BA (Hons)

German and International Relations

Girls talking in Global Lounge
In the UK for Modern languages and linguistics
in The Guardian University Guide 2020
  • UCAS code(s): RL22
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Sandwich
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information


Combine your German language skills with understanding of global issues and the ways in which societies react and cooperate to shape our ever-changing world.

This degree enables you to shape your study according to your strengths, interests and career ambitions. Combining these two subjects gives your degree an international and industry perspective that will make you stand out in the graduate employment market.

Our flexible curriculum has been designed to create some amazing opportunities for you. You have the opportunity to spend your third year studying at a partner university in Germany or Austria or working in a German-speaking country. It’s also possible to opt for a short work placement module in the second half of your second year.

By choosing International Relations and German you’ll enjoy the freedom to choose from a wide range of modules, depending on your own preferences and interests. Many of our graduates are now pursuing exciting careers in different countries and regions around the world.

  • Study German at Post A-Level.
  • NTU's Modern Languages and Linguistics courses are ranked Top 20 in the UK in the Guardian League Tables 2020.
  • Take part in a language-themed work placement.
  • Gain practical skills in translation and interpreting.
  • 98% of our international relations joint honours undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016 /17).
  • Take a year abroad in Germany or Austria.
  • This course is offered as full-time with a year abroad (sandwich) or part-time. See How to Apply section.
Video Icon
Fred Simmons shares his year abroad experience in Germany.

What you'll study


You’ll already have an A-level in German and this exciting course will enhance your spoken and written German language skills so that you become highly fluent.

You’ll also develop your listening and comprehension skills using our two Language Resource Centres. Here you’ll have access to newspapers, magazines, TV and DVDs. We’ll explore topics on German culture and society, and if you choose to spend your third year working or studying in Germany, you’ll be able to gain in-depth personal experience of modern German culture.

International Relations

International Relations is the study and understanding of the changing world we live in. It explores relations between states, peoples, social movements, and cultural and religious communities. Its major focus is diplomatic relations – war, peace, conflict and cooperation – but also international communication, terrorism, the role of the media, and protest and resistance to established power.

This course will help you develop a greater awareness of the complexity and connectedness of the processes that shape our worlds. This opens up careers in a wide range of fields in the public and private sectors, fostering the skills, imagination, understanding and flexibility which employers demand.

Our research feeds directly into the course, which means you’ll be learning about the latest issues from world-renowned experts. Our teaching is informed by regionally aligned research strengths in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent and Europe.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    German Language One

    The module focuses on developing both your understanding of key issues in contemporary German culture and society, and your key communicative skills in German: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The module is designed to reinforce your language learning and communication skills by encouraging you to engage with material in a range of media either written, electronic or audio-visual.

    Introduction to German Culture and Society

    In this module you’ll examine the crucial turning point in 20th-century Germany, from the lethal ambition of Nazism to the rebuilding of the two Germanies and the Economic Miracle. You’ll gain an understanding about how the culture and politics of the period interact and shape history.

    Foundations and Challenges to Politics and International Relations

    This module will introduce you to important political concepts and ideologies which have been derived by the development of political and international relations theory. You'll study traditional approaches and how they are contrasted with critical theoretical approaches to the study of international relations. As well as this you'll study a combination of standard approaches to the study of politics and international relations.

    International Relations and Global History

    The aim of this module is to simply introduce the idea of cycle and progress in history and to the state-society-culture-economy model that is used in historical sociology.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    German Language Two

    The core language module, developing skills in speaking, writing, listening and reading. You'll develop fluency and accuracy in the spoken and written language as well as learning skills, grammar, and other transferable skills such as spoken debates and presentations.

    Researching Politics and International Relations

    This module will enable you to explore contrasting approaches to the study of Politics and International Relations, to develop your skills in formulating a viable research project as preparation for the final-year dissertation and to enable you to manipulate, present and interpret quantitative and qualitative data.

    German optional modules

    Contemporary German Film and Literature

    You’ll examine significant works and moments in German culture during the second half of the 20th Century, e.g. the rise of German terrorism and the state's response. You’ll study a range of films and short literary works which signify important developments in post-war German culture and society.

    Contemporary German Politics

    This module will introduce you to aspects of German politics, institutional structures and will provide you with some insight into similar structures in other German speaking countries. You’ll gain some understanding of the divided Germany, i.e. the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic.

    Languages at Work

    You'll be offered the opportunity to take part in a language themed work placement where you'll work with a local employer for a minimum of 30 hours and produce a piece of writing which reflects on the experience.

    International Relations optional modules

    Understanding the Cold War

    This module will enable you to gain an understanding of the origins of the Cold War, its key events and features, such as the Korean War; the building of the Berlin Wall; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Vietnam War; and the factors behind the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War.

    Global Political Economy (GPE)

    This module seeks to explore the development of GPE as an area of study in International Relations and apply its theories and methods to analyse contemporary aspects of the contemporary global system. In order to do this, we look at the historical development of GPE as a critical response to the orthodoxy of traditional IR.

    Change and World Order: International Institutions and Non-state Actors

    This module examines the nature of international order and considers how international institutions have contributed to its maintenance. It is based on the assumption that non-state actors are important actors in international relations. The institutions studied include the United Nations and the Specialised Agencies such as the ILO, WHO and UNESCO, regional organisations such as the European Union and ASEAN, and alliances (eg. NATO).

