German Studies Course Subject Degree GuideSee All Subject Degree Guides
Studying a German degree course gives candidates the opportunity to acquire language skills, as well as an insight into the society and culture within a global context. Courses within this area will centre on communication and language skills, with chances to study factors regarding thought, institutions, society and culture of the country.
What A Levels do I need?
Individuals wishing to study German at university will most likely find out that they will need a German A-level as a prerequisite. However, apart from this, students should look into studying areas that interest them, from History to English and these areas of knowledge will shine through when studying aspects of culture and history of the country during the degree course.
Students are advised to check with their chosen universities and desired courses to ensure they understand what they need to gain admission to the course – as each university entry requirements, will differ from each instituion.
What are my study options?
The majority of degrees in this subject area last three years, and some courses offer a chance to spend a term, or an entire year studying abroad in a German-speaking country. The idea of studying and living abroad for up to a year may seem daunting to some individuals. However, this experience will improve communication skills and aid students in understanding the culture and history of the country, living abroad in Europe, will have many benefits and should be researched thoroughly before making any decisions. Studying in Germany and living in another country will also offer experiences to students that they wouldn’t necessarily gain by sitting in a lecture in their home country, this firsthand experience provides a lot more than a free holiday.
What should I expect from studying German?
Individuals should expect to develop their listening, writing, reading and overall speaking of the German language. However, each institution will teach students varying modules; therefore it is vital that prospective students research the topic, choosing a degree course and learn what modules they will be taking.
Similar universities will offer different degrees, with some being language-focused while others are offering a mixture of modules involving the study of history, linguistics, economics, politics, film, and literature of the country, and language learning modules.
Furthermore, it may be worth looking closely at whether the course focuses on the last fifty, or hundred years, or whether others cover an entire range of German culture and history or in one area.
Students tend to build upon their A-level knowledge during the first year of the course, and then tailor their degree to interests, strengths and career aspirations in the second and final years.
How will I be assessed?
Students are likely to be assessed through a mixture of coursework and examinations, written and oral assignments, essays, short tests and group work.
What skills will I learn from studying German?
Graduates will develop skills in communication, language, cultural sensitivity and analytic skills. Students who attend university tend to gain skills that become transferable later in life and within employment, from organisation and time-management skills to social skills through oral presentations and group work projects – (Learn more – University terms glossary).
Why study German?
Candidates will need to hold a passion for learning a language to pass a degree in German, as the course will prove quite difficult at times. Students will also need to have a keen interest in the country and culture to ensure they enjoy every aspect of the course, or it may grow tiresome. The course is well-suited to independent learners, as they study the language alongside the course content, or when they immerse themselves in German-speaking culture if they complete a dissertation, or time abroad.
The language is commonly used throughout the globe, and the employment options connected to this degree are hopeful for students.
What happens after I graduate?
Graduates who wish to begin employment after finishing their degree may decide to enter teaching, translating or international affairs. For those students who want to specialise their knowledge may choose postgraduate study.
Will it help me get a job?
A postgraduate degree will open up opportunities in higher education and teaching, whereas this degree may lead to a career in a particular area, such as interpretation and translating as well as working abroad.
What types of jobs can I get from studying German?
The communication and language skills gained during the degree enables individuals to find work in an array of areas of advertising, librarianship, journalism, IT and accountancy. A degree in languages develops rich cognitive, intercultural and interpersonal skills that are utilised across a variety of careers.
What can I study after German?
There are master’s programmes available, from a Master’s of Arts (MA) in German, Languages in Cultures, European Cultures, or a PhD (Doctorate) Master’s of Philosophy (MPhil) in European Languages and Cultures, German, and German and culture.
Famous German studies alumni
Natalie Portman, known for her work in Thor, and Black Swan is fluent in five languages, including Hebrew, Japanese, Spanish, French and German! Kim Cattrall, who plays Samantha in Sex and the City is fluent in German from living in Germany for seven years. Lastly, Brad Pitt, notoriously recognised for Fight Club, Inglorious Basterds, and World War z is of German ancestry and speaks the language.
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