Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2008-2009 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (German)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2008/09 Module Cap 30 Location Durham


  • German Language 2 (GERM2021) or German Language 2 and Year Abroad (GERM2111), or an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern European Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: German Language 4 (GERM3071). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her reprentative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop students' awareness of, and competence in analysing, intercultural aspects of media language and presentation techniques.
  • Students will be introduced to comparative analysis of British and German styles of news presentation and engage in practical media projects.


  • This module provides the opportunity to compare British and German styles of media news presentation and '_fentlichkeitsarbeit' in detail, and to experiment with them in practical projects.
  • On the basis of a series of lectures on German media and PR work, we shall prepare and conduct (and record) a 'Pressekonferenz' in German on the future development of the 'Europ_he Union'.
  • The conference material will be the basis for a comparative analysis and production of British and German media reports on relevant political issues.
  • The media coverage of the conference will be assessed in forms of individual projects and will also serve as a starting point for final individual projects which will be discussed in tutorials and which will constitute the remainder of the assessment.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the course students should have become familiar with the German Presselandschaft and general aspects of language use in the media.
  • Students will develop and appreciation of argumentative and stylistic features of media texts, and use them with confidence.
  • Furthermore, students should gain an understanding of characteristic differences of the German and British press and apply that understanding in a critical analysis of a sample of press texts.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • The course consists of lectures, seminars and tutorials. In the lectures students familiarise themselves with important general aspects of media analysis and gain an overview over the German press. In the seminars they apply theoretical insights to the practical tasks of producing a newspaper or magazine article in German and comparing characteristic features of the German and British press.
      • Study groups are formed at the beginning of the year that will prepare (partly by using e-mail and the Internet), conduct and record a Pressekonferenz/Podiumsdiskussion in German on the future development of the EU. This will serve as a basis for writing German media reports, which form the object of the summatively assessed project I.
      • In the second term, the seminar work will focus on presentations on comparative aspects of British and German media and will include small group tutorials in preparation for the analysis project (= summatively assessed project II). This project will take the form of an independently researched and formulated essay (i.e. NOT a guided essay, as in the Text Analysis course of Year 2), for which students are expected to produce a draft structure and a reading list by week 6 of the second term. The remainder of that term will be mainly occupied by project-related tutorials (alongside the lectures which will run until the end of the term).
      • Teaching will be in German and English. Students are required to attend all lectures, seminars and tutorials and are expected to prepare themselves for classes and participate actively in discussions. It is essential that they participate in the work of a study group (discussion, preparation of group presentations).

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Seminars 21 Weekly 1 hour 21
      Practicals 2 Termly 1 hour 4
      Lectures 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
      Preparation and Reading 165
      Total 200

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Essay Component Weighting: 30%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Essay 1,200 words 100%
      Component: Essay Component Weighting: 70%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Essay 3,800 words 100%

      Formative Assessment:


      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University