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German and Linguistics

RQ21 BA (Hons) 4 years

Overview

Studying modern languages is about more than vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation: you will also immerse yourself in culture, spend time working or studying abroad and learn to understand the subtleties of communication

Linguistics looks at the structure and sound systems of language, how grammar and meaning relate, how dialects work. You’ll develop systematic ways of understanding how the modern English language works, how it’s used and how it changes, looking at situations as diverse as youth language in our multicultural and multilingual cities, or the English used in the media and politics. You’ll consider how new technologies shape the form of English and whether the spread of English in the world is changing or even killing other languages.

Each year you follow core language modules in which skills in the understanding and expression of German are developed by a variety of methods. In your first year a foundation module introduces you to linguistics, literature and culture. In your second and final years, for both linguistics and German, you select more specialist modules to broaden and deepen your knowledge. You can choose to concentrate on a research project in your final year and you can also take additional specialist language modules and acquire the critical and linguistic skills associated with the production of a play in German. Your third year is usually spent abroad where you can choose to study at another university, or else take up a work placement, for example as a teaching assistant.

Why study German and Linguistics at Queen Mary?
We are one of the leading language departments in the UK and aim for excellence in both teaching and research. Queen Mary was ranked 1st in the UK for Linguistics and in the top 20 for German in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008). This means that you will learn from people who are at the forefront of their field.

You will spend a year abroad in the third year of your degree. This gives you an exceptional opportunity to develop your language skills among native speakers. You have three main options for how to spend the year abroad: teaching English as a foreign language assistant; attending university abroad on an Erasmus exchange; or in the professional world, either on a work placement, with the School’s support, or independently, with the School’s approval.

We pride ourselves on the facilities we offer. Our computing services make us one of the best equipped languages departments in the UK. Advisers are on hand to help you take advantage of multilingual word-processing and to point you towards websites useful for language study. Our custom designed Multi-Media Resources Centre provides state-of-the-art language teaching and learning facilities. We also subscribe to many foreign newspapers and journals.

The College Library has extensive audio-visual facilities, a large collection of videos and DVDs and is equipped for viewing foreign language satellite TV. Students also enjoy lively language clubs and societies which organise film showings, outings, drama productions and a Stammtisch (a German word for a regular social meeting which gives you the chance to practise your language as well as have fun).

Structure

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  •     Foundations of Linguistics
  •     Introductory German (for ab initio entrants) / German 1 Intensive (for post GCSE entrants) / German I (for post A-level entrants) / German 1N (for native speakers of German)
  •     Foundations of German Studies or European Culture and Society (for ab initio entrants only)

Options include:

  •     Sounds of English
  •     Language in the UK
  •     English in Use
  •     Languages of the World
  •     Introduction to Phonology
  •     Introduction to English Syntax
  •     Practicum in Linguistic Analysis
  •     Germany Today
  •     German Play
  •     Introduction to the Structures and Varieties of Modern German
  •     Austrian Literature

Year 2

Compulsory module:

  •     German II intensive (for ab initio entrants) / German II (for post GSCE and post A-level entrants) / German IIN (for native speakers)

Options include:

  •     Aspects of Meaning
  •     Sociolinguistic Variation and Change
  •     Explaining Grammatical Structure
  •     History of English
  •     Ethnography of Communication
  •     Describing Prosody
  •     Language and the Media
  •     Linguistic Typology and Grammatical Theory
  •     Language and Mind
  •     Historical Linguistics
  •     Language and Ethnicity
  •      Drama in German in the Twentieth Century
  •      Kafka
  •      The History of the German Language
  •      German Play
  •      Heinrich von Kleist
  •      German Narrative Fiction: Text and Film

Year 3

  • Year abroad: Written Assignment

Year 4

Compulsory modules:

  •     Research Methods in Linguistics
  •     Research Project in Linguistics
  •      German III or German IIIN (for native speakers only)

Options include:

  •     Formal Semantics
  •     Structures of Spoken Language
  •     Language and Life in London
  •     Bilingualism
  •     Syntactic Theory
  •     Less Familiar Languages
  •     Philosophy of Language
  •     Pidgins and Creoles
  •     Sex, Gender and Language
  •     ‘Dichtung’ und ‘Wahrheit’: Fictions of the Self from Goethe to the Present Day
  •     German Swiss Literature and Culture
  •     Languages in the Classroom: the Case of German
  •     Reverberations: Literary Representations of Music in 19th and 20th Century German Literature
  •     German Sociolinguistics

Entry requirements

General information
You may study German without having studied it before provided that you have a proven ability in a foreign language. You may only study one language from scratch. Applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a grade B in GCSE English Language or equivalent, or will be required to have IELTS 7 (with grade 7 in writing).

