This course offers you the opportunity to take up German from scratch and combine it with studies in the culture and society of ancient Greece and Rome. Study of Greek or Latin is not required, but may be undertaken as part of the course (in any year if you have A level; in year two and/or year four if you don't). An intensive beginners' course in German will enable you to capitalise on your proven language-learning ability and develop German to degree level. We offer a wide choice of modules in German studies in literature, linguistics, history, politics, culture and film, so that you will be able to tailor the course to match your interests. Additional modules are selected in a variety of topics reflecting the specialisms of each department. Year three is spent abroad.
In German, you will begin a structured course in the language to take you from beginners' to degree level and are also introduced to aspects of German culture and history. For classical civilisation, you will study two core survey modules introducing the history and culture of Greece and Rome and their reception, and two more in-depth explorations of themes, topics and approaches. If you have A-level Greek or Latin you may develop the language concerned.
Classical civilisation combines a range of optional modules exploring ancient literature, art and history, with an extended source study, to prepare you for third-year dissertation work. Study of Greek or Latin is optional. In German, your language studies will be consolidated and developed to prepare you for the year abroad. You will take modules in literature, history, linguistics, politics and society from a wide choice of modules in German studies.
The year is spent in Germany or Austria as an English language assistant in a school, studying at a higher education institution, or on a work placement.
In classical civilisation, you will either develop and pursue your own interests through a 10,000-word dissertation, or take a special subject module which involves detailed, in-depth study of a particular topic, or take Greek or Latin. You will develop your command of German and its use in increasingly sophisticated contexts, and study optional modules drawn from the areas of literature, history, politics, society, media and linguistics. You may choose to write a dissertation on an area of German studies.
See also the Department of German Studies
A levels: ABB, normally a good A2 or AS level in a language
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 100 (minimum 19 with 20 in Speaking).
For details please see alternative qualifications page
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of some of the modules we offer.
Typical Year One Modules
Studying the Roman World
This module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Roman world from the beginnings of the city of Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. You will examine many important aspects of Rome’s history such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome. At the same time you will explore developments in Roman literary and artistic culture, and consider aspects of the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture. In addition, you will also examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world which complements the Autumn semester module ‘Studying the Greek World'. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture each week.
Studying the Greek World
This wide-ranging module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from BC 1600- BC31; the period from the Bronze Age to the point when Greece becomes part of the Roman Empire; no prior knowledge of the Greek world is required. You will also consider other major chapters of Greece’s history from the Mycenean Period and the Dark Ages, to the rise of the polis in the Archaic period. You will also explore developments in Greek literary and artistic culture as well as consider aspects of the reception of ancient Greece in modern western culture. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture each week over the course of 10 weeks.
Beginner's German Langauage
This core module is designed to take beginners in German to a level of written and aural comprehension, writing and speaking skills usually comparable to A-level standard. At the end of the module, you will be able to comprehend and respond to written and aural texts over a comprehensive range of current affairs, cultural and everyday topics and engage in everyday social conversation. In this module you will have four 1-hour seminars and one 1-hour lecture each week.
Beginners' Latin 1
This module provides an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of Latin and requires no previous knowledge of Latin. Emphasis is places on acquiring the ability to analyse and understand basic Latin sentences and short passages. For this module you will have a four 1-hour lectures over 10 weeks.
Beginners' Latin 2
This module is continues the introduction begun in Beginners’ Latin:1. Study of the structure of the language continues, and reading skills are further developed until almost unadapted passages from Latin texts are read. For this module you will have a four 1-hour lecture over 10 weeks.
Interpreting Ancient Art
In this module you will explore Greek and Roman art in more detail with the aim of gaining a broad overview of visual material from classical antiquity, whilst concentrating on a cross-section of the most famous and talked-about objects and monuments of Greek and Roman Culture. You will be introduced to temple-sculpture, statues, wall-paintings, buildings and coins from the 6th Century BC Greek sculptures to the 4th Century AD arch of Constantine in Rome. Material for this module is organised by theme and media rather than in chronological order, starting with topography, sculpture and vase painting. For this module you will have two 1-hour lectures each week and five 2-hour seminars over the course of your first year.
