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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog:

Department: Modern Languages and Cultures


Type Open Level 1 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to


  • • This module in only available to taught postgraduate students registered with the Durham University Business School. No prior study of German beyond GCSE or equivalent, subject to decision by the Programme Language Co-ordinator.


  • • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • • Any other German Language Module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.


  • To provide an introduction to German Language in the four core language skills, i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing and an introduction to the basic grammatical structures of the target language.
  • To develop a positive and confident attitude towards language learning.
  • To develop meta-language and learning techniques appropriate to the level of study.
  • To provide a linguistic platform for communicative competence in German.
  • To promote cultural awareness.


  • The module is designed to provide a sound platform for foreign language acquisition by helping students to understand the core structure of the German language through the study of grammar.
  • Classes will be used to introduce and practise new vocabulary through interactive language exercises developing students’ independence and fluency at an introductory level.
  • Guided and independent self-study will be an important element in order to achieve maximum exposure to the target language and to accelerate students’ learning pace.
  • Cultural awareness will be developed through the study of selected background material. Functional topics may include:
  • Talking about yourself
  • Dealing with every-day situations when visiting Germany or a German-speaking country
  • Expressing opinions
  • To discuss present and future events;
  • Describing people, objects and places

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • an understanding of basic grammar and be able to communicate in the present, past and future tenses on familiar topics and activities;
  • a vocabulary sufficient to communicate in tasks requiring a direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • understand and elicit basic factual information in German in simple everyday situations;
  • understand and extract relevant information from course related written and aural texts;
  • describe aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need;
  • write short notes and messages.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • identify their own learning needs and address them effectively;
  • demonstrate an understanding of core meta-language sufficient to undertake independent study of essential grammar and lexis;
  • demonstrate a strategic competence that will allow them to understand the gist of conversations / texts in simple, everyday but unpredictable situations.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is delivered weekly through two 2-hour seminars and one 1-hour seminar.
  • Seminar sessions will be used to practice the four skills and to provide students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and from multimedia audiovisual learning material.
  • In preparation for each session students will be expected to revise new material and complete formative language exercises.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is designed to test students’ level of attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading).
  • In order to reflect the continuous nature of the language learning process the module will be assessed by a combination of formative in-course assessment and by summative oral and written examination.
  • The module will be taught intensively between September and December, with examinations conducted in December.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 20 2 per week 2 hours 40
Practical Lab Classes 10 1 per week 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 100
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% Yes
Component: Oral/Aural Examination Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral Assessment 15 Minutes 50% Yes
Aural Assessment 45 Mintues 50% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Regular homework/assignments will be given to the students to practice and consolidate what they have done in class and to prepare the following session, some of which will be submitted and marked as formative assignments and regular feedback will be given to the students accordingly

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University