Applications from native speakers are welcomed.

A/AS-levels
Tariff/Grades requirement: 300-320 UCAS points from three A-Levels including B in a language and a B in a relevant subject.

Excluded subjects: General Studies and Critical Thinking.

International Baccalaureate:
Subjects and grades: Overall 32-34 points with 5 in a higher level language and 5 in another relevant higher level subject.

Vocational and other qualifications:
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Please visit our further information page below.

Further information on our entry requirements.


Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching:
Teaching typically involves a lecture per week for each module, followed up by a smaller seminar group session where you will have the opportunity to actively contribute. In addition to this, you will spend up to five hours per week in language classes – you will be taught in small groups of no more than 20 for classroom or language lab teaching, and fewer than 10 for oral and aural work. We give our students individual attention and every student has an Adviser who can help with academic or personal problems. All the language programmes include writing-intensive modules that will help you strengthen your thinking, research and essay-writing skills.

Independent Study:
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 5-6 hours of independent study.  Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations. 

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments.  However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability. 

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area.  This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.

Assessment:
Assessment methods vary from module to module, and include a mixture of exams and coursework, coursework only, oral exams and aural exams, final-year dissertations and a range of more innovative methods, such as independent projects and creative journals.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2016 entry
Full-time £9,000

Tuition fees for International students

2016 entry
Full-time £14,100

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
email: fees@qmul.ac.uk

Funding

Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film Studies go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as interpreting and teaching, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into areas such as marketing.

The national 2012 destination survey confirmed that 87% of the School’s graduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation with 64% already working and/or studying at graduate level. Graduates from this School have an average earning power of £20,153 six months after graduation.

The broad range of skills gained through our language courses, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:

Global Technical Support RepresentationBloomberg
Assistant Tour ManagerSony
Trainee ManagerMajestic Wine
Training Centre Co-ordinatorESI International
Fundraising AdministratorMildmay International
International Product AnalystMeta-Pack
Marketing ExecutiveMano
TutorFreelance
Graduate Account ExecutiveHall & Partners
Publishing AssistantMedikidz
JournalistSelf Employed
InterpreterSelf Employed
English as a Foreign Language TeacherBritish Council

Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 70 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.

Recent careers events for language students include a workshop for returning 4th years, “What a Difference a Year Abroad Makes”, and a “Make Languages Work for You” speed meet event with alumni working in a variety of roles; for linguists, a careers day looking at how to use LinkedIn for job search, CV writing and career choice; for film students, a panel discussion with film and TV professionals and talk on how to start a career in film. Students also have access to our central careers programme, with a range of events including workshops on journalism, teaching, and employer-led recruitment skills training.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages http://www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/.

Profiles

Name: Sophie Richardson
Studied: BA French and Linguistics (graduated 2010)

Currently: President, Queen Mary Students’ Union

Why did you choose Queen Mary?

I was interested in Queen Mary because of its high ranking for both French and linguistics. When I came for the open day I fell in love with the campus; it felt safe and secure but with the hustle and bustle of the city right on the doorstep.

How did your time at Queen Mary prepare you for work?

My time as a Course Rep and a member of the Union’s Student Council undoubtedly prepared me for my role as President. My course prepared me in terms of learning to manage my work load as well as developing my listening and writing skills. My year abroad in France taught me how to adapt to new and challenging situations which comes in handy almost every day in my current role.

What does your current job involve day-to-day?

Every day I represent Queen Mary students and work towards ensuring that the student experience is the very best it can be. I attend a lot of College meetings to represent the views of students and lobby for change. I also lead on a number of projects and campaigns with the aim of improving students’ lives.

Tom Symmons

BA Film Studies and History

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“The critical skills and depth of knowledge I acquired during my BA Film Studies and History provided me a solid foundation for my postgraduate studies. My doctoral research thesis on the New Hollywood of the late-1960s and 1970s is now nearing completion and I intend to pursue a career in academia.

The joint honours degree course is structured to allow plenty of flexibility, and the modules on offer are diverse and well formulated; the interdisciplinary course 'Critical Approaches to Film: Alfred Hitchcock', was a particular favourite. It is also led by academics who are both leaders in their respective fields of research, and take a great deal of pride and interest in providing the best educational experience for their students.”


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