Interpreting Ancient History
This module takes you through some of the important historical issues from major periods of Greek and Roman history with an emphasis on the methodological questions raised from ancient source materials and modern debates on those issues. On completion of this module you will have a more detailed knowledge of these important historical issues and clearly understand the evidential basis on which ancient historians rely, as well as an appreciation of how contemporary preoccupations can influence the perspectives of modern practitioners of the discipline and generate debate between them.
Interpreting Ancient Literature
Ancient literature from Homer to late antiquity is studied in this module by focusing on a representative theme. Themes will address issues such as the relationship between literature and society, the working of genres, modern and ancient receptions, the analysis of rhetoric and literary style. Recent themes have been ‘Performance and Persuasion’ and 'Love and War'; some issues treated may include: orality and performance, genre, gender, religion and literature, ritual and performance. For this module you will have eight 1-hour seminars over the year and two 1-hour lectures each week.
Introduction to German Studies
This year-long module provides an introduction to the study of German and is compulsory for most students of German. It covers the main fields of German Studies: literature, culture, history, linguistics, media and film. You will be introduced to the study skills required for academic study: critical and analytic skills, reading skills, presentation skills and writing skills. For this module you will have one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour seminar each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Reading German Literature 1
In this module you will be introduced to the critical reading and textual analysis of German narrative literature and poetry from the late 18th century to today. You will study two mid-length narrative texts and a selection of poems which represent key phases and aspects of German literary and cultural development from ‘Goethezeit’ to the post-1945 and contemporary period. In analysing and discussing a range of texts and authors, you will be introduced to key concepts and techniques of textual analysis, to the structures of narrative and poetry, and to selected themes and developments in literary criticism. The module combines one 1-hour introductory lecture per week with in-depth study in small tutorial groups (one 1-hour tutorial per week), in addition you will undertake four hours of private study per week.
Reading German Culture
In this module you will learn to analyse short literary and popular texts (including film) which portray life in the metropolis Berlin and represent key phases in German historical and social development in the 20th Century: the 1920s, the immediate post war-period, post-unification Berlin. Exploring cultural representations of urban life the course will address key questions such as: How do textual perceptions of the ‘big’ city reflect attitudes towards relationships conditioned by class, gender and race? For this module you will have one 2-hour seminars each week in addition to four hours of private study.
Typical Year Two Modules
Either: Greek or Latin language at the appropriate level or
Extended Source Study
This module is designed to develop your skills of research, analysis and written presentation as preparation for your third year dissertation. You will be expected to write a 5,000 word essay chosen from a range of worksheet topics, each focusing on a single piece of ancient source material. You will be provided with a topic for investigation, starter bibliography and tips on how to approach the question. The questions will suggest a range of possible approaches from evaluation of historical source material to exploration of literary effects, relationships with other material, discussion of context or reception. A number of seminars and consultation sessions will be help you approach and develop your source study. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar over a period of 10 weeks.
Studying Classical Scholarship
This module focuses on the history and development of the scholarship on ancient Greece and Rome and on specific theories, approaches and methods used by modern scholarship. The aim is to sharpen your engagement with and understanding of secondary literature, as well as giving a deeper appreciation of the ways the ancient world has been appropriated, started in Classics and Popular Culture. Studying the history of scholarship in its socio-political context will show you how the questions we ask depend on the situations we live in; it will also allow you to judge the merits and limitations of scholarly approaches and will develop your skills of research and analysis, as preparation for your 3rd-year dissertation. You’ll spend four hours in lectures and two hours in seminars each week. As with the Extended Source Study, you will choose a work-sheet from an area of Classics that particularly interests you.
German Language (Post-Beginners')
This module will consolidate your proficiency in the four skill areas of the German language (writing, reading, listening and speaking) and develop these further. You will work with texts from newspapers and other sources, which will be used for discussion of translation issues and grammatical structures, linguistic analysis and textual comparison, oral presentation, and essay writing. The module will use texts that cover a broad range of general, journalistic and academic topics, as well as those that will help to prepare students for living, working and studying during their year abroad. You will have one 1-hour lecture and four 1-hour tutorials per week in addition to private study.
Latin Texts 1
This module is targeted at those students who have a good A level pass in Latin. This module studies Latin literary text and begins the systematic revision of grammar to be completed in Q81LT2 Latin Texts: 2 in Year 2. This module will reinforce your knowledge of the Latin language and develop your ability to read Latin with fluency and understanding. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and three 1-hour lectures each week.
