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This course offers an opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of themes relating to the culture and society of German-speaking countries. This course fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity.

The A-level is a two-year linear course with all assessments at the end of Year 2.

Course content

Year 1 content

  • One theme from social issues and trends
  • One theme from political and/or intellectual and/or artistic culture
  • One book or film
  • Grammar

Year 2 content

  • A further theme from social issues and trends
  • A further theme from political and/or intellectual and/or artistic culture
  • One book (or if book studied in Year 1, one film or a second book)
  • Grammar
  • Individual research project

The A-level course includes an element of translation both ways. 

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The course is taught by well-qualified and experienced staff. Students often work in pairs or small groups, as well as being encouraged to show initiative in their private study. Good progress is made by use of the target language in the classroom. Attendance and achievement are monitored regularly. Targets are set regularly throughout the course.


St Brendan’s is the first Sixth Form College and the fifth school in the UK to join the PASCH School Network. This is a global network of 1800 schools worldwide that place high value on the learning of the German language. The network is an initiative of the German Government in connection with the Goethe-Institut. As part of the membership, students are given the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of events, cultural projects and competitions both in England and in Germany. This helps to enrich their learning experience and increases their fluency in the language. 

In addition, there are opportunities throughout the year to go on trips to the cinema, theatre, universities and conferences. Some students choose to go on a work experience placement, intensive course or student exchange in Germany. Our partner school is in Bensberg near Cologne.  Students also have the possibility to mentor secondary school pupils during their course and involve themselves in various language learning activities whilst passing on their love of the German language and culture to local secondary school children.

Key Skills

Students have numerous opportunities to develop their communication skills through written and verbal expression of their own ideas in whole class, small group and one-to-one situations.  Use of information technology and independent study are an integral part of the course.

Method of Assessment

The four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking - are assessed by examination. 


The Russell Group of Universities advises students to study at least two subjects at A-level from a list of facilitating subjects, one of them being German.

A foreign language qualification is also considered to be a most valuable asset by employers in a range of occupations within the fields of engineering, medicine, diplomacy, the sciences and many others.

Students taking this course will also be given the opportunity to sit for the Goethe-Zertifikat B1 qualification in March of their second year, if they wish to do so. This qualification is world-recognised and the equivalent to half an A-level. 

Resources needed

The course is supported by textbooks, CDs, DVDs and a wide variety of authentic materials as well as digital resources. The College’s Virtual Learning Environment Moodle allows students to access podcasts, videos, homework, class work and a wide range of resources prepared and selected by their teachers.   

Where can this course lead?

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