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German introductory reading list

You can access information on all aspects of German at Cambridge and, in particular, the first-year options on the Department of Dutch and German website Under ‘Undergraduate Courses’, you will find full descriptions of the syllabus for language and other papers in the first year under the heading Part 1A.

(Option A) ab initio 

If you are studying German ab initio (Option A), which is taught centrally, you will find full guidance for preparation on the MML website.

(Option B) 

If you are studying German post-A2-level or equivalent (Option B), you will follow courses in Translation, Use of German, and German Oral. The website gives details of what you should do in preparation for these. You will also take the combined scheduled paper, ‘Introduction to German Studies’ (Ge1), which provides a taste of the three main strands of scheduled teaching on offer for German at Cambridge: literature and film (three modules), history and thought (two modules) and linguistics (one module). You can find module outlines, with prescribed texts and background reading online.

While you will not study all aspects of the paper in detail, you will be able to get an overview of the whole range through lectures. You will focus on four modules for closer study and written work, choosing three topics in the examination. You are strongly advised to undertake some preparatory reading before the start of the course, and it makes sense to focus in particular on the prescribed texts for those modules that you find most attractive. You should be able to get (if necessary, order) the texts at good bookshops or on the web. Some of them are quite challenging and may be unlike anything you have read before. Don't be put off; there will be plenty of chance to get to grips with them through discussion, lectures etc. in due course.

Please feel free to get in touch with Director of Studies — Professor Andrew Webber for any further advice on preparation.

Email Andrew Webber

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