Latin Texts 2
This module studies Latin literary text and is a systematic revision of grammar begun in Latin texts 1. The Latin Texts: 2 module reinforces and further develops your ability to read Latin with fluency and understanding. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture, one 1-hour lecture and a two 1-hour lecture each week.
New German Cinema
Between the mid 1960s and the mid 1980s West German cinema rose to new national and international success due to the work of a number of young directors who were commonly perceived as representatives of a "New" or "Young" German cinema. This module will analyse selected films from this period. You will be introduced to the individual styles of different directors (Fassbinder, Herzog, Wenders) as well as to their common thematic preoccupations. The analysis will aim to situate the "New German Cinema" within the contexts both of the development of the film industry and of contemporary social and political developments in West Germany. You will have one 2-hour seminar and one 1-hour workshop per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Reason and Its Rivals from Kant to Freud
This module discusses a selection of theoretical approaches to modernity. You will start by studying Immanuel Kant’s assertion of individual reason as the founding stone of enlightened social organisation. You will then explore interrogations of that position in the work of Marx and Engels, Nietzsche and Freud. You will have one 2-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Media in Germany
The aim of this module is to explore the history of print and broadcasting in Germany from 1933 to the 1990s, and investigate the relationship between media content and culture. You will develop a foundation in the key concepts of media studies and gain insight into the connection of media and ideology. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
The Fantastic in German Literature
The module examines a selection of literary texts in German which focus on the uncanny, the strange, the supernatural and above all the inexplicable, whilst also illustrating the development of German literature from Romanticism to Modernism. You will explore how authors make use of the literary devices of the unusual, seemingly supernatural or plain disturbing, look at the relationship between author, narrator and reader, and at whether the literary Fantastic changes from the early nineteenth century to the early twentieth. You will study literary texts featuring the strange, uncanny and inexplicable by authors such as E. T. A. Hoffman, Jeremias Gotthelf, Theodor Storm and Franz Kafka, authors writing at different times and from different geographical, intellectual and literary perspectives. A wide range of literary movements and aspects (of culture, literary technique - especially narrative perspective - and belief) will thereby be addressed, as will different approaches to reading and analysing literature. You will have one 2-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Year Three: The year is spent in Germany or Austria as an English language assistant in a school, studying at a higher education institution, or on a work placement. For more information, see the Department of German Studies' Study Abroad page.
Typical Year Four Modules
German Essay and Oral
This core module aims to consolidate the high level of language skills you will have acquired during the time spent in a German-speaking country in Year 3. You will further refine your advanced proficiency in written and spoken German, usually with support from a native speaker. Contemporary texts and discussions of up-to-date topics are a key feature of this module and you will be encouraged to build on the knowledge and skills acquired during your year abroad. For this module you will have two 1-hour seminars each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Translation from German
This core module will enhance your practical command and effective understanding of written and German and English on the basis of your progress during your year abroad, through translation of a variety of German texts and passages. This module will develop your translation skills towards professional standards for translation into English. For this module you will have one 2-hour seminar each week working in small groups in addition to four hours of private study.
Greek or Latin language at the appropriate level, or
Dissertation (Classical Civilisation)
In this module you’ll be able to carry out an in-depth investigation of a chosen area, to be agreed with your supervisor in advance. The topic should be based on an area you have covered in previous modules. You’ll use the skills that your degree has equipped you with thus far to complete the work required. There will be a mix of contact to achieve this including tutorials, workshops and lectures.
Special subject in Classics such as:
Encounters with the Supernatural: Religion, Magic and the Greeks
This year-long module investigates the different ways in which ancient Greek men and women interacted with a wide variety of supernatural entities, including gods, heroes, nymphs and the dead. You’ll start by exploring the range of supernatural entities and ways in which relations with the supernatural structured daily life for ancient Greek men and women. You will then investigate key modes of interaction with the supernatural, as well as thinking about how ideas about and approaches to the supernatural varied over time and place. You’ll have three hours of seminars weekly.
In this year-long module you’ll examine the ways in which Augustus established his rule over the Roman Empire. You’ll use ancient sources such as texts, inscriptions, coins, art and architecture to do this. Augustus’ impact on society, religion, culture and ideology will also be discussed. For this, you’ll have three hours of seminars weekly.
