Introduction

German and Sociology at Aberdeen is a great combination, adding to your highly-developed language and cultural skills with a fascinating awakening of your ‘sociological imagination’, exploring how the societies we live in shape us as individuals in all sorts of ways. With top-rated teaching and a culture of dynamic research, you will develop the skills to be a sought-after graduate by employers in many sectors and with strong international possibilities.

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.

Sociology at Aberdeen will complement and add depth to your studies of French society. You will explore how society shapes us as individuals in all sorts of ways and study sociology of the family, work-life balance, religion and society.

You will be taught by experts in social movements, conflict and peace, religion and secularisation and global political sociology and become skilled in the social research methods used to gather the evidence to better understand aspects of society – such as observation, interviews, large-scale surveys or analysing the content of documents and videos.

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.

In addition to your technical and language ability, you will develop great skills in thinking critically and posing probing questions – which have tremendous value to employers, for example in journalism, marketing and advertising, social and market research, teaching, health and social services, charities and human resources.

Degree marketing image

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
RLF3

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Introductory Sociology I (SO1005) - 15 Credit Points

Sociology is the study of human social groups. It particularly focuses on modern societies, analyzing how they work and how the major social institutions in them (such as religion, the media, government and the economy) operate. The course provides students with a general introduction to the unique manner in which sociologists seek to understand contemporary societies. Students are presented with current and classical approaches to understanding the social processes that underlie self-construction, group formation and social interaction, within urbanizing and globalizing social contexts.

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Introductory Sociology II (SO1507) - 15 Credit Points

This course is an introduction to macro-sociology, which analyzes the ways that people’s lives are shaped by large-scale forces, structures, and institutions. Students are introduced to the particular ways in which classical and contemporary sociologists understand social forces in the modern domestic and global environment and learn to think critically about those social forces that impact their everyday lives using the sociological imagination. Substantive topics likely to be covered in this course include the media, politics, religion, surveillance, education, class stratification, international inequalities, and the relationship between humans and other animals.

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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.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, 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

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

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

One of the following Options:

Option 1:

  • 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:

  • German Language 1 (GM1050)
  • German Language 2 (GM1550)
  • Modern German Culture 1 (GM1052) or Modern German Culture 2 (GM1552)
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.

View detailed information about this course

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.

View detailed information about this course

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 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)
  • Studying Social Life 1 - Extended (SO2005) or Studying Social Life 1 (SO2004).
  • Studying Social Life 2 - Extended (SO2505) or Studying Social Life 2 (SO2504).
  • Select further credit points to a total of 120 from courses of choice. Note that a minimum of 45 credit points from level 2 Sociology courses are required for entry into the Honours and Designated degree programmes.
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.

View detailed information about this course

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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Studying Social Life 1 (SO2005) - 30 Credit Points

This follows on from level-one sociology. It is designed to highlight the ways that sociological theory informs the research endeavour, not only the questions sociologists raise, but also the particular modes through which we go about investigating them. The module examines these points in relation to a range of micro-level topics – the body, food and feeding, health and illness, the emotions, group behaviour, sex and gender, the life course and death and dying – all of which emphasise the nature of human interaction and sociological efforts to understand it.

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Studying Social Life 1 (SO2004)
Studying Social Life 2 (SO2505) - 30 Credit Points

This macro-sociology course extends students’ understanding of large-scale social, as well as political and economic, processes and institutions. Particular focus is on the sociological analysis of global issues and socio-political controversies, many of which are subject to topical and, at times, contentious debate at the beginning of the 21st century. The substantive topics include areas of social and political concern such as globalisation; the changing nature of economy, work and leisure; risk and insecurity; multiculturalism; food production and security; social movements; nationalism and identities.

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Studying Social Life 2 (SO2504)
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.

View detailed information about this course

Level 3 German Language Study (Mode B) (GM3525)
Social Research Methods (SO3524) - 30 Credit Points

Sociologists use a range of methods and techniques to explore and test sociological theory. This module introduces many of these methods and techniques. It aims to ground students’ theoretical understanding of society through the practical analysis of a variety of data. It starts by introducing the varying philosophical starting points of research and goes on to provide foundation level critical analysis skills in the key quantitative and qualitative methods that sociologists have deployed to understand and ‘capture’ the social world.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Thinking Sociologically (SO3066) or Religion and Society (SO3067)

One of the following Options:

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in German (GM4052)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in German.
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in Sociology.

