Aston launches new language opportunities for beginners

19 January 2006 – for immediate release

Would you like to speak and study German at degree level but have little or no knowledge of the language?

Aston University is about to introduce a new style of degree course which enables students without any qualifications in German to study the language up to degree level.

The German ‘ab initio’ programme (for absolute beginners) will open its doors to students in October 2007. Students who have not previously had the opportunity to learning the language will be able to study German and gain an in-depth understanding of the language, as well as of German history, society, politics and culture, through the four year, full-time programme.

The programme features a specially designed intensive German course in the first year, as well as a compulsory integrated full year abroad in a German-speaking country in the third year. The German ‘ab initio’ course will be combined with either another language (English, French or Spanish), or with European Studies, leading to a joint honours degree.

According to Dr Beverly Adab, Director of Undergraduate Programmes, ‘this programme will open the doors to study German at university for many people who might otherwise have thought they had missed their chance.’

The introduction of an ‘ab initio’ option opens up a new entry route for A-level applicants who did not benefit from the chance to learn German at school, as well as to mature applicants who decide to register for a German degree at a later stage in their life. This new programme for Beginners' German is not open to students with German A-Level or GCSE, as these students already have a well-established entry route to university studies, but for students with no or little prior knowledge of German.

Dr Uwe Sch�tte, Director of German Studies said: ‘The new course presents an exciting and innovative way to promote German language learning and we are hoping to attract many new students.’


For further press information please contact Hannah Brookes on (0121) 204 4545

Notes to Editors

    • The new German ‘ab initio’ programme is the result of a nationwide consortium project, funded by HEFCE, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and initiated by the Open University, in order to explore ways of collaboration with Higher Education Institutions over the creation and delivery of courses in strategic languages which are in decline.

    • In this respect, the new German ‘ab initio’ programme is also one of a number of subject areas of regional or national importance, enabling Aston University to offer Subject Awards in years 1, 2 and 4 to all UK/EU students for the 2007/8 intake who register for a “full” language degree (for more information on bursaries and subject awards at Aston, see:


    • If you would like to know more about enrolment for entry in October 2007 please contact:

    Aston University, School of Languages and Social Sciences

    Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET

    German ab initio Project Officer, Tel: +44-121-204-3727

    Admissions Tutor, Tel: +44-121-3777

    Email: lss_ugadmissions.ac.uk

    Please also check the German ab initio-website for up to date-information on the course:


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