Introduction

German and Language & Linguistics at Aberdeen is a great combination that adds value to highly-developed language skills and cultural knowledge in a major European language. The programme offers a fascinating exploration of how human language evolved, how we learn languages and how they differ and change over time. You will gain both a language and the all-round knowledge and transferable skills to open up a wide variety of career option, both international and specialist.

This programme is studied on campus.

You will gain a solid grounding in the German language whatever your level, in a programme with the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.

You will also develop a broad understanding of culture in the German-speaking world, with courses in social, historical and cultural aspects of these countries and encounter the world of German artistic expression in the form of literature, film and art, together with a deeper understanding of Germany’s complex history.

Language & Linguistics probes deeply into language and speech – analysing and modelling this fascinating human attribute so that we understand ourselves and human societies more fully.

You will explore the brain processes speech and language, how languages evolve over time and how we learn second languages.

This is an exciting and fast-moving field. Our understanding of language grows all the time with new discoveries in neuroscience, animal behaviour, archaeology, sociology and psychology and new ways to use linguistics theory in industry, medicine and forensic science emerge year on year.

As an integral part of your 4-year programme, you will spend half of year three developing your language skills as a teaching assistant or visiting student in Germany or Austria.

You will graduate with a combination of skills to make you very attractive to employers, both in an international setting and in careers such as media, advertising and marketing, information and communication technology, publishing, language teaching and health-related professions such as speech and language therapy.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
RQF1

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)

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

  • German Beginner: German for Beginners 1 (GM1049) and German for Beginners 2 (GM1554) and either Background for German Beginners 1 (GM1054) or Background for German Beginners 2 (GM1554).
  • German Advanced: German Language 1 (GM1050) and German Language 2 (GM1550) and either Modern German Culture (GM1052) or Modern German Culture (GM1556).
  • English Structure and Use (LN1003) and/or Communication and Language in Contemporary Society (LN1501).
  • Plus further courses of choice to make up to 120 credit points.
Background to German Beginners 1 (GM1049)
Background to German Beginners 2 (GM1549) - 15 Credit Points

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 for Beginners 1 (GM1054) - 15 Credit Points

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) - 15 Credit Points

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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English Structure and use (LN1003) - 15 Credit Points

This course opens up new ways for students to think about language by introducing them to the fundamentals of English linguistics. Students will learn how to identify and analyse the major "building blocks" of language in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Examples for illustration and discussion will be drawn from varieties of English spoken in the British Isles and worldwide, with lectures and tutorials geared to providing students with an active vocabulary with which to discuss language, and essential tools with which to analyse its structure and function.

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Communication and Language in Contemporary Society (LN1501) - 15 Credit Points

This course will interest anyone wanting to learn about language use. Moving beyond strict notions of structure, it explores communication in practice, examining how language works in different contexts and cultures. We will engage in careful study of various means of communication, from conversations to social networking and advertising, as well as broader questions of social identity factors that influence and interact with language. The course also addresses selected contemporary social issues that are principally or partly communicative in nature, challenging common misconceptions, and giving students an understanding of the contribution that awareness of language can make to numerous disciplines.

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German Language 1 (GM1050) - 15 Credit Points

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) - 15 Credit Points

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) - 15 Credit Points

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) - 15 Credit Points

Learn more about modern German history, culture and literature while also extending your skills in reading German texts.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Modern German Culture 3 (GM2043) - 15 Credit Points

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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Modern German Culture 4 (GM2543) - 15 Credit Points

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)
  • Select at least 45 credits from the following courses: Varieties of English (LN2005); Language in Society (LN2508); Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510); Sounds of English (LN2301).
  • Select further courses of choice to gain 120 credits.
German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040) - 15 Credit Points

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) - 15 Credit Points

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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German Language 3 (GM2042) - 15 Credit Points

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

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German Language 4 (GM2542) - 15 Credit Points

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

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(LN2005)
(LN2508)
Sounds of English (LN2301)
Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510) - 15 Credit Points

This course will look at

- the French sound system (with the spin-off of helping you to improve your pronunciation).

- word meaning and also speaker meaning (what a speaker means by, e.g., "were you born in a barn?")

- how new words are formed

- how sentences can be analysed

- how French has developed from the Middle Ages up to the present

- how French spread throughout the world (including French-based creoles)

- how French varies according to the person using the language, and the purpose for which they are using it

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

German Junior Honours Language Study (GM3069) - 15 Credit Points

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

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Level 3 German Language Study (Mode B) (GM3525)

Optional Courses

  • Select 15 further credits of Level 3 German courses in the first half session.
  • Select 60 level 3 credits of Language and Linguistics courses in the first half session.

Note that the second half session will be spent in German speaking country.

Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

  • Dissertation in German Studies (GM4052) or Dissertation in Language & Linguistics (LN4501)
  • Select 15 credits of Level 3 German.
  • Select further courses at Level 4 German to make up 75 credits in the discipline.
  • Select further courses of Language and Linguistics to make up 60 credits in the discipline.
German Dissertation (Joint Honours) (GM4052) - 15 Credit Points

Students engage in their first larger project of independent research.

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Dissertation in Language and Linguistics (LN4501) - 30 Credit Points

Once you have successfully completed three years of university-level study of Linguistics, this course allows you to develop and carry out an independent piece of research on a topic of your choice. It might be that a particular taught course has inspired you to explore a topic in more depth; your own reading might have prompted you to wonder about a particular question. You will be supervised by a member of the department who will be happy to give advice and support as you complete your dissertation of 7000-8000 words.

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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 German and Language & Linguistics?

Why German

  • The highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last Scottish national Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • A vibrant international community on campus and across the region, with many German-speaking students, staff and activities to get involved in and practise your language skills.
  • German Society open to all students interested in German and the German-speaking countries, organising drama performances and other events such as Kaffee and Kuchen, a German Stammtisch, film showings, and visits by German speakers and writers.
  • German Drama Group providing a great opportunity to produce an annual play, widen your language skills and meet other German students studying in Aberdeen. Previous years included works of 20th century dramatists Dürrenmatt, Borchert and Horvath.
  • Opportunities to study the rich literature and culture of Austria and Switzerland in addition to Germany.
  • A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the popular annual May Festival which welcomes international figures, experts, authors and scientists to campus every spring, with an increasingly European flavour.
  • Your period abroad as a language assistant or visiting student - we have exchange scholarships with the Universities of Zurich, Kiel and Greifswald, and Erasmus partners including Leipzig, Cologne, Bonn, Trier and Graz in Austria.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with fabulous study facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and an extensive German collection to inspire your studies.

Why Language and Linguistics

  • A vibrant linguistics research and teaching community, and the benefits this study brings to other subjects such as modern languages, anthropology, sociology and history.
  • Researchers revealing new insight into how spoken English is changing, including evidence gathered from tracking TV and radio soaps over the years.
  • Major research partnerships such as the study of witness testimonies following the 1641 Irish Rebellion, with language revealing the social, economic, cultural and political situation in 17th century Ireland, giving clues on sectarianism today.
  • Award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with top-class study facilities and literary treasures collected over 500 years charting the power of the written word from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-books and other media.
  • A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which attracts internationally acclaimed authors, broadcasters and public figures to discuss the written and spoken word in various languages.

Entry Requirements

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.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

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

Find out More

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

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.

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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