German study guide 2023/24

German at Bristol

Join us if you have an enquiring mind and a love of languages. Studying German in Bristol will not only provide you with deeper insights into German culture, art and history but also allow you to look at these subjects through an international lens.

Current staff specialisms include modern German and Austrian history; post-war and contemporary literature; historical sociolinguistics; and 18th- to 20th-century studies.

Unit structure

The department offers many classes that are based in a single semester, and can therefore accept unit requests from Study Abroad students who want to join Bristol for just the autumn or spring semester.

Unit levels

The department offers units across all undergraduate levels of study: year 1 (level C/4), year 2 (level I/5), and year 3 (level H/6) units. The department does not offer postgraduate units (level M/7), however selected postgraduate units (level M/7) are available from elsewhere in the School of Modern Languages (please see the Cultural Studies guide). Level M/7 units are normally taken by students who have studied the subject for at least 3 years beforehand and are at an appropriate level of study to take postgraduate units.

Unit codes

Unit codes in the Department of German begin with 'GERM'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • GERM10000 = year 1 unit
  • GERM20000 = year 2 unit
  • GERM30000 = year 3 unit.

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2023/24. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2023/24 is updated by April 2023.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Study Abroad (Subject pathway)

Please note that, if you have been nominated on the German Subject Pathway, you are required to take the majority of your credits from the Department of German, and/or these additional options:

Also, if you have the necessary language skills, you can choose from the range of additional units that each Department in the School of Modern Languages offers on cultural topics (literature, cinema, history, identity, etc.) that require knowledge of the relevant modern language. Students who are not on the Subject Pathway for that department, but are able to demonstrate the required language level (A2 for 10000-level units, B1 or B2 for 20000-level units and C1 for 30000-level units) may apply to be considered for registration on units from these study guides:

To check your level of language, please see here.

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

The following units from the Department of German are open to inbound Study Abroad students.

The units listed here explore German art, culture, history, and literature. If you are interested in taking a German language class, please see the Languages and Linguistics study guide. Please note that the majority of language units run in Teaching Block 4, which are only available to students studying with us for a full academic year.

Year 1 (level C/4)


  • German Literature and Film: Genres, Texts, Contexts (TB1) - GERM10035


  • Language and Power: Introductions to German History (TB2) - GERM10039
  • Modern German Thought and Thinkers (TB2) - GERM10038

Year 2 (level I/5)


  • Germany and Austria in Motion: Film, Society, and Identity (TB1) - GERM20054
  • Transforming the Tragic Hero(ine): 1770-1840 (TB1) - GERM20044


  • From Judgement to Trial: Selected Works by Franz Kafka (TB2) - GERM20049
  • Transnational Nation: Germany 1840–1990 (TB2) - GERM20047

Year 3 (level H/6)


  • Die Mitte: Centrist German Politics and its Language (TB1) - GERM30079
  • Exiles and Migrants in German Literature (TB1) - GERM30058
  • Liaison Interpreting for German, Russian, or Italian (TB1) - MODL30006


  • Language Variation and Change in German (TB2) - GERM30074
  • Performing Germany: National Identity in Changing Times (TB2) - GERM30075
  • Visibility Matters: Identity, Diversity, and Power in the Cultural Marketplace (TB2) - GERM30081

Year 4 (level M/7)

None available

Selected English Literature units available to German subject pathway students

There are 2 units available from the Department of English:

  • Approaches to Poetry (TB2) - ENGL10026
  • Critical Issues (TB1) - ENGL10017

(Please note that other English Literature units are not available on the German subject pathway programme).

Application queries

Contact the Centre for Study Abroad inbound team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

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