Degrees and courses

MA Studentship at the Institute for German Studies

The Institute for German Studies at the University of Birmingham is seeking to support a one-year MA studentship in the context of the DAAD-funded project: Weltanschauungen: The German Past and the Contemporary World (details below).

The successful candidate will complete either the MRes in Modern Languages or MA in Political Science, with a dissertation on a topic related to the Weltanschauungen initiative. He or she will be expected to provide administrative and research support to the project team. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate. Supervision will be provided by the most appropriate member(s) of the research team. The studentship will commence in October 2014 and continue for one year.

The successful candidate will hold a good BA or equivalent in a relevant topic and meet all other entry requirements for our MA programmes. Applicants will be expected to possess a good knowledge of German (B2 or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Prospective candidates should send a CV and dissertation outline (no more than 1 side of A4) indicating their fit with the project to: Dr Sara Jones ( The deadline for applications is 30 June 2014. Informal enquiries prior to full applications are welcomed.

Weltanschauungen: The German Past and the Contemporary World

Weltanschauungen: The German Past and the Contemporary World is a high-profile academic network co-ordinated by the IGS between January 2013 and December 2014. The project examines in detail the interaction between collective memory, policy elaboration, and the personal remembering of different individuals and social groups. It brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to consider the continuing impact of 20th-century German history, particularly the legacy of fascist and communist dictatorships, on 21st-century political decision-making. We consider the interaction between the memory of individuals, social memory within different groups, cultural artefacts representing the past, and attempts to structure collective memory from above.

The particular research questions to be addressed by the network are:

  • What is the impact of the legacy of dictatorship on political decision-making processes in 21st century Germany?
  • How is the past deployed in the service of contemporary political concerns? To what end is Germany’s history remembered?
  • How and why do contemporary political decision-makers attempt to direct the formation of collective memory?
  • How do individual and social memories interact with cultural and political memory formation? How are "memory contests" fought and won?
  • Do politics in Germany continue to be directed by the legacy of fascism or are new paradigms emerging?
  • How is the role of the past in contemporary German politics seen outside Germany?
  • What can the study of collective memory in Germany reveal about the role of the past in other national contexts?

The research visits and associated seminars are structured around four core strands: foreign and security policy; European integration; immigration; cultural policy.

The MA student assisting on the project will produce a dissertation broadly in the area of memory and policy formation with a focus on one or more of the core research strands. Subject to peer review, the dissertation may be published in revised form in an edited volume emerging from the network. He or she will also benefit from interaction and engagement with the international group of experts involved in the network and will gain practical experience and skills through assisting in the administration and management of the project.

Postdoctoral work at the IGS

The Institute is happy to support applications from excellent postdoctoral candidates where there is a clear research link to the Institute in joint applications for British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships, Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (IIF) and Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) awards, Newton International Fellowships, and in some cases Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships.

Please contact Dr Sara Jones for advice and with any queries you may have. Email: , for advice and with initial queries.

Postgraduate research

The IGS is linked to the Graduate Centre for Europe at Birmingham. We welcome applications from candidates from the UK and abroad with a relevant Masters and / or good undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualifications. While knowledge of the German language is not a prerequisite for entry, some level of competence or the potential to gain an adequate level of competence is desirable.

There is no fixed deadline for admissions and applications are welcome at any time during the year up to 15 August for entry the following October.

In the first instance you are welcome to contact Dr Sara Jones for advice and with any queries you may have Email:

Application forms should be clearly marked "Institute for German Studies" on the front page. All supporting documentation as listed in the University application form must be provided, as well as a research proposal. The proposal should be limited to 2,000 words and must contain the following information:

  • Clear definition of the project and research questions: what is the project about?
  • The relationship of the proposed research to existing scholarship: how is this research original?
  • Reference (where appropriate) to possible theoretical frameworks for conducting the research
  • Details of proposed fieldwork and methodology: how will the research be conducted?
  • A broad outline of the envisaged time-scale for the research.

Further information, including details of tuition costs, is available via the POLSIS departmental website; the IGS is also linked to the Graduate Centre for Europe.

Information on Master's degrees is available from: