.

BSc German and Spanish

Why choose this course?

  • The Complete University Guide 2014 ranked German at Aston joint 2nd for Graduate Prospects (85%) out of 44 universities
  • The Complete University Guide 2014 ranked Iberian Languages at Aston joint 2nd for Graduate Prospects (80%) out of 51 universities
  • 2nd (84%) for Graduate Level Destinations six months after graduation, Guardian, 2014
  • Fully integrated year abroad with extensive preparation and support offered

4 years full-time with integrated year abroad

UCAS Code: RR2K

Typical Offers
A Levels:
 ABB - BBB from 3 A-levels, including German and Spanish Grade B.  General Studies accepted. 

If your predicted grades are close to those stated in Aston's typical offers and if you are interested in Aston University and the courses we offer we encourage you to apply to us as one of your 5 UCAS choices. In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (eg AS grades, GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement. Applicants and their teachers/advisers are welcome to contact us with individual queries about entry qualifications via lss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk.

View our Admissions Policy. 

IB: 32-33 points in the IB diploma including TOK/Bonus points. Standard level Maths and English 5 required and 6 in Higher Level German and Spanish.
Access: Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module.  Humanities or Social Sciences Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.  A-level grade B in German and Spanish or equivalent.
BTEC: National Extended Diploma DDD.   A-level grade B in German and Spanish or equivalent.  Mix of Diploma/ Subsidiary Diploma/A-levels acceptable.

We accept a wide range of UK, EU and International qualifications: please contact us for further advice.

Specific subject requirements:
GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C.

Tuition fees 2014/15: £9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU students. More on fees

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

By the end of our programme you will be able to work effectively in a professional German-speaking environment. Our focus is on the practical application of a range of skills within their wider context. Your linguistic skills will reach near-native proficiency, acquired through a combination of up-to-date modules and a well structured and supervised year abroad. You will also acquire transferable skills such as teamwork and independent research. These will be essential for any of the career choices the course will open up for you. Teaching is conducted in a stimulating environment by internationally renowned experts in their field. Almost all courses are taught in German and provide in-depth insights into current affairs. Subject specialisms include German society, film studies, socio-linguistics, translation studies, popular culture, literature, history and politics, and business studies.

Spanish is spoken by more than 400 million people worldwide, so the global market has a huge demand for people with a knowledge of the language and the cultures of the Spanish speaking world. The Spanish programme at Aston is committed to equipping you with the tools, skills and knowledge necessary to operate effectively in this global, multilingual and multicultural world. We are devoted to the study of Spanish in context and therefore we consider the understanding of the diverse cultures and societies of the Spanish-speaking world to play an essential role in understanding the world in which we live. This means that along with near native proficiency in written and spoken Spanish, you will also graduate with an in-depth understanding of the issues that shape contemporary Hispanic cultures and societies.

Sample module options: The following module descriptions are indications only -  the University reserves the right to change the modules on offer, the module content and the assessment methods

Year 1

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: In this module students will work on different skills involved in language learning: from listening and speaking, to reading, writing, and translating. Relevant texts will be used in order to increase students’ awareness of Hispanic culture, economy, history and society in an attempt to learn the language in the context in which it is produced. Students will have two hours per week of scheduled interactive seminars and one hour of oral classes.

Methods of learning and teaching: Two hours per week will consist of reading comprehension, grammar consolidation, translation, debates, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary exercises. The third hour will be devoted to oral skills. Attending textual and oral skills is mandatory.

Assessment method: Oral tasks (30%), portfolio on independent learning tasks (20%), exam (50%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The module seeks to provide students with a clear vision of Latin America. It attempts to balance the region’s general historical background with its social, cultural, political and economic developments. Particular attention will be given to the specific characteristics of each country, highlighting their differences and similarities. Students will also be introduced to Latin America’s general trends as well as to its role in the international arena.

Method of learning and teaching: A typical class will start with an introduction of the main ideas and concepts to be covered. The semester will be divided into lectures and seminars, which will focus on the most important issues introduced during the lectures. This will include a hands-on approach to the subject characterised by discussions and group activities.

Assessment method: 2 hour exam (30%), 1,000 word written task (30%), 2 hour exam (40%) 

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The first part of the module aims to provide students with an understanding of the main processes and protagonists contributing to the development of a modern, prosperous democracy in Spain. It will focus on the political, ideological and economic changes which shaped the transition from dictatorship to democracy.

The second part offers an overview of Spanish culture through literature, cinema, art and music. Topics such as Spanish national identity and the recovery of the past will be examined in order to understand the key factors which have shaped Spanish culture. The course will provide students with the tools required for critical analysis of distinct cultural expressions.

Methods of learning and teaching: Students will attend weekly two-hour sessions, comprising a more formal lecture and a seminar. In lectures, students will be presented with the historic, social and cultural framework of the module. Seminars will be student-led. Students are expected to work in teams; prepare prescribed topics for debate and discussion; and to use their linguistic skills in a formal context.

Assessment method: 800 word written task (30%), 2 hour exam (70%) 

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: German

Module content: This is the core language skills module for first-year students which provides a solid linguistic basis for the coming years of study. The module consists of three parts: a) grammar lecture, revising the major topics of German grammar; b) communication skills seminars, practising written and oral language skills with group work, whole-class work and individual study; and c) an e-learning component comprising listening skills, vocabulary and general knowledge of the German-speaking areas.

Method of learning and teaching: Seminar, group work, individual work, role-play, presentations, self-access learning

Assessment method: Exam (50%), four written tasks (300 words each) (15%), oral group presentation (15%), 15 min oral exam in German (20%) 

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: 20

Module content: The module provides students with knowledge of nineteenth- and twentieth-century history and area studies as an essential intellectual basis for the modules in the Second and Final years. Landeskunde lectures give students a basic knowledge of the German speaking countries, including geography, political systems, education systems, and aspects of the economy. In the second half of the module students are introduced to major events in German history from the late nineteenth century to the end of National Socialism, and their lasting effects on modern Germany are examined.

Method of learning and teaching: 

2 contact hours per week throughout the academic year.  

Students are taught through task-oriented work; seminar work; lectures; presentations; interpretation of pre-selected source texts; guidance for independent research and focussed academic study skills elements.

Assessment method
: 1 hour closed book written Landeskunde exam in German (25%), 2 hour closed book written economic history exam in German (50%), 10 min presentation (25%)  

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: German

Module content: The topical content areas are determined by respective current events reported in the German news media. These serve as a platform to discuss wider issues in German politics, society, economy and culture. Examples can include elections, public debates, or major events. Students will also be made familiar with the nature and political affiliations of different newspapers and other media.

Method of learning and teaching: Two contact hours per week, to include lecture, seminar, structured discussions, group work, oral presentations, supervision of independent research. 

Assessment method: 10 min persuasive speech (25%), 20 minute group discussion in German (25%), letter to editor in German (50%) 

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: German

Module content: The course deals with the following topics: spoken and written language; standard language; the development of a German standard language; the difference between language and dialect; language policy and language planning; German minority languages and linguistic minorities in Germany; language contact: the example of English borrowings into German.

Assessment method: oral poster presentation (20%), exam (80%).

Year 2

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: This module aims to develop proficiency in written and spoken Spanish to a standard that enables the student to communicate effectively and confidently with Spanish native speakers and sustain a work or study placement in a Spanish-speaking country. Students will work on the different skills involved in language learning: from listening and speaking to reading, writing, and translating. Relevant texts will be used, in order to increase students’ awareness of Hispanic culture, economy, history and society to learn the language in the context in which it is used. 

Method of learning and teaching: Weekly classes of three hours in Spanish, group work, individual work, role-play, presentations, independent study.

Assessment method: Dossier on independent learning tasks (20%), oral tasks (30%), exam (50%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The module aims to chart the trajectory of Spanish politics, economy, society and art since 1975. We will study the political process which led Spain to become a Parliamentary Monarchy after a military dictatorship in a reasonably non-violent atmosphere. We will pay particular attention to the role of democratic Spain in the European Union but will also look at other international connections.

Method of learning and teaching: The method will consist of a lecture and a seminar. The lecture will be an introduction to political, economic, social and artistic issues, providing a context for more specific studies. The seminars will be dedicated to deepening students' understanding of issues presented in lectures, consolidating their familiarisation with the relevant vocabulary and developing oral skills. Seminars will provide a framework where students can express their opinions, interests, comments and conclusions about different topics in a very active way. So, discussions, team work and an open mind are essential requirements to make the most of each seminar.

