Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2016-2017 (archived)


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (German)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2016/17 Module Cap 15 Location Durham


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


  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: German Language 4 (GERM3071) or German Language 4 following Year Abroad (GERM3211). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Students may take up to a total of three Translation/Interpreting modules in MLAC, Spanish Translation (SPAN3131), Italian Translation (ITAL3121), French Translation (FREN3051), German Interpreting (GERM3041), French Interpreting (FREN3331) and Russian for Professional Communication (RUSS3381). Students may NOT take both French Interpreting (FREN3331) and German Interpreting (GERM3041).


  • To enable students to interpret at a high level between German and English: by teaching conference note-taking, simultaneous, consecutive and on-sight interpreting.


  • The module is dossier based.
  • Teaching is done in the language laboratory and in ordinary classrooms.
  • The dossier contains German and English material on a number of topics of international importance, frequently deriving from the European Parliament.
  • Students must acquire a profound understanding of the issues involved and acquire the language in which they are debated or explained, to such a level that they are able to interpret quickly and accurately and in a variety of modes between German and English.
  • The only written output involved is a consecutive written translation - when a text between 3 and 8 minutes has to be reproduced as faithfully as possible.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the course students should have built up their lexical expertise, both in a number of specific topic-areas and in the general language of debate.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the course students should have gained in speed and confidence in the four forms of interpreting.
  • They should have developed further the skill of 'conference note-taking', the committing of longish texts or utterances to paper efficiently and recoverably.
Key Skills:
  • Extended development of general communication skills
  • The ability to discuss topical or general issues with a high degree of fluency.

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

  • The module is taught in a language laboratory, in groups of max. 20 students; each group has TWO hour-long sessions per week. A variety of approaches and situations are used in the laboratory: students work alone, in pairs or small groups, into the microphone or publicly, before their peers. Interpeting can only be learned by constant practice, so that attendance at all the hours scheduled for your group is obligatory. Students are also expected to prepare themselves for classes and participate actively in classroom activities.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 21 1 per week 1 hour 21
Practicals 21 1 per week 1 hour 21
Preparation and Reading 158
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Practical Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical Examination 1 hour 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Regular preparation for practical interpreting sessions.

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