German MA (Hons) 2019 entry

As an MA (Hons) student of German, you will develop language and communications skills to a high level of proficiency. By studying German at St Andrews, you have scope to follow your own particular interests by choosing from a broad range of course options that reflect and explore the rich cultural heritage of the German-speaking lands, including: medieval studies, film, intellectual history, and literature and society from the 18th century to the present day.

The MA (Hons) in German at St Andrews uses a specially designed language teaching programme that caters both for students who have already studied German as a main subject at school and for beginners.

The MA (Hons) in German is also available as a five-year course with an integrated year abroad. The integrated year abroad is an opportunity for students to spend a year working in a German-speaking country between second year and third year. Find out more about integrated year abroad options.

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UCAS code


Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 9 September 2019
  • End date: 30 June 2023

If you started this programme in 2018, you can find information about 2018 entry on the 2018 German MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Entry requirements

SQA Highers AAAB
GCE A-Levels AAB
IB points 36

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No prior knowledge of German is necessary. Modules are not designed for native speakers.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.


St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

Course information

The MA (Hons) in German is a four-year course run by the School of Modern Languages. The course is available to both students who are beginners in German and to more advanced students who have studied German to A-Level or SQA Higher.

In the first two years, students will take modules which complement their level of German entering the degree. Students of all levels will build on existing skills in German and are offered a broad view of German literature, civilisation and culture.

Alongside German, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.

During your third year, you have the opportunity to study at one of the University’s Erasmus+ partner institutions in a German-speaking country. In this case, study undertaken in another country replaces equivalent study in St Andrews. Studying abroad is optional.

In your fourth year you will take modules focused on communication skills and can choose to specialise in a number of areas such as German literature and culture from earlier periods to the present day, and on German history and thought.

Graduates in Modern Languages from St Andrews can expect to have not only a high level of competency in language skills, but a highly developed appreciation for other cultures and peoples as well as for their own. Other transferable skills, including analysis, synthesis and communication skills will prepare you for a career in almost any industry.

Students may choose to spend an additional year working or studying in a German-speaking country. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying German at St Andrews.


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in German along with modules in at least one additional subject.

Typically, you will take three modules per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Two different types of modules are offered in first year: intensive foundation courses for beginners or students with a SQA National 5 or GCSE in German, and advanced language and literature courses for those with higher entrance qualifications such as a SQA Higher or GCE A-level. 

Students who are beginners or who have studied German to National 5 or GCSE-level are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:

  • First Level German B 1: provides the first half of an intensive language programme for beginners and those with a National 5 or GCSE.
  • First Level German B 2: provides the second half of the intensive language course for beginners and those with a National 5 or GCSE.

Students who have an SQA Higher or a GCE A-level in German are required to take the following compulsory modules in first year:

  • First Level German A 1: lays the foundation for study of German language and literature at university level.
  • First Level German A 2: builds on the foundation study of German language and literature in First Level German A 1.

Students coming from first year beginners’ modules have their own intensive language courses. Non-language elements are integrated at this level: ex-beginners and ex-advanced students jointly extend their studies of German culture including modern and mediaeval literature.

If you take German in your third and fourth years, you will choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate literary, historical and cultural studies into language learning. Students of all language levels take the same core modules in German language, including advanced oral, writing and communication skills. Modules at Honours level include (but are not limited to):

  • Art and the Artist in Modern German Culture
  • German Environmental Thought (1800-2000)
  • Mediaeval Things
  • The Nazi Past in German Cultural Memory
  • Shakespeare: The German Catalyst.

In fourth year, students have the option of undertaking a dissertation of up to 10,000 words, written in English, on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.

The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules currently available can be found in the module catalogue.


Teaching format

All Modern Language modules involve a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical languages classes. Lectures provide information, stimulate thought, and suggest directions for further reading and personal study. Small language tutorials allow you to actively work together with your tutors to practice language skills, present papers, and discuss texts and issues relevant to the course.

Sub-honours German modules are delivered through lectures (typically 30 to 60 students), seminars (typically 10 students), language classes and oral classes.

At Honours level, you will attend small seminars and language classes (typically 10 to 18 students).

When not attending lectures, seminars and language classes, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of the German language. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory classes and seminars under the supervision of the module leader. 

You can find contact information for all German staff on the School of Modern Languages website.

In addition to your studies in the Department of German, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.


Almost all of the modules in German are assessed by a combination of coursework (40%) and end-of-semester examinations (60%). Coursework can include advanced language exercises, discursive essays and oral presentations.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. Examinations are either entirely in written format or comprise both written and oral components.

Tutors advise you closely on the preparation of written work and give individual assessments of your performance.

The Department of German aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 25 September 2019
  • Wednesday 2 October 2019
  • Wednesday 16 October 2019
  • Wednesday 23 October 2019
  • Wednesday 30 October 2019


Tuition fees for 2019 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £22,350

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Erasmus+ Mobility Grant

Erasmus+ students may be eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant provided by the European Commission which contributes towards the extra costs arising from studying or working abroad for credit. 

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take German as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.

Modern language degrees

It is also possible to combine a degree in German with two modern languages. Any combination of Arabic, French, Italian, Persian, Russian, and Spanish is possible.

You can also take German as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree with two modern languages and one additional subject.

If you are taking:

  • German

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • German

You can also take one modern language:


And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • German

You can also take one modern language:


And one other subject:


If you are taking:

  • German

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

"With" degrees

You can take German as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first named subject.

Your future


In a job market that is becoming increasingly global, competency in global languages is valued by employers across all sectors, including industry and business. They recognise that a modern languages degree shows wide cultural experience as well as other personal transferable skills needed in employment.

Recent German graduates have gone to work for:

  • the British Council
  • Citibank
  • Christian Salvesen
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Harper Collins
  • HSBC’s executive training programme.

Graduates who have studied abroad gain valuable experience as teachers at primary or secondary level, as translators or interpreters, and as capable German linguists overall.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study Abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Working abroad

Completing a work placement abroad is a good opportunity to gain work experience in another culture or language and to enhance valuable skill sets. As part of specific degree programmes in Modern Languages, you may apply to undertake a work placement abroad for credit.

Students may choose to spend an additional year working or studying in a German-speaking country. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of German may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • At Home and Abroad Society (AHAsoc) promotes study and work abroad programmes along with all forms of international cultural exchange.
  • German Society organizes a popular weekly Stammtisch, an annual Oktoberfest and other events throughout the year. There is also a Film Club that shows German films.

The School of Modern Languages is situated at the centre of St Andrews in the Buchanan Building on Union Street. Within the Buchanan Building is the Multimedia Centre, a digital language lab which students will use as both a component of their module classwork and as part of individual study.

The town of St Andrews has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.


Department of German
School of Modern Languages
University of St Andrews
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3670

Department of German website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).