German Studies

German language and literature are the main subjects of German studies. They are examined in terms of linguistics, literary studies and cultural studies.

The study field at a glance

German Studies is concerned not only with the testimonies of contemporary language and literature (since 1500, "modern times") but also with the earlier forms (for example, Old or Middle High German). The aim of the study of German is the in-depth knowledge of the development of the German language and of the most important trends in German literature.

German Studies is closely related to Scandinavian Studies (also Nordic Studies, Nordic / Northern Germanic / Scandinavian Philology or Northern Europe Studies), which deals with the Scandinavian languages (Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish), literatures and societies. By contrast, German Studies is distinguished from "Slavistics".

Offered courses

The subject German Studies is offered exclusively at universities.

Contents of the course

The study is divided into three subareas:

  • German Linguistics (Linguistics) is dedicated to the systematic study of the German language, emphasizing linguistic elements.
  • Modern German Literary Studies deals with German literature from the 16th century to the present day. It analyzes types of literature distinguishes between periods / epochs and intensively conveys knowledge of different access routes and interpretation approaches.
  • Germanic Medieval Studies deals with literary and literary studies of German literature from its beginnings around 800 to the early modern period. Here, a dispute with the Middle High German takes place.

In addition to the Germanic core subject usually a scientific supplementary or minor subject from the cultural or social science area must be studied.

Depending on the university and focus, modules in fields such as literary and genre history, synchronous and diachronic linguistics, language and literature teaching or German as a second and foreign language may then be used to specialize in the master's program. Additional competences are taught by modules such as text production, intercultural German studies, media aesthetics, media / communication or technical communication.

Possible careers after graduation

Outside the school, German researchers find employment opportunities in publishing or as editors in press, radio and television or in public relations, advertising, as well as in library and documentation. Furthermore, they may work in adult education, at colleges and other research institutions or as dramaturges at theaters, as well as at television and radio stations. In addition, due to their skills in communicating and presenting, they often find tasks in human resources, as project managers or management consultants.