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German at Ursuline College

Course description

A-Level in German



Course content


Themes and sub-themes

Papers 1 and 3 will be based on content from the following themes.

The themes address a range of social issues and trends, as well as aspects of the political

and artistic culture of Germany and German-speaking countries.

Theme 1 focuses on aspects of society of Germany only. Theme 2 requires students to broaden their knowledge across any German-speaking country/countries and/or community/communities.

Each theme is broken into three sub-themes (highlighted in bold). These sub-themes are

each exemplified further.

Theme 1: Gesellschaftliche Entwicklung in Deutschland

Theme 1 is set in the context of Germany only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Natur und Umwelt
    Umweltbewusstsein; Recycling; erneuerbare Energie; nachhaltig leben.
  • Bildung
    Bildungswesen und die Situation von Studenten; Sitzenbleiben, Berufsausbildung.
  • Die Welt der Arbeit
    Das Arbeitsleben in Deutschland und die Arbeitsmoral; deutsche Geschäfte und Industrien.

Theme 2: Politische und künstlerische Kultur im deutschen Sprachraum

Theme 2 is set in the context of German-speaking countries and communities. This theme covers artistic culture (through music and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media).

  • Musik – (künstlerische Kultur)
    Wandel und Trends; Einfluss der Musik auf die populäre Kultur.
  • Die Medien – (politische und künstlerische Kultur)
    Fernsehen, Digital-, Print- und Onlinemedien; Einfluss auf Gesellschaft und Politik.
  • Die Rolle von Festen und Traditionen – (künstlerische Kultur) Feste, Feiern, Sitten, Traditionen.


The above two themes and


Theme 3: Immigration und die deutsche multikulturelle Gesellschaft

Theme 3 is set in the context of Germany only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Die positive Auswirkung von Immigration Beitrag der Immigranten zur Wirtschaft

und Kultur.

  • Die Herausforderungen von Immigration und Integration
    Maßnahmen von Gemeinden und örtlichen Gemeinschaften; Ausgrenzung und Entfremdung aus der Sicht von Immigranten.
  • Die staatliche und soziale Reaktion zur Immigration Rechtsextremismus; politische Annäherung an Gastarbeiter, Immigranten und Asylbewerber; die öffentliche


Theme 4: Die Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands

Theme 4 is set in the context of Germany only. This theme covers political culture.

  • Die Gesellschaft in der DDR vor der Wiedervereinigung
    Arbeit; Wohnungswesen; kommunistische Prinzipien; das Verhältnis zum Westen.
  • Ereignisse vor der Wiedervereinigung
    Der Zusammenbruch des Kommunismus; der Fall der Berliner Mauer.

Deutschland seit der Wiedervereinigung
Migrations von Ost nach West; Arbeitslosigkeit in der früheren DDR; Auswirkungen auf Schulen in Deutschland. 

Entry requirements

Five GCSE 9-4 grades includingEnglish.

A minimum Grade 6 in German GCSE.


Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation (40%)


Students will be assessed on their understanding of spoken and written German from a variety of types of authentic texts and listening material, as well as their ability to translate accurately from German into English.

Texts and recordings vary in length to include some extended passages. All spoken and written materials are culturally relevant to Germany and German-speaking countries and are drawn from the two themes

Students should be able to:

  • understand main points, gist and detail from spoken and written material
  • infer meaning from complex spoken and written material
  • assimilate and use information from spoken and written sources, including material from online media
  • summarise information from spoken sources, reporting key points and subject matter
  • translate from German into English.


The listening section will be made up of spoken passages covering different registers and types, including authentic communication involving one or more speakers. Sources will include material from online media.


The reading section will be made up of texts containing both factual and abstract content and will be authentic or adapted from authentic sources. The texts will include contemporary, historical, literary, fiction and non-fiction, written for different purposes and audiences.

Translation into English

The content of the translation will be taken from one of the two themes.


Paper 2: Written response to works and translation (30%)


Students should be able to:

●  develop a detailed understanding and appreciation of the works studied,

by writing critical responses in the language of study to the works taken from the prescribed list given (see Appendix 2: Prescribed literary texts and films)

●  produce responses that relate to aspects such as the form and the technique

of presentation, key concepts and issues and the social context, as appropriate

to the work studied

●  present viewpoints, develop arguments, persuade, and analyse and evaluate in writing

●  manipulate language accurately through translating an unseen passage from English into German.

Students must study one discrete German work: either one literary text or one film. The work must be taken from the list in Appendix 2: Prescribed literary texts and films.

● The literary texts listed include a range of novels and a series of short stories.
● All of the films are feature length.
● The content of the translation will be a passage based on one of the two themes.

Paper 3: Speaking (30%)


Students should be able to demonstrate:

  • their ability to summarise information from the written source provided
  • their ability to respond in speech to the written language in the two texts provided
  • their knowledge and understanding of the cultural context, demonstrated by giving examples and information on two themes
  • their ability to express view points, justify opinions and develop informed arguments relating to the cultural and social context
  • their ability to interact and hold a natural discourse
  • their skill in manipulating the language accurately. 

Future opportunities

Further information

Trips are often taken to France and Germany.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 07 November 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years