Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

MA German and English Language

UCAS code: QR32

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA German and English Language

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 Medieval studies, East German studies, the Third Reich and the Holocaust, gender and politics, censorship, disability, travel writing, LGBTQ+ film, theatre and translation.

The programme offers a comprehensively broad and challengingly deep training in the academic study of the English language. It aims to develop serious academic interest in and specialist knowledge of all well-understood aspects of the English language both historically and currently, and at all relevant levels of structure and analysis. In so doing, it offers you opportunities to develop intellectual and methodological capacities in rigorous, exact and strongly-theorised analysis.

English language is a subject which is both historical and descriptive, and both text-focused and theoretical. In these several respects, the subject can be seen as encompassing and reflecting the traditions of both philology and linguistic theory.

The University of Edinburgh’s linguistics and phonetics equipment, for use experimentally and in fieldwork, is among the best in the world. You can also study Scots language which has its own rich linguistic and literary tradition.

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 also take two semester-long courses, which introduce you to the principles of theoretical linguistics. You will study the way we learn language, the regional and social variations of language in general, and of the English language in particular, and methods of communication.

In addition, you will 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 continue to 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
  • The Contemporary Short Story in German
  • Migration and Integration in German-Language Discourses

You will take two of these options.

You will also take a course looking at linguistic theory and choose between a course on the variation in English over time and across geographical space or one on the structure and history of the major European languages.

As in Year 1, you will have a choice 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 English language and German.

Year 4

You will develop advanced language skills in spoken and written German and choose from a wide range of specialist courses in both German and English language. You will also complete your dissertation or long essay.

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 English Language

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