GERMANY SINCE 1945 - 2025/6

Module code: GER2038

Module Overview

This module builds on the Level 4 module Understanding Germany: History, Culture and Society. Through the medium of German, students develop further knowledge of German history since World War II, exploring the workings of contemporary Federal institutions such as the Bundestag, learning how they were formed and how they continually change. Contemporary debates since end of the Cold War on the future of the Federal Republic as a democratic society will be linked by a focus is on citizenship and its meanings.

Learning in the target language is supported in the module by studying and discussing authentic historical and contemporary documents of various kinds, particularly audio-visual sources such as feature films and documentaries. Participants in the module will practice skills which are concurrently introduced and developed in other L5 modules. Concepts and ideas which are also discussed in French and Spanish modules will also cross fertilize learning.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

HUGHES Helen (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 57

Seminar Hours: 33

Guided Learning: 55

Captured Content: 5

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Three central themes will run through the module:

  • The historical concept of denazification

  • The division of Germany

  • The understanding of citizenship in post-unification Germany

These themes will address particular debates and issues:

  • Minority communities

  • Migration and integration

  • The culture of protest in Germany: environmental protest, and economic protest.

They will also include learning about:

  • The political parties in Germany

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • Ability to write clearly in German

  • Knowledge of German history and contemporary culture

  • Skills in analysis and evaluation

  • Research and presentation skills

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A coursework written assignment of 1500 words (50%)

  • A two-hour online examination with three questions exercising different skills in analysing of primary resources (within a four-hour window) (50%)

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative assessment will focus on student participation in presentations during the module.

  • Students will also receive written feedback on language and content following coursework assignments.

Module aims

  • This module aims to provide an opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience of teaching languages or literature
    through a mentoring scheme with teachers in local schools

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: identify and evaluate sources for information on contemporary and historical topics in German CPT
002 present information about the German Federal Republic using audio-visual media PT
003 Write clearly and critically in German on contemporary and historical topics KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Promote confidence in reading, speaking and writing in German

  • Develop employability skills in research, writing and presentation

  • Increase knowledge of local and global issues

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Short lectures

  • Group discussion

  • Guided reading and viewing

Research advice and practice exercises

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: GER2038

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

This module focuses on the analysis of different primary, often online resources relating to Germany, its history and its present. The tasks of finding, moving, embedding, and referencing these materials for the presentation, within the essay and in the exam will mean using Digital Capabilities developed in modules that connect to research skills. The module also practises professional Employability skills as international research will naturally involve refining selection, translation, and presentation skills.

The aim of the module is to deepen knowledge of a significant world economy and its cultural and political history, connecting it to the Global and Cultural Competency pillar of Surrey's Curriculum Framework. Discussing contemporary issues for Germany will link with work in other languages such as Spanish or French and help develop a wide understanding of interconnections between different states.

Participants in the module present ideas in German to the class as part of a formative exercise. Learning to use languages is a very public skill that requires courage, Resilience, and Resourcefulness. This can be taken forward to the study or work placement in the following year.

Sustainability is a significant theme for Germany, one of the most consumerist countries in the world. This theme will thus will feature in the module with a self-reflexive aspect. The question of a sustainable future links the module again with other languages, and provides a point of comparison with practices we can observe locally at the University of Surrey and in Britain.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.