We offer a rich selection of challenging and rewarding seminars in German culture, addressing both urgent contemporary and live historical issues through literature, film and visual culture. Seminar themes include: identity, gender, violence, justice, memory, revolution, resistance, trauma, and love, all approached through a wide range of materials drawn from various periods of German history. In the practical language classes, students also engage with authentic materials and contemporary issues while strengthening their grasp of spoken and written German across a spectrum of skills including presentation, debate, translation, and interpreting.
All our lecturers are research experts in what they teach. Durham's teaching philosophy is to share the lecturers' own learning experience with students in class, so that students are always at the centre of the action. Our research-led teaching culminates in close collaboration between students and expert researchers on the final-year dissertation.
Students welcome the fact that we teach many of our modules, including our cultural seminars, through the medium of German. This means students are using their German actively from day one of their studies, and can operate in the target language at a high level in a range of contexts by the time they graduate. This pays dividends in future professional life. All of our lecturers have native or near-native German.
According to the Complete University Guide (2017), German at Durham ranks in second place nationwide. Students particularly like the regular contact with their lecturers to monitor academic progress, the fact that many of our cultural modules are taught in German, the extensive written and spoken feedback on their assignments, and the strong sense of community among students and staff in German.