Assessment method: Report (30%), exam (70%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The module seeks to provide the student with an in depth understanding of contemporary Latin America. It will focus on the region’s most recent social, cultural, political and economic developments. Particular attention will be given to the specific characteristics of each country, highlighting their differences and similarities. Students will also be introduced to general trends of Latin America as well as to its role in the international arena.

Methods of learning and teaching: There will be a weekly lecture in Spanish followed by a seminar in which students are expected to contribute with discussions, presentations and team work. Students will be required to do some readings or viewings in advance in order to be prepared for the seminars.

Assessment method: Class participation (20%), exam (80%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: The module focuses on the role of Spanish around the world. It deals with various linguistic and cultural issues related to several Spanish-speaking communities in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Topics include: standard peninsular Spanish, varieties of peninsular Spanish, standard varieties of Spanish in Latin American, other varieties of Spanish in Latin America, Spanish in the US, Spanish in contact with other languages (Arabic, Catalan, English, French, German, Quechua, etc.). 

Method of learning and teaching: There will be a weekly lecture in Spanish followed by a seminar in which students are expected to contribute with discussions, presentations and team work. Students will be required to do some readings or viewings in advance in order to be prepared for the seminars.

Assessment method: Dossier on seminar tasks (20%), exam (80%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: This module focuses on the role of journalism as a cultural practice in the Hispanic world, analysing the impact that media may have upon society and exploring various ways in which journalists’ coverage of events not merely reflects the social world but helps constitute and shape it. After an introductory session to Spanish-speaking media today, the first part of the module focuses on a range of journalistic practices and genres, introducing students to different styles of writing for journalists and to the challenges of producing an accurate, readable narrative including examples from print and broadcast journalism. The second part provides a historical perspective on media in Spain and Latin America, followed by a concentrated study of the debates and controversies surrounding journalism and its relationship with society.

Methods of learning and teaching: This module will be delivered by weekly lectures and group seminars. In part A of the syllabus, lectures seek to explore the skills involved in writing for publication in different journalistic genres and the industrial context in which journalists work, whereas seminars will be practical workshops in which students learn to develop specialist writing skills for print and broadcast journalism. In part B of the syllabus, lectures will provide the theoretical framework necessary for students’ understanding of the debates concerned, while seminars will be forums for students’ presentations and for analyses of different news coverage on newspapers, radio and television.

Assessment method: Class test (60%), oral presentation (40%).

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: German

Module content: This module consolidates and develops the first-year work on all aspects of German language, using a variety of formats including class discussion, small-group or individual projects, and guided self-study. The module has two components: a) academic writing and communication skills in German; b) a set of independent learning tasks delivered by e-learning.

Method of learning and teaching: Seminars, group work, individual work, role-play, presentations, self-access learning (especially in the ILT component).

Students are encouraged to watch German TV or listen to German radio on a regular basis. A list of the main newspapers, radio stations and TV-channels accessed via the Internet will be provided.  

Assessment method: written examination (50%), oral presentation (25%), oral exam (25%), essay and portfolio of self-study materials (pass/fail).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: German

Module content: This module follows on from the Level One history course and provides students with solid knowledge and understanding of Germany from 1945 to the present day. The focus is on major events and themes of post-war history along with contemporary German politics, society, economy and culture. Topic areas include nationhood, division and reunification, the German political system and Germany’s place in Europe and the world.

Method of learning and teaching: Weekly two-hour lectures, to include structured discussion, buzz groups, team-work.

Assessment method: 10 minute oral presentation (20%), written exam (80%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: German

Module content: The module concentrates on specific topic areas in German society, culture, politics, and economy since 1990 (‘Berlin Republic’). These include, for example, reunification problems, elections, and multiculturalism. The topic areas chosen in a given year are related to current affairs. Students are given the opportunity to apply the tools and knowledge-base acquired in Teaching Period 1 (Postwar Germany) to critically engage with, and keep informed about, German current affairs.

Method of learning and teaching: Weekly two-hour classes, to include lecture elements, seminars, structured discussions, group work, oral presentations.

Assessment method: 2000 word essay (75%), 20 minute group-discussion (25%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: German

Module content: This seminar opens up perspectives on the second German-speaking country, with special reference to the similarities and dissimilarities between Austria and Germany. It thus develops the knowledge acquired in German History and Society (Level One) and Post war Germany (Level Two), and increases students’ awareness of the role of regional differences. Topics covered include Austrian political history, Austrian language and culture, and contemporary Austrian society.

