German BA (Hons)

Key information


German is a major language of business, commerce and science, as well as the gateway to understanding a vibrant modern multicultural society with a rich and complex past and influential cultural output.

German is, with over 90 million native speakers, the most widely spoken language in Western Europe, and Germany is second only to the United States as a trading partner to the United Kingdom. We will help you not only to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to contemporary German, but also to understand the society, history, politics, linguistics, culture, literature and cinema of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

German graduates are some of the most highly sought after by employers and our German students are particularly well-placed to achieve their full potential in the workplace. We have excellent links with a wide-range of German employers across all sectors: from financial to energy companies, manufacturers to retailers, including Nespresso, Framatome, AON risk solutions, KERN Global Language Services, Bosch, Zänker & Kollegen,, Ernst&Young, Aldi and Lidl. These links are used frequently to help students find work placements on the Year Abroad or to secure graduate jobs.

Whilst the perfection of language skills is at the heart of modern languages degrees in Liverpool, all our degrees demand a full intellectual engagement with a wide selection of areas in German studies. We research and teach German history, culture, literature and film from the 19th to 21st centuries, , linguistics and translation, and much more.

Our students participate in a number of extracurricular activities, including the regular writer-in-residence programme, the annual translation workshop organised across the Department and the Sauerkraut Cup inter-university football tournament run by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). They regularly win prestigious DAAD Summer School Grants.

Programme in detail

At the University of Liverpool, German may be taken from A level or as a beginner’s language where no previous qualifications in the language are necessary. In the first year our vibrant programme at advanced level will both refresh and extend your knowledge of German. If you are a beginner, our fast-moving programme will quickly take you to A level standard during the course of your first year. In Year One you will study advanced or beginner’s language modules as appropriate, as well as foundational modules which serve as a broad introduction to the literary, cultural, film, linguistic and historical modules offered in the subsequent years of the degree.

Please note: In Year One students are required to take 30 credits of optional modules outside German. These may include Ancient History, Archaeology, Egyptology, or modules focusing on the histories of Ireland or Latin America. You may also choose modules from other subjects.

You will also take a ‘Language awareness’ module in the first year which is designed to support your language learning by sensitising you to issues in language and linguistics, and a ‘Texts and context’ module which develops your research skills through a portfolio of tasks structured around reading a key literary text.

During your second and your final year you will take language modules plus cultural options which have a strong emphasis on the history, literature and film of modern Germany,  complemented by departmental modules which offer thematic approaches to cities, graphic novels and film adaptations among other subjects. In final year there is the opportunity to take an introduction to translation as well as pursue an independent translation project.

For students taking German at 100% you will follow a research pathway in your second and final year which culminates in a dissertation on a subject of your choice.

You will spend one year in a German-speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement.

If you combine a Major in German with a Minor in another language, you may choose to split the Year Abroad between two countries.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a combined degree

Split your degree between the study of German language and cultures and another subject of your choice.

If you split your degree between German and another subject area, you will study a German language module, at beginners or advanced level, and a cultural module per semester, alongside two other modules in your other subject.

If you combine German with a non-language subject, you will spend the Year Abroad in a German speaking country as an assistant in a school, as a student at a university or on a work placement. If you combine German with another language, you will split the year between two countries.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

124 Year One undergraduates in 2018

UK league tables

Ranked 19th for Modern Languages in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Department resources

The Department has recently moved to a fully-refurbished Grade I listed building in the beautiful Georgian Abercromby Square. We have our own Language Lounge which is stocked with language-learning resources and provides a beautiful and contemplative environment for group work or private study. It has five PCs specialising in language learning programmes. We have our own Modern Language film collection which is available to students for loan.

Research performance

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) graded 72% of our staff publications as world-leading or internationally excellent with the remaining 28% considered to be of recognised international quality. This ranks us above Nottingham, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford and Exeter.

Why this subject?

Learn a language the Liverpool way

At Liverpool, you can choose which level to learn at with confidence, knowing we are specialists in teaching languages to all levels. Beginners will benefit from our years of experience in accompanying students in their first steps in their chosen language; advanced students will see their knowledge broadened and deepened.

Access new facilities

Our fully-refurbished Language Lounge is the centre of departmental life. It is a lively place where you can work on your language skills with the aid of online resources, watch foreign-language films, meet someone for a chat in your chosen language or simply settle down with “un espresso”.

Experience our ‘connected’ Liverpool curriculum

Our teaching is informed by partnerships with organisations across and outside the university. As part of your modules, you may visit an exhibition, deliver a language taster in a school, do an internship in one of our partner organisations, or interview a film maker. Our department routinely organises visits by award-winning writers, directors and translators who will share valuable insights into their work and we recently received a University Learning and Teaching award for enriching the experience of students in and beyond the classroom.

Broaden your understanding of language and culture with a year abroad

You’ll spend your third year teaching English, attending university, completing a work placement or working for a non-government organisation (NGO) in one or more countries relevant to the language or languages you are studying. A reduced fee is payable for the year which you spend abroad. If you are studying two languages you will normally split the year between two countries.

Higher than average salaries

Did you know that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) say that students who study abroad as part of their studies are more likely to be in further education or employment six months after graduating and to earn higher than average salaries, and that they are more likely to graduate with a 2.1 or First Class degree?