  • Year Three

    In Year Three you can spend time working or studying in Germany or Austria. Our partner universities are found in Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Paderborn, and Innsbruck.

  • Final Year

    Core modules

    German Thematic Capstone Project

    This is a specialist project which allows you to combine practical learning with subject-specific theories. This module offers you the opportunity to develop and in-depth project where you can demonstrate skills such as planning, organisation and research skills.


    Real-Life Work Project

    Students who are unable to take the year abroad as part of their degree produce a Real-Life Work Project during their final year. Working closely with an employer you'll identify, discuss, develop and deliver a project that is both beneficial for the employer and will enhance your employability options. You'll also provide a synoptic assessment where you'll highlight how your degree in the Modern Languages programme has developed you as a person, academically and as a graduate.


    International Relations Dissertation

    The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under the supervision of a tutor.

    German Language Three

    The core language module, will help you to develop skills in speaking, writing, listening and reading. You'll also focus on developing your accuracy and fluency within the written and spoken language of German. You'll develop high-level critical and analytical skills where you can apply linguistic and socio-cultural awareness and analysis to contemporary documents.

    German optional modules

    Contemporary Germany

    This module will provide you with an insight into various socio-economic issues in Germany and within the wider context of globalisation. You’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the underlying issues which influence society, the economy and which have dominated German press for years.

    German Translation and Interpreting

    You’ll be introduced to some of the basic techniques in translation and interpreting, simulating real, practical texts and situations. You’ll gain an indication of what professional, creative translation and interpreting entail. The module offers you practical preparation and skills that are actively sought by employers.

    International Relations optional modules

    The following modules are currently taught at the Clifton Campus.

    Emerging Powers of Asia 

    This module explores and analyses international relations within Asia, both in terms of individual member states and regional players, for instance ASEAN.  It will also explore the role that external actors have had in facilitating, hindering and modifying the development of specific forms of international relation.

    Russian Politics and Society

    This module follows on to an extent from Understanding the Cold War but focuses on Russia since the collapse of communism. It will enable you to analyse and evaluate the collapse of the USSR and the problems of Russia’s democratisation, especially the power of the presidency, the weakness of parliament and civil society, the manipulation of elections, and the war in Chechnya. We will also examine Russia’s economic transformation, the emergence of the so-called ‘oligarchs’, and the impact of these profound changes on the structure and health of Russian society.

    Currently, you can also choose from the following options which are offered at the City Campus. Please note that optional modules can change due to several factors and we retain the right to withdraw modules at any point:

    Power and Politics in the European Union

    This module aims to identify and critically examine the institutional character of the European Union and to identify and explore the political dynamics of the EU's policy processes. It will explore the principal configurations of national and supranational power in the EU polity and examine critically the debates about democracy, identity and citizenship in the EU.

    Hyperpower Politics: The USA

    This module examines the politics and governmental context of the USA – a complex and changing western liberal democracy. It will illuminate and explore the cultural and institutional relationships, which influence the speed and direction of political change.

    The Politics of Everyday Life

    This module aims to develop a knowledge of the concept of politics in everyday life through an examination of competing analytical approaches to the study of politics in everyday life and a critical evaluation of these approaches. You’ll explore examples of politics in everyday life such as nature, consumption and work.

    The International Relations of Middle East and North Africa

    This module explores the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) against the backdrop of the colonial and post-independence history of the region. You’ll analyse the bases of political and religious identities and the nature of nationalisms in the MENA region in order to develop an understanding of their implications for both state and non-state actors in the region and beyond.

    Political Violence and Terror

    This module is an opportunity for you to expand your knowledge and understanding of terrorism and political violence in a global context. It analyses the concept of ‘insecurity’ in a broad sense through exploring both the theoretical approaches to the study of violence, as well as a range of real world cases to illustrate the increasingly complex use of violence for political objectives.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

Each year you’ll choose a range of core and optional modules from the lists above. The first year is normally divided equally between the two joint honours subjects but at the end of Year One, you’ll have the opportunity to select between an equally weighted joint honours course and a more specialised pathway, depending on your interests.

Teaching principally takes place through a combination of lectures, where tutors introduce the key ideas, and seminars, where smaller groups discuss those ideas.

Contact hours

If you’re struggling with a topic or require additional support or guidance, you can arrange to see your tutors in small groups or one-to-one, to discuss essay plans or to seek some specific academic guidance.

It is the nature of the subjects offered in the School of Arts and Humanities, however, that much of your time will be spent engaged in independent study. We recognise that this marks a change of culture from school or college, and we have in place a system of study support to help you adapt to this.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year. Find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn another new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (17%), written (68%) and practical (15%)
  • Year 2 coursework (67%), written (28%) and practical (5%)
  • Final Year coursework (50%), written (24%) and practical (26%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%)
  • Year 3 placements (100%)
  • Year 4 lectures/seminars/workshops (23%), independent study (77%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

This is a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. As a result we have an outstanding record of graduate employment.

Joint honours courses develop a wide range of skills. These include written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. But you’ll also become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

Entry requirements

  • 104 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent, including A-level German grade C); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DMM.
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

For the Sandwich route (Full-time with year abroad) just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418