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Guide to studying German

Not only will you learn the language but you'll gain great insight into the culture and society of Germany and other German-speaking countries.

Tourist looking at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in Germany

CONTENTS

  1. What's German?

  2. Why study German?

  3. What jobs can you get as a German graduate?

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's German?

Studying a German degree gives you the opportunity to acquire both high-level language skills and a thorough understanding of German culture and society within a global context.

Courses place emphasis on practical language work and communication skills, with opportunities to study aspects of the culture, thought, society and institutions of the country in question.

Why study German?

German graduates develop skills in organisational understanding and cultural sensitivity. Many go on to further study or become teachers, either of foreign languages in this country or of English abroad.

There are also interesting career opportunities for those with good language skills across many industry sectors.

Read our six reasons to study German for more information on why you might choose to study this subject area.

 

Trier Stadt an der Mosel in Germany

What jobs can you get as a German graduate?

The language and communication skills gained on this course enable you to find work in a variety of areas such as journalism, advertising, teaching, librarianship, accountancy and IT.

As well as language and subject-related skills, a degree in German develops rich interpersonal, intercultural, cognitive and transferable skills that can be utilised across a variety of careers.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of German have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate German students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need? 

For German degree courses, an A Level (or equivalent) in German is normally required. Unless you'll be studying it from beginners' level, in which case you'll need either an AS Level or GCSE in a foreign language.

Other useful subjects to have on your application include History, English Language or Literature, and Politics.

Grades and other requirements vary with each university and course. Make sure to check for the institution you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

  • German Studies and Computing
  • German Studies and English Literature
  • German Studies and Film
  • German Studies and Geography
  • German Studies and History
  • German Studies and Linguistics
  • German Studies and Mathematics
  • German Studies and Philosophy
  • German Studies and Politics
  • German Studies and Psychology
  • German Studies and Spanish Studies
  • German Studies and Theatre
  • German Studies with Arabic
  • German Studies with Chinese
  • Law with German

How will you be assessed?

When studying for a German degree, you're likely to be assessed by a mixture of coursework and exams.

Typical coursework assignments include laboratory reports, essays, literature reviews, short tests, critical reports, poster sessions and oral presentations.

Formal examinations include short answer questions, essays and data analysis. Multiple-choice formats are also employed where appropriate. Students usually produce final year project reports and dissertations.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • Languages and Cultures: MA
  • European Languages and Cultures: MPhil/PhD

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