social and cultural debates
- To analyse a wide range of different primary material in German

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
- to demonstrate that they have deepened their knowledge of basic concepts and approaches to the study of contemporary German society, politics and culture;
- to demonstrate a critical understanding of some of the key issues and debates that have shaped contemporary Germany;
- to analyse critically a wide range of primary materials;
- to express their ideas and opinions in German, both orally and in writing

Skills outcomes
As we work with a wide range of primary material (political speeches, journalistic texts, intellectual opinion pieces, film, television, images, websites) in this module, students will build on and further enhance the analytical skills gained at Level 1. In addition to the skills required for selecting and analyzing such sources, this module focuses in particular on the development of critical thinking.


The module will cover key issues and debates in contemporary German politics, culture and society. The module will normally be structured around several learning units. Topics covered in the module will necessarily vary from year to year, which allows tutors to adjust content to recent developments in German society.

A typical outline of learning units might look like:
1. Key domestic challenges in the Berlin Republic
2. German foreign policy between change and continuity
3. The relevance of the past
4. Immigration and multiculturalism
5. German identities in an age of globalisation

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours127.50
Total Contact hours22.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

- reading and reflection in preparation for seminars (75 hours)
- preparation for and completion of source commentary (15 hours)
- researching, preparing and writing essay (37.5 hours)
- self-directed reading around the topic

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Participation in seminar discussions
- Feedback on smaller tasks such as informal group presentations (formative assessment)
- Monitoring assignment for source commentary
- Feedback on essay plans

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,500 - 2,000 words60.00
Assignment1,000 word source commentary (take-home exam)40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/11/2018 09:25:29


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