Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA German and Social Policy

UCAS code: RL24

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA German and Social Policy

German is the most widely spoken language in Western Europe and is becoming increasingly important as a business language in Eastern Europe. German history, science and culture have had a huge impact across the entire world, and graduate employers recognise the need for a broad cultural education alongside language skills.

At the University of Edinburgh, you will explore this history and culture alongside the study of the German language. We have an excellent reputation for German research, which covers a broad range of topics, including German-Jewish writing, medieval studies, East German studies, the Third Reich and the Holocaust, gender and politics, disability, travel writing, theatre and translation.

Social policy is the study of the distribution of welfare and wellbeing within societies and the policies which influence that distribution. Primarily, the focus is on social and economic change, what causes it and its consequences for society.

Social policy considers how the organisation of services such as social security, health, education, housing, personal social services, the criminal justice system and the labour market can influence and alleviate the effects of social change.

Reflecting how policies are developed, you will learn about both the policy making process in the UK (including devolution in Scotland and elsewhere) along with the influence of international bodies such as the EU and OECD.

Year 1

If you haven't studied German before you will take German 1A, an intensive language course. If your entry qualification for German is a Scottish Higher, A level, or equivalent, you will be admitted to German 1B, which covers language as well as literature and culture from 1770 to the present day.

You will take the Social Policy & Society course, which revolves around three main themes – social needs, social problems and social rights, and how different debates about welfare have been influenced by these themes.

You will also study Politics of the Welfare State, which examines social policy as a political issue in the UK and introduces you to the politics of the area that constitutes one of the largest sets of government expenditure. You will be confronted with debates about the different ways of delivering welfare and the interplay between the state and the private sector.

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses outside your primary subjects.

Year 2

In the German 2 language course you will develop your oral language skills further, and practise creative writing, translation and grammar. You will also study literature and culture. We are developing a suite of options, likely to include:

  • Disability in German Romanticism
  • Identity, Politics and Society on the German Screen
  • Culture, Modernity and the City in the Weimar Republic
  • Reading Literary Antisemitism
  • Contemporary Short Story in German
  • Migration and Integration in German-Language Discourses

You will take two of these options.

You will also take European Social Policy – which compares different approaches to social policy in various European countries – and Evidence, Politics and Policy, which shows how social research can shed light on topical social and political debates.

In addition, you will choose from a wide range of option courses outside your primary subjects.

Year 3

You will spend Year 3 studying or working in a German-speaking country and you will complete prescribed work in both social policy and German.

Year 4

You will develop advanced language skills in spoken and written German and choose from a wide range of specialist courses. You will also take Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy and complete your dissertation.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures in the University's Central Area. We are based in a state-of-the-art building, at 50 George Square, which houses computer microlabs, a language resource centre, and social facilities as well as tutors' offices, lecture theatres, and a film projection room.

Study abroad

During Year 3, you will spend a minimum of 30 weeks on approved work or study placement in the country/countries relevant to the language/s studied.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and computer-assisted learning. You will often work in independent learning groups with the guidance of experienced staff, and will have the opportunity to discuss the latest research of world-leading scholars.

Language teaching involves developing professional speaking and writing skills, as well as an introduction to professional translation techniques.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of exams, coursework and class participation.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2019/20)

More people speak German as their native language than any other in Europe. An official language of seven European countries and provinces, German also plays an important role in communications in many other countries, particularly in central and eastern Europe, and is the third most popular foreign language taught worldwide.

German speakers are highly sought after by British employers, particularly those with links to the German economy, the third largest in the world. Seven out of 10 businesses in the UK value foreign language skills in their employees, and 49 per cent of them rate German as useful for their business, placing it ahead of Spanish and Mandarin.*

In Year 1, you will do a project in which you interview a German native speaker working in Edinburgh or Glasgow, giving you the opportunity to practise professional communication, find out about the value of languages in the workplace and gain some insights into possible career options. Our graduates have gone on to careers in journalism, translation, marketing, the finance industry, publishing, and the cultural and heritage sectors.

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level, with Year 4 in particular developing the research skills you’ll need if you choose this path.

*CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey, 2017

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA - ABBB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AAAA - AABB'.)
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'.)
  • IB: 40 points (grades 766 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: a language other than English at grade B and English at grade C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: a language other than English at grade B or 6 and English at grade C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: a language other than English at grade 5 and English at grade 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

Please note that for degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications 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, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA German and Social Policy

Additional costs

For your compulsory residence abroad in Year 3, we give you a wide range of options. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time. A placement with an Erasmus work grant, for example, could make this the cheapest year of your programme.

Universities outside the EU may charge you a fee for courses but we will reimburse you for this provided the course has been approved. You will be informed about the cost implications as you plan your year abroad, during Year 2.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding