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Unit information: German Literature and Film: Genres, Texts, Contexts in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name German Literature and Film: Genres, Texts, Contexts
Unit code GERM10035
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Debbie Pinfold
Open unit status Not open
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School/department Department of German
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Unit Information

Students studying this unit must hold an A Level in German Language or have similar proficiency.

This unit develops knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts and genres in German literary culture. Through a selection of exemplary texts, canonical and otherwise, it introduces students to the genres of poetry, drama, prose writing and film, and invites reflection on the similarities and differences between them. Ranging across the modern period (since c. 1500), the unit also establishes an outline of German literary history and a basic set of methodological tools for reading literature and film. It develops and practises key skills in university-level literary study, notably: close reading, understanding and using textual scholarship and literary criticism, and forming an independent literary analysis. All these skills and activities are specifically preparatory for the curriculum in Years 2, 3 and 4.

The unit thus aims:

  • to develop critical sensitivity to literary texts and films among first-year students of German and basic tools for the analysis of such material
  • to impart a broad knowledge of selected key figures, concepts and movements in modern German literary and cultural history
  • to inculcate good practices and attitudes in the study of cultural artefacts at university level, including: precision, curiosity, creativity, independence and imagination
  • to enhance students’ capacity to engage critically, in oral discussion and in writing, with primary material and with scholarship
  • to develop key technical skills for university study, notably in the retrieval and use of library resources and in effective writing

This unit has a formative piece of assessment

1 x 750 word poetry commentary

Your learning on this unit

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. understand the periods and genres represented by the material chosen;
  2. illustrate reading skills (both textually and visually), as well as sophisticated analytical skills;
  3. investigate and categorise literary and cultural scholarship (via library and IT resources);
  4. organise the results of this research in a range of written and oral forms;
  5. collaborative effectively in a group.

How you will learn

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation. A series of formative tasks will focus on preparation for the summative reflective piece, and will include individual and collaborative exercises in both oral and written form, testing ILOs 1-5.

How you will be assessed

1 x 1000-word reflective piece (35%). Testing ILOs 1-4. 2)

1 x 2000-word essay (65%). Testing ILOs 1-4.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GERM10035).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.