Masculinity and Citizenship in Greece and Rome
In this full-year module you’ll use literary and historical material to explore the idea of what it is to be a man and an accepted citizen in ancient Greece and Rome. The module explores how good citizens should behave and what they were expected to look like. You’ll also explore how they represented this citizenship to the rest of the world and how that changed over time. Incorporating elements of gender studies, topics to be covered include homoeroticism and Athenian identity, dress and cultural identity, sexual invective, citizenship and empire, Roman representation in the provinces and women, politics and patronage. You’ll have three hours of seminars weekly.
Latin Texts 3
This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. Literary appreciation and linguistic appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. You will also the development of the genre as well as its relationship with its social, political and cultural context. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour lecture each week.
Latin Texts 4
This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. Literary appreciation and linguistic appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. You will also the development of the genre as well as its relationship with its social, political and cultural context. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour lecture each week. The set text for in 2013/14 will be Tacitis’ Agricola.
Translation and Linguistic Exchange
This module offers in-depth discussion of grammatical, lexical and idiomatic aspects of German and English as well as issues of translation, register and cultural difference. You will be taught primarily through the medium of translation, both from and into German, using a variety of texts and passages on a range of topics and in a range of registers. You will work in a team with exchange students who are German native speakers and this will foster dialogue about linguistic and translation issues as well as general cultural exchange. You will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
German Studies Dissertation
This module involves the in-depth study of a topic in German Studies resulting in a dissertation written in German. You will write a 4,000 word essay in German or English on a topic of your particular interest and expertise (normally related to a German module which you have taken in your second or final year). In addition to extensive private study you will have two 1-hour seminars per semester followed by five individual meetings with your supervisor. This module is also available as a 20 credit version where you will write a 7,000 word essay in German or English.
Culture and Society in the Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic (1919-1933) was one of the most fascinating and culturally productive periods of German history, but it was equally ridden by crises and violent conflicts. This module aims to introduce central issues in the literary and social developments of Weimar Germany. You will study a wide range of materials (literary texts, film, aesthetic and political programmes) to analyse key features of the period. Topics will include the impact of the Great War, developments in the press and the cinema, political confrontations, cabaret, and unemployment. You will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar per week in addition to four hours of private study.
Recent Women's Writing
In this module you will explore a number of novels and stories written since 1960 by German-speaking women writers. You will also study selected texts on the cultural, political and social contexts of the rise of the second wave feminism in the 1970’s, the changing position of women in the FRG, GDR and Austria, and the increasing awareness of ethnic pluralities. You will compare texts and contexts and explore a variety of reading strategies developed in feminist criticism. For this module you will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar each week in addition to four hours of private study.
The Morphology of German
In this module you will be introduced to morphology (the study of the structure of words) of German and the study of linguistics. Beginning with a general introduction to morphology, you will look at the form of morphology controlled by syntax before moving on to other aspects. You will also consider the differences between native German morphological processes and those borrowed from other languages. Major developments in the German morphological system will be traced from the Middle ages to the present day amongst other topics in relation to the Morphology of German. For this module you will have one 2-hour and one 1-hour seminar each week in addition to four hours of private study.
Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors
In this module you will take part in the nationwide Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme which works with universities to provide academic modules that enable students to go into local schools to act as inspiring role-models. Students split their time between the university-based seminar and their allocated school, where they are placed in the language department as a language assistant. Students are required to design and deliver a teaching project aimed at improving pupil understanding of selected aspects of the German language and culture. Students will be supported by the module convenor and the education specialist on campus, and by their contact teacher at their school. Typically there are fortnightly seminars of 2-hours at university and 7 half-days spent in school. Students can choose to be ambassadors for German or French, Spanish, and Russian. Placements are predominantly in secondary schools, with a limited number in primary schools.
You will have acquired a broad knowledge of the ancient world and classical civilisation, and undertaken in-depth study in areas of your own interest. You will also have a high level of expertise in spoken and written German, and a broad knowledge German history, literature and culture. The experience of the year abroad will demonstrate to potential employers that you are adaptable, resourceful, and independent.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2012, 87.9% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Classics who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £18,625 with the highest being £26,000.*
In 2012, 92.3% of first-degree graduates in the Department of German Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,365 with the highest being £30,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.