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Study German language and literature

Overview: The German studies course

Description and content

At the beginning of the course, there are introductory events in the three German studies focal points:

  • Modern German literature / literary studies (Contents: for example contemporary authors, new forms of literature)
  • Older German literature / medieval studies (Contents: for example text analysis from the 8th to 15th centuries)
  • Linguistics / Linguistics (Contents: for example word formations, word modules, written German, dialects)

The prospective German students must be informed before the Education decide whether they want to study for a teaching post (usually the state examination) or for a bachelor’s degree. No matter which way you choose:Anyone studying German has to read, read a lot. Even outside of the university and after the lectures, the students have to devote themselves to the poems, novels and stories, which are then analyzed and discussed in seminars and courses.

The German studies students learn the tools of the trade in their first semesters. They get to know methods and terms with which they can scientifically examine language and texts. Later in your studies you can then specialize in one of the three core areas. In the linguistics focus, for example, one deals with grammar, symbols and phonetics. Many universities also offer their students additional courses such as presentation techniques, rhetoric or didactics. This content is aimed primarily at student teachers.

As part of the German studies course, initial practical experience should also be gained.A four to eight week internship is compulsory at most universities, which usually has to be completed during the semester break. From publishing houses and media companies to libraries and libraries to theaters or museums: internships in these areas are particularly popular.

However, access to the German studies course is not always easy. At many universities there are local admission restrictions, such as an NC. Usually this is around the grade "good" and the universities pay particular attention to the grades in the study-related subjects. Many universities particularly like to see practical experience that has been gained in the run-up to their studies.

  • You can find an overview of the current NC for German Studies at German universities here:www.nc-werte.info

Previous knowledge

If you want to study German, you should have certain skills and meet the requirements. You should be interested in the German language and be willing to work your way through a lot of literature. The fact that you enjoy reading a novel in your free time or having fun analyzing Goethe's Faust in school is usually not enough. Since the German studies course is very scientifically oriented, the students have to learn early on to analyze and critically evaluate complex literary texts and sources. An interest in scientific work or working methods should therefore be present in any case.

In addition, one should be open to bulky, demanding and dry writings and traditions (written for example in Old German, Middle High German or Early New High German). Translation courses are often held as part of the Medieval Studies courses. During this, the students learn how texts are translated from Middle High German into High German.Good previous rhetorical and didactic knowledge are also an advantage like the ability to tackle complex issues in a targeted manner.

German studies at universities in Germany

All major universities in Germany offer German studies as a subject. At many universities, you can choose whether you want to study for a dual bachelor's degree (if the student is interested in the subject) or for a teaching post. In the 2-subject bachelor's degree, for example, there is the possibility of Combine German studies with a foreign language as a minor.

If you study German as a teacher, you either have to complete a teacher training master’s course after completing your bachelor’s degree or you have to complete the course (traditionally) with the state examination. There is also a master’s degree, which prepares students for a scientific career (doctorate, habilitation) rather than teaching.The master builds on the acquired bachelor's knowledge and deepens it by choosing a focus. And the spectrum is mixed: for example, the University of Freiburg the master in "International literature: German-Russian transfers"at. At the TU Dresden you can do your master's in "Culture and Communication" at the Free University of Berlin "Comparative Dutch studies"study or"German literature studies" at the RWTH Aachen.

  • Here is an overview of the universities at which you can study German language and literature:www.germanistik.net

numbers

The subject is especially popular with women: Around 70 percent of new students are female. With over 60,000 female students, German studies is in second place in the ranking of the most popular courses. Over 6 percent of all female students in this country dedicate themselves to the German language and its peculiarities. For men, the German studies course with 18,000 students does not even make it into the top ten (18th place).

Many of the students (both male and female) choose to study to work as a teacher later. That is a third of all students. The CHE university ranking 2014 recommends future German studies students the University of Freiburg (Bachelor) as well as the University of Bamberg and the University of Göttingen (German teacher training) as the best universities.

Career prospects for German studies graduates

Today's German studies student with the final goal of a bachelor's degree can often justify why he is not studying for a teaching post. The common opinion: Humanities scholars will not find a suitable job after graduation anyway and will be excluded and exploited through countless internships. That is certainly true, after all, on average, only about 30 percent of graduates of a Bachelor's degree in German studies manage to start their professional career directly. Consequently Many graduates actually have to stay afloat with one or the other internship, a year after graduation, most of them have found a job.

The advantage of the German studies students: They are versatile all-rounders and generalists. They are often placed in areas where there is a lot of communication and information has to be obtained and conveyed, for example in language research, corporate communication or journalism. Advertising, publishing and PR are just as important for many as research institutions, media companies or libraries.

In contrast, many high school graduates choose to study German to become a teacher.Around every third student would like to work as a teacher later. It is appealing because it is practically certain to get started quickly. There should be a weakness for educational topics as well as commitment, passion and a certain talent for dealing with children or young people.


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