BA English Literature and German
Find out how we're adapting during COVID-19.
On this BA English Literature and German programme, explore two great literary traditions and develop a high level of expertise in the German language and the cultures in which it is central.
You will be studying in two departments (English Literature, and the Department of Languages and Cultures) who collaborate with each other extensively. English Literature was one of the first university departments in the UK to study America and Canadian authors like Margaret Atwood, and we continue this tradition with a curriculum that includes the best of contemporary writing in English from around the globe.
Through this course you will become confident and highly skilled in written and spoken German. You will master the fundamental elements of the language, to the point where you will graduate with a near-native command of it. We're proud of our small language classes, led by native speakers. Direct access to expert staff for help and feedback ensures you develop your language skills to the best of your ability.
This course provides you with the opportunity to explore the culture, history, film, literature and politics of this fascinating country. You will gain a deep understanding of, among other things, the profound impact of the unification of East and West Germany.
Your English Literature modules will enable you to examine in greater detail authors and genres that you may already know (from tragedy to Gothic, from Shakespeare and Dickens to Plath and Beckett). But we will also introduce you to aspects of literary studies that may be less familiar to you, from children’s literature to publishing studies and the history of the book. Our academics have published research on everything from medieval poetry to contemporary Caribbean and American fiction, and they will help you to develop your own literary interests. Everyone in our departments, from new lecturers to professors, teaches at every level of the degree, so you are learning from experts as soon as you begin your first year. 96% of our students say that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2021).
An integral part of the course is the opportunity for you to spend up to a year in Germany or Austria, either studying at a partner institution or undertaking a work placement. This allows you to directly immerse yourself in the culture and considerably develop your knowledge of German at the same time. The core language module in the second year will prepare you for studying abroad, equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to work and live in a different culture.
In both subjects you will spend a considerable amount of your teaching time in small seminar groups. This enables you to interact directly with our experts and other students, and add your own voice to discussions. It especially benefits you in German, where regularly practicing your spoken language is vital in order to achieve fluency.
We provide accelerated learning in German, meaning that you can start at intermediate level if you have previously learnt it up to GCSE or AS level. Regardless of which level you join the course at, all students achieve the same standard of written and spoken German by the final year. Please check the entry requirements for more details on entry points.
We place a strong emphasis on small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment, because we believe that the study of literature and cinema is a discursive process where we learn by sharing ideas. We provide detailed and thorough feedback on your written work within 15 working days: this is crucial to your development as a writer, whether you intend a career in creative or professional writing.
Throughout your degree you will be thinking about the career choices that will enable you to thrive after graduation: we will help you put in place the skills and experience that you need to launch that career. Our innovative placement scheme gives you the chance to undertake an academic placement in commerce, industry or the arts. You can also take a placement module on languages and literature in heritage, in education, and in the media.
You can choose from three options for your third year: studying at a partner institution through the study abroad programme, undertaking a work placement or working as a British Council language teaching assistant.
Our German partner institutions include universities in Augsburg, Düsseldorf, Göttingen, Potsdam, Regensburg, Trier and Tübingen. The University of Vienna and the University of Graz in Austria are also possible destinations. The Department of Languages and Cultures has a dedicated study abroad officer who can help you prepare for study at one of these universities.
If you would prefer to undertake a placement for your year abroad, you can also talk to the Department's specialist year abroad team, who can provide you with support in securing and preparing for a placement. Past students have carried out roles with companies such as Siemens, PwC, SAP, and Airbus Helicopters.