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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Language & Translation Studies Short Name: GER2026
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: DIPPOLD D Dr (Lang & Trans)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability

Semester 1

Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)
One written assignment of 1500 words
Two hours unseen examination, end of semester

Qualifying Condition(s)
A weighted aggregate of 40% is required to pass the module
Module Overview

This is a level 2 module for German. It is taught, in the target language, over the Autumn semester, two contact hours per week. Attendance is compulsory.

Successful completion of HE1 or equivalent
Module Aims
The module will provide students with:
  • Knowledge and understanding of Germany’s’s major political institutions, the context in which they were created and their evolution in Contemporary Germany.
  • Improved awareness of the importance of Politics in Modern German society.
  • Vocabulary and concepts necessary to read, write about and debate political themes in German.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
  • Follow and take notes from lectures delivered in German
  • Understand the development of German Political system over the 20th century
  • Read with understanding authentic source materials on a variety of topics related to contemporary Germany.
  • Write extensively in German on these topics.
  • Participate in debates on a range of social political and cultural issues relating to contemporary Germany.
Module Content
The following topics will be covered:
  • The German state and its citizens
  • The Basic Law – Das Grundgesetz
  • The political parties and their historical developments, ideologies, and current programmes; current changes in the political landscape (e.g. the rise of the Linkspartei)
  • The electoral system
  • The major political institutions, in particular Bundestag and Bundesrat
  • The roles of the Bundespräsident, the Bundeskanzler, and the government
  • The distribution of power between the Bund and the Länder and the Föderalismusreform
  • Institutions run and/or funded by the government
  • The Welfare State (key principles and current debates, e.g. social justice)
  • Current political and social issues
  • Germany’s role in Europe
Methods of Teaching/Learning

Two contact hours per week in the Autumn semester.
The module is delivered entirely in German. Students are expected to participate in seminars and to read extensively outside classes.

Selected Texts/Journals
Essential reading
Sontheimer, K. (2007). Grundzüge des Politischen Systems Deutschlands. Piper.
Schmidt, M. (2003). Political Institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany. Open University Press.
Recommended reading
Andersen, U. (2007). Der deutsche Föderalismus im Reformprozess. Wochenschau-Verlag.
Becker (2010).Sozialstaat Deutschland: Geschichte und Gegenwart. Dietz.
Empter, S. (2007). Soziale Gerechtigkeit – eine Bestandsaufnahme. Bertelsmann Stiftung.
Green, S. (2006). The Politics of the new Germany, Routledge.
Hartmann, J. (2004). Das politische System der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Kontext: Eine Einführung. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. 
Kailitz, S. (2004). Politischer Extremismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Eine Einführung. Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
Lang, A. (2008). Demokratieschutz durch Parteiverbot? Tectum-Verlag.
Lösche, P. (2007). Verbände und Lobbyismus in Deutschland. Kohlhammer.
Möllers, C. (2009). Das Grundgesetz – Geschichte und Inhalt. Beck..
Niedermayer, O. (2007). Die Parteien nach der Bundestagswahl 2005. Verlag für Sozialwisssenschaften.
Schrag, W. (2007). Medienlandschaft Deutschland. UVK Verlagsgesellschaft.
Siebert, H. (2005). The German Economy: Beyond the Social Market. Princeton University Press, 2005
Wiesendahl, F. (2006). Fischer Kompakt: Parteien. Fischer.
Wiesendahl, F. (2007). Handbuch der deutschen Parteien. Vs Verlag.
Background reading
Pocket Politik (2005). Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung.
24xDeutschland (2010). Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung.
Selected websites
Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (

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