Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA German and Philosophy

UCAS code: RV25

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA German and Philosophy

German thought has had a profound impact on philosophy, culture and science. From Arendt to Hegel, Leibnitz to Wittgenstein, many of the most influential European thinkers have come from the German-speaking world.

German

On this programme, you will have the chance to gain professional skills in all aspects of German, including writing, speaking, presenting and translating, thanks to four years of intensive training, including a year abroad.

You will also explore German-language literature, film and theatre, all within the context of historical and political developments from the eighteenth century to contemporary times.

Philosophy

We have a strong, historic connection with Philosophy at Edinburgh. We count Adam Ferguson and Sir William Hamilton among our former students.

By studying Philosophy, you will learn about the use of:

  • argument
  • critical enquiry
  • reasoning
  • clarity of expression

You will cover the basics of Western philosophy, and explore the different approaches that philosophers have taken. You will also have the opportunity to specialise in the areas that interest you most.

Why Edinburgh

We are unique in Scotland in offering students a full academic year abroad within the four-year honours programme, regardless of whether you spend the year studying or working.

Our language programmes are also extremely flexible. In Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subjects.

Year 1

German

If you have not 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 take German 1B. This course covers language as well as literature and culture from 1770 to the present day.

As part of German 1B, you will interview a German native speaker working in Edinburgh or Glasgow. This will give you the opportunity to:

  • practise professional communication
  • discover the value of languages in the workplace
  • gain insights into possible career options

Philosophy

Year 1 courses introduce you to key topics in the nature of argument, as well as the history of:

  • philosophy
  • morality
  • ethics

Option courses

When choosing from a range of option courses, you can opt to take Philosophy of Science 1, which looks at the basic assumptions of science.

Year 2

German

In Year 2 you will develop your oral language skills further. You will also practise translation, grammar, and writing different types of texts in German.

You will continue to study German-language literature and culture, choosing at least two courses from a range of options. These are likely to include:

  • Researching Disability in German Literature and Society
  • Culture, Modernity and the City in the Weimar Republic
  • Reading Antisemitism in Modern German Literature
  • The Contemporary Short Story in German
  • Sexualities on the German Screen (title to be confirmed)
  • Migration in German-Language Discourse

Philosophy

You will take two philosophy courses:

  • Mind, Matter and Language
  • Knowledge and Reality

Option courses

When choosing from a range of option courses, you can opt to take Philosophy of Science 1, which looks at the basic assumptions of science.

You can also opt to take a course from a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts.

Current options include, but are not limited to, courses in:

  • Cultural Responses to War
  • Migration, Exile, Diaspora
  • Crime and Detection in Literature
  • Gender and Culture
  • The Coming-of-Age Narrative
  • Introduction to European Cinema
  • Dynamics of Language and Power
  • Languages Beyond University

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 in a German-speaking country, usually Germany or Austria. This will help you to turn classroom learning into living engagement with German-language culture.

You will either study or do a work placement, such as working as a teaching assistant in a school.

We currently have exchange places with universities in:

  • Berlin
  • Augsburg
  • Hamburg
  • Heidelberg
  • Tübingen
  • Freiburg
  • Leipzig
  • Mainz
  • Vienna

Whether studying or working, our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefited their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of German-language culture.

During your year abroad, we'll aim to ensure your experience is as beneficial as possible to your final year, as well as to your wider language learning, cultural awareness and skills development.

You'll complete prescribed work in both Philosophy and German. For example, for German you will take an e-learning language course which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your Year 4 language courses.

If international travel is not possible, you will be offered an alternative means of engaging with your subjects, enabling you to meet your learning outcomes and preparing you for your final year.

Year 4

You will develop advanced language skills in spoken and written German.

You will also choose from a wide range of specialist courses in both German and Philosophy. For German, these include courses in German-language:

  • literature
  • film
  • theatre
  • society

Dissertation

You will complete your dissertation or long essay in German.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area, where we have excellent:

  • computing and audiovisual resources
  • support services
  • social spaces

Events and activities

You can join student societies for both German and Philosophy, or contribute creative writing in German to our online magazine, Babble. We also stage an annual German play.

We contribute actively to the local cultural scene. You will be able to attend film screenings, performances and talks organised by members of staff for the wider public.

The city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. These include outstanding German holdings in the National Library of Scotland. Edinburgh's European cinema scene is also particularly strong.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad. This will involve a minimum of 30 weeks in a German-speaking country, usually Germany or Austria.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in German-language culture. It will allow you to develop broader life experience and skills that you can use after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

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

Experienced lecturers and language instructors will teach through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • 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.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of:

  • exams
  • coursework
  • 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 (2021/22)

Studying languages and humanities to degree level, especially when you spend a year abroad, gives you a set of skills and life experiences highly prized by employers.

By the end of your programme, you will be able to speak a major language of international communication, and work in countries where it is spoken. You will also be able to find opportunities in the many multinational companies and institutions where German is a working language.

German speakers are in high demand, particularly those with links to the German economy, which is the fourth largest in the world. In 2019, German overtook French as the language most sought after by employers*.

Sectors

Our employment statistics for language graduates are impressive, and you will have a remarkable range of career options available to you. Our graduates can be found in every sector, especially those that require disciplined and imaginative thinking.

Many of our former students are working in roles where language skills are of special value, such as:

  • journalism
  • translation
  • marketing
  • finance
  • teaching
  • publishing

Further study

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level. Year 4 will help you to develop the research skills needed if you choose this path.

*The Independent, April 2019, citing jobs website Indeed.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA-AABB by end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

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

Additional requirements

Language requirement

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 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 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 (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • 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 degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

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 Philosophy

Additional costs

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Universities may charge you a fee for courses, but we will reimburse you for this as long as the course has been approved. You will be informed of costs 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