Postgraduate study

German MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: German

A Masters by Research (MScR) programme is ideal if you have a clear idea of the independent research you wish to undertake at masters level. The programme is a good stepping stone to a PhD, but is equally of value as a stand-alone qualification.

As a Masters by Research student, you will be part of a wider masters community while specialising in what most interests you right from the beginning of the programme. This is how it is different to a taught Masters (MSc).

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 and a significant centre for research. We support a broad range of cultural and literary research themes, from the medieval period to the present.

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), our research was submitted in Modern Languages. The results reaffirm Edinburgh’s position as one of the UK’s leading research universities - third in the UK based on the quality and breadth of its research in Modern Languages according to Times Higher Education's REF power ratings.

Join our interdisciplinary community and undertake a project comprising research assignments and a 15,000-word dissertation under the guidance of an experienced and well-published supervisor.

Our research expertise includes:

  • 18th century and Romanticism studies
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • censorship studies
  • contemporary German literature
  • cultural and political studies and literary theory
  • Film Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • identity studies
  • LGBTQI+ representation
  • literature and culture of the Weimar Republic and the National Socialist era
  • transnational (incl. migration) writing in German
  • palaeography and Medieval textual studies
  • post-Holocaust literature
  • post-war West and East German literary and cultural studies
  • the Medieval German epic
  • Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Translation Studies
  • travel writing
  • Turkish-German literature
  • working-class representation on film and television

This programme is delivered and assessed through:

  • two 20-credit courses on research skills, methods and problems
  • two 40-credit supervised research assignments
  • one 60-credit supervised 15,000 word dissertation

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRGerman Studies1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2022/23
MScRGerman Studies2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2022/23

This programme includes training on research skills, methods and problems.

Between the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), the Careers Service and the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), you will find a further range of programmes and resources to help you develop your postgraduate skills.

You will also have access to the University’s fantastic libraries, collections and worldwide strategic partnerships.

Join in

As part of our research community, you will be immersed in a world of knowledge exchange, with lots of opportunities to share ideas, learning and creative work.

Activities range from a regular seminar series in European Languages and Cultures (with talks by staff, research students and visiting speakers), to film screenings and workshops.

Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they make here and the in-depth guidance they receive from our staff, who are published experts in their field.

On campus

The Main University Library holds academic books, journals and databases. It has over 121,500 titles in German, including around 95,000 books (printed and e-books) and 5,425 journals.

The Library is also the home of the University's Centre for Research Collections which brings together:

  • more than 400,000 rare books
  • six kilometres of archives and manuscripts
  • thousands of works of art, historical musical instruments and other objects

The Centre's treasures include the Karin McPherson Collection, a unique research opportunity for postgraduate students interested in the literature and culture of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Running to some 1,000 volumes, the Collection presents a complete overview of the GDR’s literary (and sometimes broader) culture from 1949 to 1989, including internationally renowned and lesser-known writers.

Many of our Special Collections are digitised and available online from our excellent Resource Centre, Computing Labs, and dedicated Masters study space in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

In the city

As a research student at Edinburgh, you will be based in a world-leading festival city with fantastic cinemas, theatres, galleries, museums, and collections.

Many of the city’s resources are located close to the University's Central Area, making them very easy to access when you are on campus. For example, the National Library of Scotland is less than one km from our School. It has outstanding German-language holdings and is a copyright library, meaning it has the right to receive a copy of every book published in the UK and Ireland.

We maintain close links with the Goethe-Institut in Glasgow, one of an international network of centres promoting German language and culture, and with the German Consulate here in Edinburgh.

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

You should have near-native speaker competence in German.

MScR: A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRGerman Studies1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScRGerman Studies2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
11 September 2023 31 July 2023

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

The online application process involves the completion of a web form and the submission of supporting documents.

For a Masters by Research programme, you should include:

  • a sample of written work of about 3,000 words (this can be a previous piece of work from an undergraduate degree)
  • a research proposal - an outline of your proposed area of study, helping us gain a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve

See our guidance:

Before you apply, you should look at the interests and expertise of our research community on the programme website. This will help you decide if this programme is right for you and your supervision needs.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH