BA (Hons)

German and Linguistics

Girl in front of German Flag and girl sat at desk
In the UK for Modern languages and linguistics
in The Guardian University Guide 2020
  • UCAS code(s): RQ21
  • 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 learning about the nature of language.

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 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 German and Linguistics 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.
  • 100% of NTU's linguistics undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016 /17).
  • 91% student satisfaction rate for linguistics (NSS 2019).
  • Our linguistics courses are in the UK’s Top 20 for student satisfaction (NSS 2019).
  • Take part in a language-themed work placement.
  • Gain practical skills in translation and interpreting.
  • 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 an in-depth personal experience of modern German culture.


Linguistics is the study of natural language. It covers the study of language structure (grammar), the study of meaning (semantics) and the social functions of language (sociolinguistics). It is a popular and expanding subject within NTU. This course will equip you with the tools for analysing language and for conducting your own research. You will discuss the immense power that our language has to construct and to constrain meaning.

To study this course you will not need any prior knowledge of grammar, foreign languages or technical terminology. You will be introduced to the fundamentals of language description and to some applications of linguistic theory. Throughout the course you will be introduced to ways in which linguists carry out research. Through this you will learn how to record and transcribe naturally occurring language, how to arrive at a hypothesis and how to test it scientifically.

We have recently launched several new modules which draw on our staff's own and other contemporary research. This means that you will be studying the very latest developments in clinical linguistics, media discourse and child language acquisition.

  • 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.

    Introduction to Language and Linguistics

    Explore how language is structured on its various levels of sound, grammar and meaning and apply linguistic theory to language found in everyday life. You'll consider the structure of language and how linguistic tools can be applied to many texts such as dictionary making, Internet trolling and exploring the power that linguistic persuasion has on the news.

    Language in Context

    This module will explore how we learn language as human beings as well as how  English is used in a variety of social, historical and cultural contexts. It will then move onto examine the power of language to inform and influence different online and real-world contexts.

  • 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.

    Applying Methods in Linguistics

    This module will introduce you to a range of methods of data collection, project design and data analysis. You’ll acquire the skills and methods which will help prepare you for your dissertation in the final year. At the end of the module, you’ll be required to produce a research proposal in response to a simulated real-world briefing.

    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.

    Linguistics optional modules

    Communication Disorders

    Learn about the speech and linguistic features of communication disorders by examining a range of data such as phonetically transcribed disordered speech. You'll look at the medical causes of these disorders and become familiar with the speech and linguistic features of these disorders.


    The aim of this module is to raise your awareness of the linguistic consequences of the contexts of culture and situation. Examine a series of social contexts which are signalled by language variation such as language, gender and language and geography.

    Discourse Analysis

    Examine naturally occurring language across extended texts, both spoken and written. The module will introduce you to a variety of issues and approaches which are key to understanding discourse analysis. You'll then be able to understand the critical element to analysis before applying them to a selection of discourse types in both written and spoken texts.

    Child Language Acquisition

    Examine how children learn to speak and use language and consider the controversial debate of whether ‘nature’ or ‘nurture’ drives language acquisition. You'll consider the ways that phonetics, lexis and grammar are developed as well compare 'normal' development with groups of children who may come across particular problems with language learning.

  • 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.


    Linguistics 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 expert supervision. The dissertation provides you with an invitation to collect naturally occurring language for analysis purposes.

    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.

    Linguistics optional modules


    Study language from a psychological perspective and relate the psychology of language to theories of learning, mind and brain. This module will equip you with the knowledge and understanding of the various experiments and methods which have been undertaken within this field of study.

    Language, Gender and Sexuality

    Explore key aspects of the study of language and gender and gain an insight into the ways that research on language and gender impact the world. It will pay attention to the ways that research on gender and language has developed and become more diverse since the 1970s.

    Clinical Linguistics

    Apply your knowledge of language structure and function to a clinical context. You'll firstly be introduced to the anatomical, physiological and psychological pathologies that underlie a range of disorders of foetal development. You'll also become aware of the psychiatric bases of thought disorders such as schizophrenia.

    Forensic Linguistics

    Learn to analyse language in legal settings and explore how linguistic evidence can be central to criminal investigations. This module will explain how text and talk throughout the legal process, from what is said and recorded to police, to investigative interviews and finally to the courtroom trial.

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 written (85%) and practical (15%)
  • Year 2 coursework (67%), written (28%) and practical (5%)
  • Final Year coursework (50%), written (37%) and practical (13%)

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 (24%), independent study (76%)
  • Year 3 placements (100%)
  • Year 4 lectures/seminars/workshops (26%), independent study (74%)

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
  • the ability to work independently and in groups
  • time management
  • self-motivation
  • a variety of IT 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.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

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