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Educational aims

The German strand aims to provide you with:

  • an opportunity to study German as a systematic academic discipline
  • listening, reading, writing and speaking skills
  • an ability to communicate effectively with German language speakers
  • insight into and knowledge of the cultures, communities and societies where German is the principal language used.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

When you complete your studies for this strand, you will be able to:

  • communicate fluently and appropriately in German with competent or native speakers of the language, maintaining a high degree of grammatical accuracy
  • apply your language skills effectively and appropriately in a broad variety of contexts, including academic ones
  • show that you understand and know how to use German vocabulary and ¬†grammar, as well as the sounds of the language, in different styles (e.g. formal and informal), and that you can select the appropriate style for purpose
  • show that you recognise different ways of structuring written or spoken German texts and other materials and that you can analyse the impact they have on readers or listeners
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate, aspects of the arts, history, institutions, linguistic situation, geography, sociology, economics or cultures of the societies of the countries where German is spoken
  • show that you know about and understand some of the ways that people behave in those cultures and societies and can compare them with your own.

Cognitive skills

When you complete your studies for this strand, you will be able to:

Skills related to the German language


  • show that you can understand a wide variety of texts, including texts intended for the general public or for specialist audiences from different fields, and that you can use appropriate reading strategies (such as scanning a text or using a dictionary)
  • show that you understand the structure and conventions of different types of texts (e.g. short stories, film reviews, scientific texts for a non-specialist audience, business or economic reports, letters to the press, news reports).


  • write texts of different types (for example summaries, reports, letters to the press), following appropriate structures and conventions, including writing an academic essay of up to 3000 words, selecting and making critical use of written and spoken sources.


  • show that you understand a variety of authentic audio-visual sources (such as documentaries, interviews, broadcasts, telephone calls, audio dramas)
  • show critical awareness when listening, including understanding the perspective of the speaker.


  • make an oral presentation demonstrating your knowledge of a particular topic, using appropriate styles (such as narrating, describing, reporting, arguing), and the figures of speech and other stylistic devices associated with them.


  • take part in one-to-one conversations or interviews involving exchange of information and opinions, asking and giving advice, discussion and negotiation
  • participate in group discussions on topics of general interest or on a semi-specialised topic prepared in advance, showing ability to contribute successfully, to express your own opinion, to express agreement or disagreement, to request clarification, to negotiate.

Skills related to language in general

  • extract and synthesise key information from written and spoken sources by taking notes in a structured way, and by using devices such as 'mind maps' and 'spider diagrams'
  • organise and present ideas in a structured and reasoned argument and reflect critically on them.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you complete your studies for the strand, you will be able to:

  • show that you can edit and correct your own work in German
  • show that you can take notes and summarise accurately and effectively in German
  • show that you can use source materials in German, for example by presenting them to others or using them to support an argument
  • demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills related to academic tasks
  • work on your own towards your aims and objectives in a disciplined way
  • use learning aids successfully, for example bilingual and monolingual dictionaries, grammar books, and communication tools such as recordings, telephone conferencing and ICT-based facilities.

Key skills

When you complete your studies for the strand, you will be able to demonstrate that you can:

  • recognise and use strategies which ensure successful communication (such as requesting repetition, asking for clarification, taking turns, or interrupting politely)
  • use and interpret print-based and web-based information, in numerical, textual, pictorial or audio form (for example by putting it into a different medium or format)
  • use self-assessment strategies to check your own progress and performance.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Teaching and learning are via study materials (including study guides, textbooks, set books, audio and video material), optional face-to-face or online tutorials and at least one compulsory week-long residential school or approved alternative, plus individualised tutor feedback.

Assessment is via written assignments of up to 3000 words and oral recordings, and an oral presentation and group (or, in approved cases, one-to-one telephone-based) discussion.