This four year programme is designed to develop critical thinking and independence of thought about the past as well as focusing on an advanced study of German language and society. King's has a world-class reputation for the study of History, and students choose from an unrivalled range of options, from medieval Europe to modern India. Students on this programme choose from an exceptionally wide range of modules in the Department of German covering literature of all periods, German film, German history, German philosophical thought, and German political and social theory.
Students can take this programme either with an A-level (or equivalent) in German, or as a beginner, following a specially-designed ab initio language course.
ABOUT THE Department of German
Studies of graduate employability repeatedly stress the career value of language degrees. Employers in UK and international business, the press and media, IT and technology, marketing and public relations, public administration, international development, law, finance, teaching and lecturing, interpreting, translating and others have been found repeatedly to value foreign language competence, not just as a specialist skill, but as a personal quality that fosters relationship-building, teamwork, and the capacity to move easily in international contexts. Studying German, you will also gain fluency in a language and knowledge of a country and its culture that is increasingly in demand, given Germany’s central role in European economic and political development. Recent graduates have found employment in sectors including media production and journalism, human relations, finance, business development, retail and marketing, the civil service, teaching and lecturing. A considerable number have continued to further study. Recent employers of King’s German graduates include Goldman Sachs, Astra Zeneca, the National Assembly of Wales, CNN, the American University in London, and the University of Oxford.
In 2011-12, the Department launched a new curriculum that reflects our commitment to innovative and research-led teaching. Staff across the Department contribute introductory and specialist modules that draw from their own research in German literature, culture and history. Modules are taught through a combination of lectures, small seminars or tutorials, and one-to-one supervision. This brings you into close contact with tutors in a department that is regularly ranked among the top three research departments in the UK. Language classes involve in-depth work with different kinds of media, literary and academic texts. Teaching is in German and English, according to the subject area. Our teaching style is interactive; students participate informally in small group discussions in seminars or online discussion fora, and formally through seminar presentations and oral assessments.
STRUCTURE OF PROGRAMMES & ASSESSMENT
Following Year 1 foundation modules in culture, history and politics, more specialised modules in Years 2 and 4 reflect the rich research expertise of Department staff. The King’s German Department ranked joint second in the country in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and the commitment of our staff to research excellence is matched by our enthusiasm for teaching. Our rigorous three-year language programme is tailored both to your own level of language competence, and to the internationally recognised Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Non-native speakers take core language modules covering the key skills of reading, writing, listening, spoken interaction and production, and translation. Native speakers currently take a separate module in Translation from and into German. Assessment is in a variety of forms including précis and oral presentation, work placement portfolios, longer academic essays in both English and German, and oral and written exams.
Located in the heart of London, the department can draw on unparalleled print, audio-visual and online resources, including the King’s Maughan Library and Senate House Library, the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, the British Film Institute and the British Library. All are within easy walking distance of the Strand Building. The Goethe-Institut and Austrian Cultural Forum also have extensive media and library holdings, and run lively programmes of films, readings, seminars and exhibitions which complement the Department’s internal film screenings, open seminars, exhibitions, and annual departmental play. All teaching takes place at the Strand Campus.
The third year of this programme is spent in Germany, Austria or German-speaking Switzerland, normally as a student at university or as a teaching assistant in a school or on an approved work placement. We have exchange links with universities in Munich, Frankfurt (Main), Heidelberg, Berlin and Vienna (under the European Union Socrates-Erasmus scheme).
ABOUT THE Department of History
The career prospects for King's history graduates are excellent, and our location in the heart of London provides outstanding access to leading employers in many fields. Students develop skills which give them a critical edge in the job market, in particular the ability to process information quickly, think independently and present their ideas in pressure situations. Former King's history students work for national newspapers, in top law firms, in the civil service, in state and private schools, in heritage, banking and business sectors and in many different universities across the globe. Noted King's history graduates include Ronan Bennett (novelist and screenwriter), Janice Hadlow (Controller of BBC Two) and Georgina Henry (Executive comment editor of the Guardian newspaper). The department runs sessions jointly with thw King's careers service throughout the year, which are specifically designed for History students.
Recent graduates have found employment as…
• Academic Historian
• Dealers’ Assistant, Bonhams
• Research Analyst, Ministry of Defence
• Junior Accounts Executive, Chelgate
• Project Assistant, Heron Evidence Development
• Trusts & Statutory Fundraiser, Crisis UK
• Support Worker, Sense
• Departmental Runner, BBC
You will have regular and varied contact with staff and other students in lectures, seminars and supervisions. Most teaching takes place in seminars, which usually have between 10 and 20 participants and are a forum for discussion in which students have the opportunity to hone their discussion and presentation skills. Our first-year introductory module is taught in small supervision groups of 5 or 6 students, allowing for close discussion of historical texts and sources, and detailed feedback on your written work. If you choose to write a independent piece of historical research in your final year, which can be on any topic, this will also be taught on a one-to-one basis with a tutor. From the beginning of the degree, you will analyse primary sources as well as the writings of historians. We ensure undergraduate students are exposed to many different approaches to history, and encourage you to adopt a comparative approach, looking at the connections and contrasts between different periods and places throughout the degree. The discipline of research and writing is essential to the development of the skills of the historian. At King's, therefore, we require an extensive amount of written work and independent study.
STRUCTURE OF PROGRAMMES & ASSESSMENT
The King’s History degree lasts three years and is assessed through a combination of essays, examinations, presentations and dissertations. Students choose from a wide range of modules, which cover historical topics from Medieval times (c400AD onwards) through to the present day. Optional modules in Ancient History are also available through the Department of Classics.
There is one compulsory module each year:
• Historical Skills, Sources and Approaches (first-year)
• History and Memory (second year)
• Thematic Special
In addition, students select more focused options, which students choose according to their own interests and specialisms. There are over 30 optional modules to chose from, which have recently included:
• Alexander the Great
• British Imperial Policy & Decolonisation, 1938-1964
• Caribbean Intellectual History, c1800 to the present
• The French Civil War, 1934-1970
• The History of Australia since 1788
• History of Political Ideas
• The Norman Conquest
• The Northern Ireland Troubles
• The Origins of Reformation in England
• Political Bonds in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy
• The Soviet Union and Russia, 1945-2000
• Women and Gender in Early Modern England
• Romans & Barbarians: The Transformation of the Roman West
• Health, surveillance and the modern British state
All our modules are designed by the lecturers in the department and reflect their own scholarly research specialisms. For a full list see the department website.
In the final year, students have the opportunity to undertake a research dissertation on a topic of their choice, working under the one-to-one supervision of a member of staff who is a specialist in the field. As King’s is part of the University of London, second-and final-year students have the option of taking history courses at other institutions (such as UCL, and Royal Holloway), which means our students have an unrivalled choice of modules to choose from. The King’s History programme is unique in its pair of compulsory second-year ‘History and Memory’ modules, where students consider the role of history in the present day, from its social and public uses to the conflicts and controversies it can generate and do so by using London as a real, living source. Field trip teaching on these modules is delivered through downloadable podcasts.
The Department of History at King’s is centrally located on our Strand campus, and is within walking distance of the capital’s famous landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, the River Thames and the South Bank. London offers unparalleled historical resources, including the British Museum, British Library, Imperial War Museum and National Gallery.
All students are offered the opportunity to study abroad as part of their History degree at King's and recent popular destinations include The University of North Carolina Chapel, The University of Auckland and The University of Hong Kong.