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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

German Studies

There are two main reasons for studying German. One is the fascination of the culture that has always been separate and distinct within Europe. The other attraction is the importance of Germany within the European Union today and the opportunities open to language graduates. The German language is the key to both these different but complementary aspects of the nation.

Learning German can open up a range of career opportunities
German studies

The German section has around 180 students and eight members of staff. Relations between students and staff in a section of this size are extremely close and friendly.

Course combinations

At Southampton, German is taught not just as one subject, but many, all adding up to an enjoyable challenge and as asset in any future career. You can also combine German with a wide range of other subjects including French, Spanish, Portuguese, film studies, philosophy, music, history, accounting, management sciences, economics, mathematics, marine sciences, politics or English.

If you take German in combination with another subject, you will be able to choose how much emphasis to give to German and build up an interesting combination of complementary courses (for example French and German students might take courses in Post-war Germany and the Fourth Republic). One area that Southampton is particularly noted for is film studies, and this can be studied as a combination course with German. If you decide to specialise in linguistics courses, you can follow the German linguistic studies degree programme.

Find about more about course combinations either through our Flexible study page or by looking at our programme pages in the Find a course section of the Humanities website.

Language learning

German language learning is organised as a series of language stages, which operate independently from your year of study. This means that in your first year you begin at the stage most appropriate for you. At each stage the courses are designed to develop your skills in spoken and written language and to enable you to make steady and rapid progress. You will have regular conversation classes, as well as classes based on the use of written materials. In addition, you will use the excellent facilities of the Language Resource Centre.

The first year
In your first year, you will get used to rapid reading in German and will increase your command of vocabulary and grammar. Your first year language course will consolidate your skill in reading, comprehension and speaking whilst making sure you have a thorough grounding in the essentials of grammar.

The second year
The flexibility of the course means that you can choose whether to specialise in a particular field of study or to spread your interests over different areas.

The third year - the year abroad
During your year abroad, you will undertake an investigative project in German with the guidance of a tutor. You will be able to choose between studying, working or being a language assistant in a school.

Our current ERASMUS links are Frankfurt, Potsdam, Siegen, Bayreuth, Osnabrück, Hamburg, Greifswald, Marburg.

The final year
For examples of final year course module options and programmes, see the programme listings in the Humanities website.

Postgraduate study opportunities

We offer a range of postgraduate programmes from one-year masters to four-year PhDs including a four-year programme focusing on socio-political, historical, cultural and linguistic aspects of transnationalism. These programmes are run in collaboration with the other areas within the Humanities.


We invite applications for an internship to support the development of our student-focused website SoGerman and a blog related to academic staff research in German Studies. Details of the position and application procedure can be found here



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