Method of learning and teaching: Lecture, seminar, oral presentations, guided study of original documents and texts, supervised research, consultation for essay preparation

Assessment method: 2000-word essay in German (80%), 10 minute class presentation with handout (20%).

Year 3 - Year Abroad
Final Year

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: Spanish

Module content: This module further develops and consolidates the Spanish language skills acquired during the three previous years of study and, if applicable, work placement. At the end of the module, students will have reached a proficiency level equivalent to a high C1/low C2 scale as defined by the European Common Framework for Languages. The module will cover linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic components corresponding to this level of communicative language competence.

Students will also have the opportunity to reflect on their professional skills as they develop their video project. In order to do this, they will create and publish online an e-Portfolio targeting prospective employers.

Methods of learning and teaching: Students will attend weekly two-hour sessions in which they will explore and work on all aspects of communicative language competence development. Each week, students will have to complete a series of exercises related to the topics studied in class. In addition to this, students are also expected to work independently using the resources available at the Cadbury Room, L&T support office, and the university’s library (i.e.: DVDs, books, magazines, newspapers, etc.).

Assessment method: E-portfolio (25%), video production (25%), exams (50%).

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: 20

Module content: In this module the student will research a chosen topic, agreed with the supervisor and the Module Convenor. The research may be on any subject considered appropriate for research at final year level within the Spanish Studies programme. Students will be expected to identify their own topic and approach. There will be maximum encouragement of individual initiative and research, while supervisors will encourage the exchange and construction of ideas, the development of a hypothesis where appropriate, and advice on dissertation organisation and presentation. 

Method of learning and teaching: Plenary sessions will provide information on the expectations for an LTS dissertation and viva and will present objectives, methodology, and a timetable for the module. These sessions will be supplemented by individual and group meetings between supervisors and students. It is the responsibility of the student to comply with deadlines set by the supervisor.

Assessment method: 5000-6000 word dissertation and 300 word abstract  in the target language (70%). 20-minute viva (30%).

This module will consist of the analysis of literary works belonging to different genres, countries and periods in the 20th century. This variety will provide a glimpse of the richness and variety of contemporary literature in Spanish. Works will cover the three main literary genres: prose, poetry and drama, and will be presented in a chronological order. Spain, Central America and South America will have a relevant presence in the module.


Assessment method: Four short reports and an essay.

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: German and English

Module content: In this module, students work on aspects of written and spoken German at an advanced level. The module has four components: a) translation from German into English; b) debates; c) genre-specific writing with a focus on accuracy and style; abstracting from German into English with a focus on accurate reading and the skills of linguistic mediation; d) independent learning using a structured set of advanced grammar exercises to improve accuracy in German.

Method of learning and teaching: Seminars, group-work, individual study. 

Assessment method: written exam (50%), oral exam (20%), image campaign (15%), 1000 word essay (15%) 

Number of credits: 20

Language of delivery: German

Module content: This module runs through the whole of the final year and draws together the skills students have acquired throughout the programme. It involves choosing a research topic from the areas of German history, politics, economics, language or culture; researching this; and writing it up in an extended essay in academic German. The written project is complemented by an oral defence of the project in German. Students attend weekly seminars on research skills and individual supervision tutorials.

Method of learning and teaching: Plenary sessions will provide information on the expectations for an LTS dissertation and viva and will present objectives, methodology, and a timetable for the module. These sessions will be supplemented by individual and group meetings between supervisors and students. It is the responsibility of the student to comply with deadlines set by the supervisor.

Assessment method: research project (5,000-6,000 words) (70%) and viva (30%).

Number of credits: 10

Language of delivery: German

Module content: This module builds on the level 2 Post war Germany module as well as first-hand experience acquired during the Year Abroad. Students enhance their familiarity with the popular culture of Germany and Austria from a variety of perspectives: art, literature, music, media, society, politics, and philosophy.

Methods of learning and teaching: Weekly seminars, which will involve a variety of learning activities such as group work, individual work, guided study in preparation for the assessed essay.

