Staff of the German department

About us

German was one of the first European languages to be offered at the University of Edinburgh.

Since 1894, our subject area has grown into one of the University’s largest in Modern Languages.

We teach a range of undergraduate degrees in German, supervise postgraduate students, work with schools and community groups, and lead major research projects. 

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Learn the German language while gaining the broad cultural education valued by graduate employers.

Choose from a range of four-year MA (Master of Arts) honours degrees.

Single and joint honours combinations are available, all with the opportunity to study abroad. 

Explore your own area of interest and expertise in German Studies in a Masters by Research or PhD programme.

You can also explore German in taught masters programmes such as:

  • Translation Studies MSc
  • Comparative Literature MSc
  • Intermediality MSc
  • Film Studies MSc

In memory of Dr Karin McPherson

We are very saddened to hear of the death of our esteemed colleague Dr Karin McPherson and would like to extend our sincerest sympathies and condolences to her family.

Karin joined the German department in 1959 and developed a reputation as a pioneer in the teaching and study of East German literature.

In the decades following her retirement as a Senior Lecturer in 1997, she remained instrumental in maintaining the international reputation of German Studies at Edinburgh.

Karin donated her collection of GDR writing to the University of Edinburgh in 2007. Part of the Library’s Special Collections, it runs to some 1,000 volumes, offering a unique opportunity for researching the literature and culture of the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Read more about Karin and the Karin McPherson Collection of GDR Writing

QS graphic on orange background, text reads #3 in the UK, World Top 10

QS World Rankings by Subject 2024

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages.

Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for Modern Languages.

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings are based on research citations and the results of major global surveys of employers and academics.

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

Browse the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024 on Top Universities

Photo of panellists talking at an event with a graphic saying 3rd in the UK

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for research in Modern Languages and Linguistics.

As reported in Times Higher Education, the rankings are based on the quality and breadth of our research in Modern Languages and Linguistics.

They come from the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) – the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Read more about LLC's performance in REF 2021