Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Modern Languages and Cultures (German)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap 15 Location Durham


  • German Language 2A (GERM2021), or German Language 2B (GERM2152) 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). 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 two Translation/Interpreting modules in MLAC, Spanish Translation (SPAN3131), French Translation (FREN3051), Specialised Arabic-English Translation (ARAB3041), 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 (in both directions) through intensive instruction and practice in conference note-taking, simultaneous, consecutive and on-sight interpreting.
  • To foster reflection on translational processes and methodological issues in the field of interpreting.


  • The module is based on a diverse range of real-world, authentic materials in German and English, covering a number of topics of international importance, frequently deriving from the European Parliment.
  • Teaching takes place in the language laboratory.
  • Students acquire a profound understanding of the transcultural and translation challenges involved in effective interpreting. Students perfect their knowledge of the language of political debate, and acquire specialist interpreting skills by becoming familiar with a variety of interpreting modes.
  • Students acquire transferable skills - such as note-taking, skim- and speed-reading, and effective plurilingual communication - that can be used in a variety of learning, research and real-world employment situations.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the course students will have built up their lexical expertise and gained insight into, and the ability to reflect critically on, the translational and transcultural dimensions of interpreting.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the course students will have gained in speed, confidence and accuracy 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 and specialised communication skills in a plurilingual and transcultural context.
  • The ability to discuss and reflect on topical or political issues with a high degree of fluency and awareness of register.

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; 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 is a practice-based skill, so attendance at all the hours scheduled for each group is obligatory.
  • Students are expected to prepare themselves for classes and participate actively in classroom activities.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Practicals 40 2 per week 1 hour 40
Preparation and Reading 160
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