Assessment method: 3000 word essay (80%), 300 word essay (music album review) (20%) 

Aston is 6th for Languages Graduate Level Destinations sixth months after Graduation - Guardian 2013

Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers who value their understanding of different cultures and societies, their communication skills and motivation for team work. Recent destinations for Language and Translation Studies graduates include:  

  • English Teacher, Business Language Skills
  • PR Graduate Scheme, LIDL
  • French Customer Service Co-ordinator, CRP
  • Bilingual Sales Coordinator, Narrow Aisle Ltd
  • Language Assistant, British Council
  • Translator/Analytical Support, B&Q
  • Immigration Assistant, Australian Embassy UK
  • Marketing Analyst, Deutsche Bank
  • Graduate Trainee Managers for British Airways, Aldi Stores, John Lewis and Selfridges
  • Journalist, Tatler Magazine
  • Account Manager Interpreting, Smoby (French Toy Company)
  • Senior AdministratorMichelin
  • Public Relations Officers for a number of companies
  • European Union/European Parliament Officers/Assistants
  • PGCE Secondary Teaching Qualification at universities including King’s College London, Warwick University and Exeter
  • Marketing Assistant at Beiersdorf

You will take part in interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study. We teach our courses in German and Spanish, which means that our students are at a real advantage when it comes to gaining maximum benefit and experience from the year abroad. 

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor when you join us and you will be encouraged to make regular contact with them throughout your studies. Personal Tutors are there to help discuss academic and, in some cases, personal issues. Personal Tutors can also often offer support by writing references for placement/graduate employment and academic research.

Assessment is through a combination of written and oral exams, coursework, essays, translation tasks, presentations and an extended dissertation during your Final Year. Exams take place in January and May/June.

For further information, please see the German Joint Honours programme specification and the Spanish Joint Honours programme specification.

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla - Lecturer in Spanish 

Stephanie Panichelli

''My primary research interest in the Cuban Revolution was fueled by an inspirational professor from my home university – Dr. Nadia Lie, Professor of Latin American Studies at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). My Master’s thesis, on the relationship between former Cuban President Fidel Castro and Colombian Nobel Prize Winner Gabriel García Márquez, was commercially published in 2004 and translated into six languages. I discuss the subject matter in my First Year module “Culture of Latin America” when we study the writers of the literary boom and their relationship to the Cuban Revolution. My current research focuses on the Cuban International Solidarity Missions. We analyse this topic in our Second Year module, “Contemporary Latin America”. After a lecture about the Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Revolutions, I ask my students to read a range of articles about these solidarity missions (from extremely supportive to particularly critical). We then spend one seminar debating the topic, which the students find very interesting. They offer and hear unique perspectives on this unusual programme.''

Dr Stefan Manz - Head of German

Stefan Manz
“At Aston, research is not an ‘ivory tower’ activity but a way of engaging with the world around us. We aim to make a real impact through our research – and that begins in the classroom. My own teaching is always informed by the latest thinking in my areas of specialism, which include migration studies, German history and society, and European Studies. A recent example is my volume on EU-enlargement. The material is perfect to be used in my seminar on German Politics and Society. Should Turkey join the European Union? Should Greece leave? Why does Croatia join and not Serbia? And what about the UK? After I chart Germany’s position on these questions, students engage in lively and sometimes controversial small-group discussion about the nature of the European Union. This is just one example of how my research feeds into and enlivens my teaching. We aim to equip our students with an in-depth and relevant understanding of the modern world. Our research helps us to achieve this aim.”

Campus accommodation guaranteed for first year and final year students returning from year abroad


The Third Year of your course is spent abroad in a German and a Spanish speaking country - increasing your fluency, enhancing your cultural awareness and adding value to your degree. The year abroad is an integral and assessed part of language studies at Aston University, fully supported by us, and of direct relevance to your degree. A distinctive feature of our year abroad is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities - you might even choose to combine two of these options. We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away. Find out more about the Year Abroad.

Contact Details

Tel: 0121 204 3777
Emaillss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk


Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Gagan Aggarwal, Graduate 2013

BSc Spanish

One of my favourite lecture topics is 'Spanish Oral Skills' where the class consists of 6/8 students and one lecturer. It’s an opportunity to discuss current events and also practice conversation.

 

Download the course brochure

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Accommodation

Accommodation

Outstanding graduate career prospects

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Visit our YouTube channel
See our photos on Flickr

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research