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BA Hons German Studies and Geography

Mode of Study: Full Time Department: Lancaster Environment Centre
UCAS Code: LR72 Duration/Length: 4 Year(s)
QAA Subject Benchmark: Not Defined Director of Studies: Dr AM Folkard
Total Credit Points: 390 Credit Points Year 2: 120
Credit Points Year 3: 30 Credit Points Year 4: 120

Syllabus Rules and Pre-requisites

  • PartI
  • The student must take the following modules:
  • The student must take 1 modules from the following group:
  • PartII (Year 2)
  • The student must take the following modules:
  • The student must take 2 modules from the following group:
  • The student must take 2 modules from the following group:
  • PartII (Year 3)
  • The student must take the following modules:
  • PartII (Year 4)
  • The student must take the following modules:
  • The student must take 3 modules from the following group:

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • The German Studies and Geography Programme combines modules from two cognate disciplines to provide a broadly-based integrated programme of study focused on the analysis of economy, society, culture and language. German Studies and Geography  encompass linguistic, artistics, humanities and social science approaches. It enables students to focus on diverse topics such as: Cities and Globalization; Environment, Politics and Society in Amazonia; Global Consumption and combine them with studies of German language, and Germanic culture and history. This specialist degree combines seminars, workshops, lectures, and fieldwork. The third year of this four year degree scheme is spent in a Germanophone country in order to develop language skills and an appreciation of Germanophone culture.  It also offers the opportunity to undertake other fieldwork overseas, for example in Croatia, New York City or the Brazilian Amazon.

    The programme aims to:

    • Provide an integrated, flexible, but structured training in German Studies and Geography which will provide students with knowledge and understanding appropriate for subject-specific graduate employment.
    • Develop key transferable skills to prepare students for more general graduate employment.
    • Develop the intellectual and practical skills necessary for progression to postgraduate research and training.
    • Encourage academic curiosity which will prepare students for lifelong learning.
    • Offer a choice of modules which will give students experience across the spectrum of  Geography.
    • Contribute to students' knowledge, understanding and skills in their use of the German language
    • Build students' knowledge and understanding of linguistic structures of German
    • Develop students' awareness of aspects of the cultures, communities and societies where German is used
    • Develop students' awareness of the history of Germany
    • Offer students the opportunity to conduct an extended independent essay on a topic of their choice.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Graduates with Honours will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of key subject areas in Geography. Depending on module options this will include an understanding of: Development and sustainability; Political geography, inequality and justice; Cultural geography; globalisation and urbanisation; Society, environment and climate; Geographies of nature; Geographies of food and consumption; Environmental management.
    • Follow a serious debate or speech in German in the spoken media and communicate the gist of it; construct sophisticated arguments without a script; express cogent opinions on their own society, that of Germany and global issues, and articulate arguments and/or analyses in German
    • Translate advanced passages of German into an appropriate form
    • Demonstrate sufficient awareness of aspects of the culture of German-speaking cultures to be able to make connections between language, history, society and culture
    • Demonstrate self awareness and sensitivity to diversity in people and cultures, and be more able to apply knowledge of German speaking cultures in a professional context
    • Reappraise their knowledge of British history and culture in light of experience of German culture
    • Demonstrate enhanced levels of proficiency in German and their independence, self-awareness and capacity for decision making
    • Demonstrate insight into cultural difference and knowledge of history, culture and outlook of German-speaking countries
    • Synthesise and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources.
    • Create, analyse and interpret textual, cartographic, and numerical (e.g. census) data.
    • Assess the merits of contrasting theories, explanations and policies in geography.
    • Construct a reasoned argument and use intellectual integrity.
    • Identify ethical issues in geographical debates, as a citizen and researcher.
    • Work independently and as part of a team.
    • Use relevant information and communication technology and demonstrate effective asynchronous (e.g. written) and synchronous (e.g. oral) communication skills.
    • Demonstrate an ability to learn new, diverse and complex material.
    • Take responsibility for, and reflect on one's learning, at university and later in life.

Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding, Skills

  • The Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy in the Lancaster Environment Centre and Department of European Languages and Cultures is consistent with, and informed by, the University's Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy, in particular with Aim 1 (well-designed curricula), Aim 2 (skills for careers), Aim 3 (using our research expertise in our teaching), Aim 4 (using a variety of teaching and assessment methods) and Aim 5 (maintaining high standards).

