Undergraduate study | German

Learn German and explore literature and culture as part of a single or joint honours degree.

Why study German in Edinburgh?

For centuries, German-speaking cultures have had a profound international influence. Study German with us and you’ll learn the language while studying literature, film and theatre, all within the context of historical and political developments from medieval to contemporary times.

German is one of the larger subject areas in a School passionate about languages, literatures and cultures, so you’ll benefit from a wide range of courses, great resources and friendly staff, several of whom are native German speakers. Our University is ranked third in the UK, and 17th in the world, for Modern Languages in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019.

There’s lots going on in our subject area, from a regular seminar series featuring visiting speakers, to our annual German Play and student-run German Society, which organises language cafés, movie nights, pub quizzes and more. We also have very close links with local schools, the German Consulate, and the Scottish branch of the Goethe-Institut, as well as the other subject areas in the Department of European Languages and Cultures.

You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh in a world-leading festival city with fantastic cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections, including outstanding German-language holdings in the National Library of Scotland. We contribute actively to the local cultural scene, and you will be able to attend film screenings, performances and talks organised by members of staff for the wider public.

German provides the opportunity to take part in excellent translation classes and is my favourite language for all its quirks. The programme is really interesting, and the literature never boring.

Julian BellasMA (Hons) German and Spanish student

Your learning at a glance

  • Whether you're a complete beginner or have studied the language before, you can take German as a single honours subject, or jointly with one of a wide range of other subjects.
  • You’ll complete a four-year MA degree, with your third year spent in full, or in part, in a German-speaking country.
  • You’ll engage with a broad range of subjects in your first two years, and specialise thereafter. Our courses are taught by research-active staff who will pass on the same passion and world-class expertise that gained us excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
  • You’ll progress in all aspects of the German language, from talking about culture, current affairs and literature in German, to essay writing, creative writing and translation.
  • You’ll be based in Edinburgh’s historic centre, close to the Main University Library and the National Library of Scotland, with access to fantastic language learning facilities.

For my year abroad, I spent my first semester in Vienna, Austria and my second in Florence, Italy. I boosted my language skills and made even more international friends.

Nataliya NosenkoMA (Hons) German and Italian student


What and how you’ll study

Degree combinations, teaching methods, and a year-by-year guide to your learning.

Where might German take you?

Career opportunities for German graduates.

Find out more and apply

If you’d like to study on any of our undergraduate programmes, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. There’s lots of information about the application process on the University of Edinburgh website, including detailed entrance requirements and fees.

Go to the University of Edinburgh web page on how to apply for undergraduate study

Visit us

Our undergraduate Open Days are a great chance to find out about student life in Edinburgh from the people who know it best: our students and staff. Our next Open Days will be for students wishing to start their undergraduate degree in 2021. The Open Days scheduled for 26th September and 10th October 2020 are currently still planned to go ahead. The University is also working to develop an online alternative for prospective students thinking about starting university in 2021.

Keep up to date with Open Day information on the University of Edinburgh website 

Student representation

Find out more about class representatives and student representation in our School (secured)