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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GERM1080 Researching German Culture, History and Society

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Helen Finch

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-level in German or equivalent

Module replaces

GERM1060 and GERM1070

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Doing research is exciting, stimulating and thought-provoking. While it can also be challenging and frustrating, it gives you a profound sense of intellectual satisfaction. This module will introduce you to researching German culture, history, politics and society. This module kickstarts your career as a student researcher by engaging you in research from the first week of your degree. You will learn how to gather information, how to explain and discuss it and how to use it in developing your own ideas. You will learn and apply these skills through encountering a wide range of ideas, themes and approaches that have shaped the study of Germany past and present. You will also gain an insight into significant developments in 20th and 21st-century German culture and society through exploring selected issues.


This module aims to:
- introduce students to key approaches, themes and developments in German Studies
- encourage students to conceive of German Studies as an inter-disciplinary field of studies that includes literature, popular culture, history, politics and society
- engage students with scholarship and to develop a good general understanding of key principles in academic research
- encourage students to reflect on a number of important ideas in German Studies such as nation, culture, politics, power, identity in a historical and transcultural context
- develop students' skills to engage with and analyse scholarship and analyse and discuss a wide range of primary materials, such as film, literature, media, political rhetoric, historical sources.
- develop the ability to craft own arguments and use evidence to support them.

Learning outcomes
By the end this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of key developments in 20th and 21st-century German history, culture and society
- demonstrate an understanding of key approaches, concepts and themes in German Studies
- identify, analyse and evaluate arguments in scholarly sources and develop their own position in response
- analyse a range of primary material such as literature, film, media, political rhetoric, historical sources and use them critically as evidence to support own arguments
- present complex ideas in written and spoken German

Skills outcomes
- demonstrate knowledge of and engage critically with German culture, history and society
- have an understanding of German Studies as a field of study
- to critically analyse a variety of different primary and secondary texts in the German language
- show increased confidence in the study of German-language text
- communicate ideas effectively in speaking and writing
- demonstrate team work skills


The module will be taught through a set of learning units which centre around key concepts and themes in German Studies. These will vary from year to year. These might include:
- National identity
- Transnational connections
- Modernity, culture and society
- Intellectuals and society
- Gender
- Memory and identity
- Political culture
- Power and protest

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group Project10.500.50
Mini Conference13.003.00
Group learning31.504.50
Private study hours165.00
Total Contact hours35.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Preparation for lectures and seminars (3 hours per taught week, 55 hours)
- Completion of non-assessed formative assignments (30 hours)
- Preparation of group project and group presentation (30 hours)
- Write-up of group project (50 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- 1 non-assessed scholarship analysis exercise (in semester 1)
- 1 non-assessed source analysis/commentary (in semester 1)
- 1 non-assessed group project proposal (in semester 2)
- 1 non-assessed group literature review (in semester 2)
- regular reflective learning logs (online)

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report3500-word write up of a group research project80.00
Presentation15 minute group project verbal presentation20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The project report and group presentation are both based on a research project which students carry out in groups of 4. Students will work together in groups to research the topic, present it in groups at the conference but will then write up the results individually. The project report will include a discussion of the findings (2000 words) as well as a reflective report on the research process (1500 words). Resits will be through individual research projects.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/09/2018


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