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Study German at Birkbeck

At Birkbeck, you can study German at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, under the guidance of internationally renowned researchers and teachers. We have a long history of teaching languages to busy working Londoners who are balancing their studies with work, family and other personal commitments. Language classes are taught in small groups with intensive conversation practice. Our courses are perfect for:

School leavers with no prior German experience

If you're a younger student looking to learn German at Birkbeck despite not having studied German before, you've got nothing to worry about! At Birkbeck, we offer beginners courses which enable those who have never studied the language to start learning the language. If you studied a different language at A-Level but want to begin learning German as well, we've got a number of courses on offer, such as the BA Modern Languages which is offered on a part- and full-time basis.

It's great for anyone looking to develop an understanding of cultures and values embedded in other countries while becoming a proficient linguist in the process. The benefits speak for themselves, by raising your language skills to near-native standard, and by learning related skills in translating, summary-writing, and written and oral presentations you'll be an asset to German employers both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. As a bonus, the programme offers a year of study abroad.

Professionals looking for a competitive advantage

Did you know that German speakers are now in considerable demand across a number of professional sectors? In 2019, German surpassed French as the language most sought-after by employers especially within the legal, business and political sectors. For individuals looking to break into any of these sectors or attain a promotion, learning German could be the key to gaining a competitive advantage. With the shifting nature of Brexit in the UK and its impact on migration means a language gap could develop in the UK employment market, creating new job opportunities for German speakers.

For those looking to start a degree, Birkbeck has a particularly wide range of cross-functional degrees, enabling students to study a language or culture while also gaining skills in other areas such as JournalismManagement, International Law, Film and Media or Global Politics.

For the love of the language

Learning a language opens a door to another culture so we appreciate that some students may want to learn purely for their own enjoyment. We offer students an opportunity to deepen and broaden their existing knowledge in a relaxed and conversational learning environment. We offer modules on German literature, film, history, philosophy and memory studies covering topics from the sixteenth century to the present day. For those working or with existing commitments, you can study with us part-time across four years.

More about German Studies at Birkbeck

  • German studies at Birkbeck range widely, encompassing the following strands:
    • devotional literature of the seventeenth century
    • feminist approaches to women’s writing of the eighteenth century
    • philosophy
    • the history of ideas
    • rhetoric
    • theology
    • women’s writing from the eighteenth century to the present
    • critical theory, especially psychoanalysis and gender
    • cultural studies
    • nineteenth- and twentieth-century drama
    • the novel in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the representation of significant social issues in the contemporary German novel, including migration, social exclusion and Islamophobia,
    • animals and animal rights in contemporary women's writing
    • German and Austrian modernism
    • Weimar culture;
    • twentieth-century military and diplomatic German history
    • Franco-German cultural and political relations
    • film studies, with special emphasis on gender and sexuality in New German Cinema of the 1970s, as well as more recent cinematic developments.
    • We have a lively, student-run German Society which organises social events as well as visits to concerts, films and theatre performances throughout the year.

EVENT: 10 July, 6-9pm. Book now.
Come learn more about studying German. Attend our upcoming screening of 'Lola Rennt/Run, Lola, Run' and hear more from professors and student reps. The event will be held in Birkbeck Cinema (43 Gordon Square).