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Last modified: 24 May 2018 18:43

Course Overview

Why are we endlessly fascinated with murder and violence? The more peaceful the society, the greater the fascination - so it seems. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Gundula-Maria Sharman

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either European Studies (EU) (Studied) or German (GM) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • GM3089 Means and Motives: German Crime Fiction A (Studied)
  • GM3589 Means and Motives: German Crime Fiction C (Studied)
  • GM4589 Means and Motives: German Crime Fiction D (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims: This course aims to introduce students to canonical German texts, ranging from Schiller's 18th century narrative about how individuals turn to crime to contemporary crime novels, and to engage critically with the social and ethical commentary of these texts in the context of the changing attitudes to values, justice and self-reflection. Main Learning Outcomes: Students will gain knowledge and understanding of a particular thread of German literature; Students will have improved their knowledge of the German language, and an appreciation of a range of narrative and literary styles Students will have improved their knowledge and understanding of German cultural and historical developments Students will have developed analytical and conceptual approaches to a variety of literary texts. Students will assemble a coherent argument for presentation in oral or written work.? In addition students will develop more general intellectual, and practical skills, including the ability to: (a) develop analytical, conceptual and theoretical approaches to a variety to texts; (b) engage with the process of learning in a constructive and self-motivated fashion; (c) read, order and analyse a body of material; (d) articulate views and present the findings of independent research (e) defend an argument both orally and in writing in an appropriate manner; (d) work to deadlines, either on their own or as part of a team; (e) listen effectively. Content: Solving the riddle? The wish for justice? Fascination with the human mind? Why are we so intrigued by crime fiction? And what do we gain from it? Focusing primarily on German crime fiction, this module examines the necessary drivers , which make a good crime story, including the narrative genres and devices, the psychological profile of killer victim and the detective, and socio-historical conditions of the scene. This module includes texts by authors such as Friedrich Schiller, E.T. A Hoffmann, and Friedrich Duerrenmatt.

Further Information & Notes

The course may not be included as part of a graduating curriculum with GM 3089 / GM 3589 Means and Motives: German Crime Fiction A / C. The course will be available in alternate sessions.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

Sorry, we don't have that information available.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt: One in-class presentation (30%) and one essay 70%, word length Sen Hons 3500 words

Formative Assessment

Discussion in class; individual guidance on choosing essay titles and structuring an argument.


All essays and presentations are discussed individually within no more than 2 weeks of submission. All assignments receive CGS marks, which the Course Guide links to specific marking criteria, and written or verbal feedback in the form of tutors' comments is also given. Additional informal feedback on performance and tutorial participation is offered in tutorials. Tutors have office hours at which further feedback may be sought.

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