Introduction

Anthropology and German at Aberdeen is a great study combination, adding to an existing grounding in what it means to ‘be human’ with an in-depth study of a major modern European language and culture. The language, perspective and skills you will develop will open up a wide range of career options with an international flavour.

This programme is studied on campus.

Anthropology – for which we boast 100% student satisfaction – will give you a thorough grounding in humanity, the differences in human cultures and communities and how they have developed. You will gain unique insight into behaviours, beliefs and attitudes all over the world and find connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion.

Combining this study with a modern European language and culture is highly appealing to employers operating in an increasingly global environment.

German at Aberdeen has an outstanding reputation with the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment. You will gain a solid grounding in the German language whatever your level, taught by native speakers from Germany and Austria. You will gain a broad understanding of culture in the German-speaking world, together with a deeper understanding of Germany’s complex history.

As an integral part of your 5-year programme, you will spend the third year of your study taking your language skills to a high level as a Teaching Assistant or visiting student in a German-speaking country.

The combination of skills you’ll graduate with, including critical thinking, communication and analysis in addition to your language and cultural skills, will have special appeal to employers in European and international business.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
60 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
LR62

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Introduction to Anthropology: Peoples of the World (AT1003) - Credits: 15

Anthropology is the comparative study of human ways of life through the study of societies and cultures around the world. In this course we introduce some of the key topics of contemporary anthropological inquiry: What is Anthropology? What do anthropologists do? What is ethnography? How can we see the diverse world of societies and cultures around us, not by looking from the outside, but by looking at how people themselves make their own lives and meanings?

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Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity (AT1502) - Credits: 15

In this course students will be offered an extended introduction to social anthropology and will focus on topics: language and culture, belief and religion, gender and sex, kinship, and race. Students will develop and refine their understanding of major issues in the discipline of social anthropology through staff lectures, tutorials, and ethnographic films.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.

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Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 45 credit points from courses of choice.

One of the following Options:

Option 1: (Beginner)

  • German for Beginners 1 (GM1054)
  • German for Beginners 2 (GM1554)
  • Background to German Beginners 1 (GM1049) or Background to German Beginners 2 (GM1549)

Option 2: (Advanced)

  • German Language 1 (GM1050)
  • German Language 2 (GM1550)
  • Modern German Culture 1 (GM1052) or Modern German Culture 2 (GM1552)
German for Beginners 1 (GM1054) - Credits: 15

This language course provides students with a sound foundation in German (grammar and vocabulary). It enables students to understand the gist of authentic written and spoken German and to speak and write about familiar topics with a degree of accuracy and fluency.

No previous knowledge of German is required, but this course is also for students which took German at school before, on any level lower than Higher or A-level.

With 3 Language Classes and 1 Language Practical per week this course encourages and supports students to develop their personal self-study strategies.

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German for Beginners 2 (GM1554) - Credits: 15

This language course provides students with a sound foundation in German (grammar and vocabulary). It enables students to understand the gist of authentic written and spoken German and to speak and write about familiar topics with a degree of accuracy and fluency.

No previous knowledge of German is required, but this course is also for students which took German at school before, on any level lower than Higher or A-level.

With 3 Language Classes and 1 Language Practical per week this course encourages and supports students to develop their personal self-study strategies.

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Background to German Beginners 1 (GM1049) - Credits: 15

Students will gain detailed knowledge and understanding of the fascinating political and cultural developments and historical events in 20th century Germany.

They will be introduced in weekly lectures and tutorials to a variety of texts and contemporary films.

This course is taught in English and normally taken in conjunction with GM1054 German for Beginners 1. It is specifically recommended to students with the intention to proceed with German Studies beyond level one.

No pre-requisites are required.

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Background to German Beginners 2 (GM1549) - Credits: 15

This course is intended for beginners, wishing to proceed with German Studies beyond level 1. It provides an introduction to selected German Short Stories from the 20th-century, with a particular focus on relating these to their cultural, historical and social context.

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German Language 1 (GM1050) - Credits: 15

This module is designed for students with an SCE H in German or equivalent. The course develops receptive and productive oral and written German language skills. Students who are considering applying for entry to German Honours must take this course.

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German Language 2 (GM1550) - Credits: 15

This module is designed for students with an SCE H in German or equivalent. The course develops receptive and productive oral and written German language skills. Students who are considering applying for entry to German Honours must take this course. The course builds on GM1050.

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Modern German Culture 1 (GM1052) - Credits: 15

Learn more about German 20th-century literature, dealing with the events that shaped German and European history. As in all good literature, we will discuss universal themes and topics covering all of the most important aspects of modern life.

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Modern German Culture 2 (GM1556) - Credits: 15

This course allows insight into the major upheavals of twentieth century German history, while also extending students’ skills in reading German and in literary analysis. It focuses on a short novel by contemporary author Jenny Erpenbeck, which deals with the inhabitants of a Berlin house from the early 1900s to the late 1990s. Through exploring this literary text, students are able to engage with the ways in which radical social and political change impacts individual lives.