Option 2:

  • Research Project (SO4049)
  • Select a further 75 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in German.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in Sociology.
Thinking Sociologically (SO3066) - 30 Credit Points

Thinking Sociologically is the department's core sociological theory module. The course offers our students an introduction to a range of key sociological thinkers and bodies of thought, both classical and contemporary, that inform sociological analysis of social life and social institutions. As such, this course is intended to provide our honours students with a conceptual 'toolkit', that can be applied to facilitate understanding, insight and informed critique with respect to a broad range of historical and contemporary social, political and economic phenomena.

View detailed information about this course

Religion and Society (SO3067) - 30 Credit Points

Modernization changes the nature and social position of religion: what was once imposed on entire societies becomes a matter of choice and as societies become more religiously diverse, religion is increasingly confined to the home and the family. National churches are replaced by denominations and sects and the state’s increasing neutrality allows new religious movements to flourish. This course uses secularization to examine such basic sociological concepts as social differentiation, individualism, social cohesion, community versus voluntary association, immigration, conversion, recruitment, gender, and cultural defence.

View detailed information about this course

German Dissertation (Joint Honours) (GM4052) - 15 Credit Points

Students engage in their first larger project of independent research.

View detailed information about this course

Research Project (SO4049) - 30 Credit Points

This course affords students the opportunity to apply their sociological knowledge and research skills to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the department. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather and analyse data, and write a final report. All students will be guided in the arts of critical analysis, report planning, and report writing. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.

View detailed information about this course

Year 4

Year 4

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.

View detailed information about this course

Level 3 German Language Study (Mode B) (GM3525)
Social Research Methods (SO3524) - 30 Credit Points

Sociologists use a range of methods and techniques to explore and test sociological theory. This module introduces many of these methods and techniques. It aims to ground students’ theoretical understanding of society through the practical analysis of a variety of data. It starts by introducing the varying philosophical starting points of research and goes on to provide foundation level critical analysis skills in the key quantitative and qualitative methods that sociologists have deployed to understand and ‘capture’ the social world.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Thinking Sociologically (SO3066) or Religion and Society (SO3067)

One of the following Options:

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in German (GM4052)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in German.
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in Sociology.

Option 2:

  • Research Project (SO4049)
  • Select a further 75 credit points from level 3 and 4 courses in German.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in Sociology.
Thinking Sociologically (SO3066) - 30 Credit Points

Thinking Sociologically is the department's core sociological theory module. The course offers our students an introduction to a range of key sociological thinkers and bodies of thought, both classical and contemporary, that inform sociological analysis of social life and social institutions. As such, this course is intended to provide our honours students with a conceptual 'toolkit', that can be applied to facilitate understanding, insight and informed critique with respect to a broad range of historical and contemporary social, political and economic phenomena.

View detailed information about this course

Religion and Society (SO3067) - 30 Credit Points

Modernization changes the nature and social position of religion: what was once imposed on entire societies becomes a matter of choice and as societies become more religiously diverse, religion is increasingly confined to the home and the family. National churches are replaced by denominations and sects and the state’s increasing neutrality allows new religious movements to flourish. This course uses secularization to examine such basic sociological concepts as social differentiation, individualism, social cohesion, community versus voluntary association, immigration, conversion, recruitment, gender, and cultural defence.

View detailed information about this course

German Dissertation (Joint Honours) (GM4052) - 15 Credit Points

Students engage in their first larger project of independent research.

View detailed information about this course

Research Project (SO4049) - 30 Credit Points

This course affords students the opportunity to apply their sociological knowledge and research skills to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the department. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather and analyse data, and write a final report. All students will be guided in the arts of critical analysis, report planning, and report writing. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.

View detailed information about this course

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.

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 23%
independent: 77%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 54%
coursework: 45%
practical: 1%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 18%
independent: 82%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 39%
coursework: 54%
practical: 7%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 14%
independent: 86%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 45%
coursework: 55%
practical: 0%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 10%
independent: 90%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 34%
coursework: 54%
practical: 12%

Why Study German and Sociology?

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 Sociology

  • An international reputation for our sociology research, and recognised by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as a centre for research training and supervision for postgraduate students.
  • Teaching with a top rating of ‘Excellent’ in the most recent Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • Consistently rated very highly, including by students in the National Student Survey (NSS) from whom we get great feedback.
  • Sociology at Aberdeen is rated as 5th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2017.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with its top-class study environment, state-of-the-art technology, and extensive collection of sociology publications and resources for your study.
  • A packed programme of student and public events, lectures, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers, plus the annual May Festival, British Science Week and Being Human Festival regularly featuring Aberdeen research in social sciences.
  • Participation in the European Social Survey, one of the largest and most reliable sources of data about Europeans’ attitudes, behaviours and experiences, with data from more than 350,000 individuals across 36 countries since 2002.

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, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

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.

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.

Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. 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