    Teaching is hierarchical with a broad first year, becoming progressively deeper and more specialised in years two and three, depending on the student's choice of modules. Research-led teaching (provided by research-active staff) allows new developments in the field to be incorporated into the taught programme. The degree programme uses a wide range of teaching methods appropriate for teaching the subject and skills, and of assessing the students' progress in achieving the intended learning outcomes. These methods include: field work; theoretical and practical work; library and IT work along with individual or team work. The academic tutor system supports students in all these aspects of study, by providing discussion of feedback, and guidance on learning strategies.

    In summary the following teaching methods apply:

    • Subject specific knowledge and understanding is developed through a combination of: lectures; field work and practical sessions; coursework exercises; tutorial discussions; the close links between staff research and year 3 options; the integration of advanced field work into final-year modules and undertaking reading from a range of literature sources.

    Intellectual skills are developed as follows:

    • Analytical, critical, synthesising and evaluative skills are developed through: the assessment criteria and processes; the research-active staff; discussions in field or practical sessions and seminars; the dissertation and through engaging with the primary literature.
    • Skills in independence, self-management, problem solving and research skills are developed primarily through the dissertation and encouraged through coursework feedback.
    • Interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data are developed through field and practical classes; coursework assignments and the dissertation.

    Practical and field skills are developed as follows:

    Test, measurement and evaluation skills are developed through lectures, field and practical work and the dissertation.

    Research and risk/ethical assessment skills are developed through the dissertation and field and practical work.

    Textual, and cartographic and numerical skills are developed through practical classes and coursework assignments.

    Key transferable skills are embedded into core modules to show how these skills can be used and how the study of human geography is illuminated by their use. Additionally, skills-focused teaching is used in Part 1 tutorials, the compulsory skills modules in year 2, and training in how to produce a dissertation.

    • Communication skills are developed through instruction and practice in writing reports, essays, the dissertation and giving presentations.
    • ICT skills are developed throughout the course for accessing, working on and sharing materials, completing coursework, and communication.
    • Information retrieval skills are developed in coursework and the dissertation.
    • Numeracy, data manipulation and presentation skills are developed through practical classes, report writing and the dissertation.
    • Group work skills are developed through field and practical classes.
    • Employability skills are promoted through the Profiling and Career Guidance exercises that promote reflection and career management.

Assessment Strategy and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • The departments' assessment strategies are to utilise a wide variety of different forms of assessment, to ensure that all students encounter a range of assessment methods during their degree, and to ensure that the assessment methods used are appropriate to the aims and learning outcomes of individual modules. Both formative and summative assessment methods are used.

    In summary:

    Knowledge and understanding is assessed through unseen examinations consisting of mostly essay type questions, but also including short answer and data analysis questions. Coursework assignments, which include: essays, practical assignments, field/laboratory reports, oral presentations and the dissertation also test students' knowledge and understanding. The relative weight of these components varies according to the type of module and its intended outcomes.

    Intellectual skills are assessed by a combination of coursework assignments, practical assignments, laboratory/field reports, dissertation work and written examinations. Students are expected to learn from previous assessment, and receive substantial feedback on the intellectual content and communication skills aspects of their coursework.

    Field courses and laboratory/practical-based modules are usually assessed entirely by coursework such as, field or laboratory reports and the dissertation. Computing and numerical skills are additionally assessed through practical-class assignments. 

    Transferable skills such as written and oral presentation skills, graphical/cartographic presentation of data, general IT skills and information gathering are assessed by a variety of summative and formative assessments, e.g. essay writing, practical/field reports, oral presentations, practical-class assignments, participation in tutorials, feedback on essay plans and drafts and the dissertation.

External Benchmarks

  • Reference Points Used to Inform


    German Studies

    • Benchmarking Statement for Languages and related studies (2007)
    • External Examiners
    • Student course evaluations; departmental student representatives
    • Annual programme reviews
    • Academic peers: Faculty UGSC and University UGSC; informal contacts with colleagues in other institutions
    • Lancaster University CELT: in-service training courses
    • National LTSN Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies
    • Outcomes of periodic quality reviews
    • QAA National Qualifications Framework and Codes of Practice



    • Annual teaching review, student evaluation and Alumni Review Panel surveys.
    • External examiners' reports and our experience as external examiners elsewhere.
    • Staff research and expertise.
    • Publications of the Geography Discipline Network and the Journal of Geography in Higher Education.
    • QAA Geography Benchmark Statement 2014
    • National Qualifications Framework and Codes of Practice.
    • Lancaster University's Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy 1999-2004.
    • Participation as learners and tutors in the Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Lancaster University) and in the workshop for new staff in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (the National Subject Centre for GEES).


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