German BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: R220
  • Year of entry: 2019
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33, with no score less than 4 / BTEC : Applications considered
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German is a major language of business, commerce and science, as well as the gateway to a vibrant and modern multicultural society with a rich and complex past.

Study as part of joint-honours at 100:0 Choosing this subject as a Single Honours

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 to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to contemporary German, but also help you 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 AbeBooks, Bayer Pharma AG, Bloomberg, Google, Henkel, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Pysma, Siemens, KERN Global Language Services, Bosch and Zänker & Kollegen.

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 culture, literature and film in the 19th to 21st centuries, the Holocaust, contemporary Berlin, 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 programmes 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.

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 final year you will take language modules plus cultural options which have a strong emphasis on both modern and contemporary Germany, and on the place of Germany in Europe and the world.

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. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in German or follow courses at your host university.

If you combine Major German with a Minor in another language, you may choose to spend half the year abroad in a German-speaking country.

Study as part of joint-honours at 75:25 Choosing this subject as a Major

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 programmes 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.

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 final year you will take language modules plus cultural options which have a strong emphasis on both modern and contemporary Germany, and on the place of Germany in Europe and the world.

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. During this year, you will complete an extended essay or portfolio in German or follow courses at your host university.

If you combine Major German with a Minor in another language, you may choose to spend half the year abroad in a German-speaking country.

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

Studying German at 50% will enable you to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to the language. It will also help you to understand the society, history, politics, linguistics, culture, literature and cinema of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

German may be taken from A level or as a beginner’s language, where no previous qualifications in the language are required. In the beginner’s pathway, German can be taken all the way to final year. In Year One our vibrant programmes at advanced level will both refresh and extend your knowledge of German. If you are a beginner a fast moving programme will quickly take you to A level standard during the course of your first year.

If you combine German with a non-language subject, 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 German with another language, you will spend half the year abroad in a German speaking country as a student at a university, as an assistant in a school or on a work placement.

For entry to German with another language you will need an A level in at least one of the languages studied.

Study as part of joint-honours at 25:75Choosing this subject as a Minor

Studying German language as a Minor subject at 25% of your degree will enable you to become highly proficient in writing, reading, speaking and listening to the language. It will also help you to understand aspects of the societies and cultures of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. As a Minor, German may be taken from A level or as a beginner’s language for which no previous qualification in the language is required. In the beginner’s pathway, German can be taken all the way to final year.

A Year Abroad is highly recommended, but not compulsory, for German as a Minor subject. You may 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. During this year, you would complete an extended essay in German or follow courses at your host university. If you combine Minor German with a Major in another language, you may choose to spend half the Year Abroad in a German-speaking country.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

141 Year One undergraduates in 2017

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, from beginners to advanced.

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 studentsin and beyond the classroom.

Pursue your own adventure

Many of our modules allow you to focus on topics that particularly interest you. For example our language modules often let you choose and research a subject that interests you as part of your assessment, whether a book report or oral presentation. In cultural modules, you can choose or even devise your own essay question.

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.