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Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Political Anthropology (AT2005) - Credits: 15

How do human beings relate to one another at a communal level? What holds human societies together? This course examines the basic forms of human solidarity that anthropologists have identified that bind us together as people: race, class, ethnicity, kinship, gender. In each case, these core ideas will be examined not just as descriptions of social life, but as forms of power and identity. The course introduces students to what these terms mean, how they have been used in understanding human societies, and what they look like in a cross-cultural context.

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Anthropological Approaches to Religion (AT2006) - Credits: 15

This course helps students to understand critically the phenomenon of religion. There are two main aims. Firstly, four contrasting approaches to religion that have been influential in anthropology and beyond will be introduced. These include religion as a social phenomenon, religion as a cultural phenomenon, Marxist perspectives on religion, and religion as embodied experience. Secondly, students themselves will engage with the question of what religion is, compare and contrast different answers to this question, and develop their own, informed, understanding.

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Modern German Culture 3 (GM2043) - Credits: 15

The meaning of life? Knowledge of good and evil? What are the limits of human understanding? Of scientific inquiry? Goethe's Faust knows of no questions that are too big to tackle. In the course, students will encounter some of the greatest literary figures of European thought and literature, and follow them on their perilous journey.

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Reimagining Colonialism (AT2515) - Credits: 30

This course will explore contemporary colonial expressions from an anthropological perspective. It will be split into two main themes: Material Histories; and Mediated Histories. Within these themes it will address topics such as the "capturing" of cultures in museums, kinship and politics, gendered colonialism, economic development, media, aboriginal rights and contemporary resistance movements.

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Modern German Culture 4 (GM2543) - Credits: 15

This course consists of the study of selected aspects of modern German culture and involves the close analysis of German texts. The latter are normally 20th-century texts.

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Optional Courses

  • German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040) and German Language (Advanced Introductory) 2 (GM2540) or German Language 3 (GM2042) and German Language 4 (GM2542)
German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040) - Credits: 15

The course consists of language classes leading to advanced communicative competence in German and it will include the analysis of contemporary texts drawn from a variety of contexts. This course may be taken only by students who have completed the German for Beginners courses.

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German Language (Advanced Introductory) 2 (GM2540) - Credits: 15

The intention of the course is to extend and reinforce further students' command of German grammar, vocabulary and syntactic structures, and to introduce various styles of written and spoken German. The course builds on the work done in GM2040 and is intended only for continuing beginners.

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Modern German Culture 3 (GM2043) - Credits: 15

The meaning of life? Knowledge of good and evil? What are the limits of human understanding? Of scientific inquiry? Goethe's Faust knows of no questions that are too big to tackle. In the course, students will encounter some of the greatest literary figures of European thought and literature, and follow them on their perilous journey.

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German Language 4 (GM2542) - Credits: 15

Building on work done in GM 2042, the course will develop further language skills.

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German Language 3 (GM2042) - Credits: 15

This level two language course will build on and extend students' fluency and written skills in German.

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Year 3

Compulsory Courses

  • Students must spend an academic session in a German-speaking country.
Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Anthropological Theory (AT3027) - Credits: 30

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

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German Junior Honours Language Study (GM3069) - Credits: 15

This junior honours language course will build on and extend students' written skills and fluency in German.

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Optional Courses

A further 30 credits from level 3 Anthropology course(s)

and

A further 45 credits from level 3 courses in German

Year 5

Compulsory Courses

German Language Study for Senior Honours (GM4099) - Credits: 30

Building on the skills gained during the Junior Honours language course and before, this module expands and refines German language expertise in writing, reading, speaking and listening, to an advanced level, for their final exit written and oral exam in German.​

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Optional Courses

Either

  • Independent study in Anthropology (AT4036)

or

  • Dissertation in German Studies (GM4052)

Plus further credit points in level 4 course(s) in German and Anthropology to gain a total of 60 credits in each discipline.

German Dissertation (Joint Honours) (GM4052) - Credits: 15

Students engage in their first larger project of independent research.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Anthropology and German?

  • Aberdeen is one of the fastest-growing Anthropology departments in the UK.
  • Our core staff specialise in regions as diverse as Canada, the Central  Asian Republics, Iceland and Scandinavia, Siberia, Scotland and the UK, South America, Tibet and the Himalayas.
  • We offer innovative ideas and a fresh vision of the subject, with an emphasis throughout on work at the cutting-edge of the discipline and research.
  • A vibrant student anthropology society regularly organises academic and social events bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students with staff outside the classroom.
  • The Department takes a multi-disciplinary approach with courses, covering German film and visual culture, gender studies, literature and history.
  • Courses focus on Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
  • A small, friendly department with a flourishing German Club and a Drama Group that puts on an annual play in German.
  • The University Library has extensive German holdings.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, changing your subject, offers and advanced entry.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB*
A Levels - BBB*
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL*
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)*

*There is no formal requirement for entry to the German beginners' course. A pass in German at SQA Higher, GCE A Level or equivalent is necessary for entry to the German non-beginners course.

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Tuition fee rates can be found on our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,000
All Students
International Students £13,800
Students admitted in 2016/17
International Students £14,300
Students admitted in 2017/18

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Undergraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

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Careers

  • Anthropology Consultancy, Research and Education in German speaking organisations
  • Gallery and Museum Curator
  • Social Researcher

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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Top in Scotland for Anthropology

Source: National Student Survey 2016

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Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

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Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX