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German Studies (M.A.)


Philologie: gelehrtes studium der … sprachen und literaturen
(The German Dictionary by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm)
Programme: German Studies M.A.
Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)
Standard period of study: 4 semesters
Start: Summer and winter semester
Part-time studies possible
Degree programme options: Single Honours MA in German Studies/German Philology (78 C); Joint Honours MA in German Studies/German Philology (42 C); module packages: German Studies/German Philology as MA minor subjects (36 C/18 C)
Admission requirements for Single and Joint Honours MA: Overview
Entrance requirements for module packages: Overview
Note for international applicants: For the enrolment at the Faculty of Humanities certified proficiency in German language is required!
Application: application procedure (application to the faculty of humanities)

Language of the programme: German

Why a Master's Degree in German Studies?

German Studies today is a central discipline in the humanities and cultural sciences that deals comprehensively with German language and literature: with their preconditions and forms of use as well as with its mediality and impact, with 'classic' texts as well as with everyday culture. For more than 100 million people today the German language is the elementary medium of thought and action. With their long history from the Middle Ages onwards and their strong interrelationships with other languages, literary traditions and cultures, German literature and the German language are a field of surprising discoveries. If you are interested in an in-depth scholarly examination of German language and literature, if you are interested in working in the media and culture sector or if you wish to continue your academic work in German studies, you should choose the Master's programme in German Studies.

Why a Master's programme in German Studies in Göttingen?

Studying in Göttingen offers you

  • a wide variety of methods from philology and corpus linguistics to cultural studies, digital humanities and psycholinguistics,
  • a strong focus on cultural, literary and linguistic theory,
  • a comprehensive historical perspective from the beginnings of German language and literature around 750 to the 21st century.

You have a multitude of different possibilities to create your individual study programme from the entire spectrum of the subject. At the beginning of the Master's programme, you select two of the three sub-disciplines – German Linguistics, German Medieval Studies and Modern German Literature. Towards the end of the programme, culminating in the Master’s thesis, you will focus on a sub-discipline or a theoretical orientation (German Linguistics, German Medieval Studies, Modern German Literature or Theory and Methodology of Textual Analysis).

In the one-subject Master's programme, the emphasis can thus be placed on 'German Literature' (with a literary-historical or literary-theoretical focus) or on language and literature' (with a systematic or historical approach). If the programme is studied as a two- or three-subject Master's degree (or if a ‘module package’ is selected), there are many possible combinations - for example with other literatures, with Comparative Literature, Linguistics and, soon, with Digital Humanities as a separate subject.

Sample study plans for all options can be found here. The programme may be started in the summer or the winter semester. The standard period of study is four semesters. Part-time study is possible.

One-subject master's degree
(78 C subject studies + 12 C professionalization area [key competencies] + 30 C master thesis)

In the first semester, two of the three sub-disciplines are studied:

  • German Linguistics (language structures, language system and language use in history and the present);
  • German Medieval Studies (texts in the language levels of Old, Middle and Early Modern High German from about 750 to 1520);
  • Literary Studies – Modern German Literature (texts of the 16th to 21st centuries).

In the second semester, two of the three sub-disciplines are combined in an integrative module. In addition, a focus is placed on one of the four areas of studies, on which the studies in the 3rd and 4th semesters then concentrate completely:

  • German Linguistics;
  • German Medieval Studies;
  • Literature Studies (Modern German Literature);
  • Theory and Methodology of Textual Analysis.

Details of the modules and the exact requirements for the Master's thesis can be found here.

Two- or Three-subject Master's Degrees
(42 C subject studies + one external module package of 36 C or two external module packages of 18 C each + 12 C professionalisation area [key competencies] + 30 C master thesis)

In this version, two of the three sub-disciplines are studied: in two discipline-specific modules and one integrative module.

Details of the modules and the exact requirements for the Master's thesis can be found here.

Module packages
(18 C or 36 C within the framework of another suitable Master's programme)

If a ‘module package’ is selected, modules will be studied in two of the three sub-disciplines (German Linguistics, German Medieval Studies, Modern German Literature). An overview of the admission requirements for module packages can be found here.

Details on the modules can be found here.

A mother-tongue or a proven near-native competence of the German language is indispensable for a German studies programme in order to ensure the ability to study (cf. § 2,4 of the admission regulations). Prerequisite for admission to the Master's programme is the successful completion of a relevant Bachelor's programme in German Studies or a closely related subject. It is important that at least two of the three sub-disciplines (German Linguistics, German Medieval Studies, Modern German Literature) have been a focus of study within the Bachelor's programme. Details on this and the admission procedure can be found here, as well as information on the possibility of applying if the Bachelor's programme has not yet been completed.