German Studies (B.A.) (2 subjects)
"Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns." (Kafka) - Language and literature shape our reality. The analysis of these elementary human media of expression is at the centre of teaching and research in Göttingen German Studies. As a full German Studies department, it represents the entire spectrum of linguistic and literary approaches. We bring modern methods of digital humanities into dialogue with cultural studies approaches and directly shape current research with numerous projects.
Join us and become a professional in language and text competence!
- German Studies
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) (2 subjects)
- Standard period of study:
- 6 semesters
- Only the winter semester
- Language of the programme:
(enrolment without previous application)
- Orientation events:
- Orientation events are offered
- Pre-courses are offered
Get to know us
About 130 million people speak German as their first or second language. For them, language is a living medium of everyday communication, but also a means of expression for diverse literary texts. How is language used in a communicative context to achieve goals of action? Is there a particular aesthetic of literary texts? To what extent are the structures as well as the use of a language and the type of literature time-specific and determined by the respective media environment? How have language and (literary) culture changed over the centuries? With a degree in German Studies, you can acquire expertise in these questions and thus gain a differentiated view of today's German language and literature in a historical context.
Göttingen German Studies is characterised by diverse research foci, which are also reflected in the courses offered: the spectrum ranges from language history to psycholinguistics, from historical aesthetics to pop literature, from media history to the digital humanities - and this is not an exhaustive list!
So: In Göttingen you can study the subject in all its facets. The subject-related study programme is divided into three areas:
- Germanic Linguistics: deals with structures and the use of today's German and its historical precursors, as well as with the cognitive foundations of language.
- Germanistic Medieval Studies: deals with the entire German-language textual tradition of the period from the 9th to the 16th century and its specific medial and cultural conditions.
- Literary Studies (Modern German Literature): deals with the German-language literatures from the Baroque to the present, furthermore with the mediation of literature, literary theory, subject history and edition philology.
The B.A. programme offers you the chance to acquire basic competences in all three sub-areas and to develop your own questions on this basis. The seminar library with its extensive holdings, the collection of historical children's and youth literature and the linguistic laboratories (on sign language, among other things) offer excellent conditions for your own initial discoveries in research. Comprehensive study counselling, a grammatical propaedeutic course and tutorials make your start easier.
The subject studies in Göttingen offer you a broad basis (language and literature, historical and systematic) for individual interest formation. In the specialisation area of the subject studies and in the Bachelor's thesis, you can set your own focus in the areas of linguistics, mediaeval studies or newer German literature. In the professionalisation area, choose one of the following profile lines:
- The 'Fachwissenschaftliche Vertiefung' prepares you for an academic activity and qualifies you in particular to successfully study a Master's programme in-depth in the subject area.
- The 'Professional field-related qualification' is designed to enable you, as flexible generalists with a solid basic subject-related qualification, to successfully take up a non-university professional activity.
- The 'Studium Generale' enables you to design your Bachelor's degree in a strongly interdisciplinary way, even without a close orientation to subject boundaries, and to orient it towards your own subject-specific and professional goals.
For all three profiles, the broad key competencies offered by the University of Göttingen are at your disposal. In addition to taking individual courses, you can earn a wide variety of certificates here, including ,German Sign Language', Digital Humanities', Experimental Linguistics ,Theatre Practice' or the ,Additional Qualification Interculturality and Multilingualism / German as a Foreign and Second Language (ZIMD)'.
In any case, you should have a keen interest in intensively studying literary works, the structure as well as the use of language(s) and making classifications in the respective cultural, social and historical contexts. For the degree programme, you not only need a certain 'reading mania', but also the willingness to think your way into the theories and methods of the subject, which range from literary theory and aesthetics as well as formal theories of language analysis to cultural studies and media-historical approaches and experimental procedures of language and literature analysis. A very good knowledge of the German language, both spoken and written (native or near-native), is indispensable for the study of German Studies. A good knowledge of English is helpful.
... you have many options. The B.A. programme provides you with the prerequisites for a subsequent academic Master's degree. In Göttingen, for example, you can continue studying German studies in all its dimensions with the Master's German Studies/German Philology, or you specialise in linguistics (Linguistics) or literary studies (Comparative Studies or Medieval and Renaissance Studies or New German Literature) with interdisciplinary perspectives. You can also use the knowledge and skills you have acquired to start a career in fields for which the competent use of German language and literature is central. This is not only the case in the media and cultural sector in the narrower sense (e.g. at literary houses, theatres or publishing houses), but also where it is a matter of grasping texts analytically and formulating them accurately (for example in the field of public relations).
Related and consecutive/graduate programmes
ProfessionalizationElectives Key competencies
- Winter semester only
- 1st subject semester:
- open admission (enrolment without previous application)
- 2nd to 6th subject semester:
- open admission (enrolment without previous application)
Study and examination advice Faculty of Humanities
Lisa Katharina Müller and Eva Wolff
Phone: +49 (0)551 39 21888 (Müller)
Phone: +49 (0)551 39 26713 (Wolff)
Dr. Markus Tönjes
Department of German Studies
Käte-Hamburger Weg 3