Dr Ruth Whittle NTF

Photograph of Dr Ruth Whittle

Department of Modern Languages
Associate Professor
HeFI Fellow

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

As a student, you are most likely to know me in my role as the School’s Chair of Year Abroad. I teach in all German Core language courses as well as Translation in Practice and post-1870 German literature classes.

I am interested in students and their learning journeys, particularly in Modern Languages and have published papers and books on The Year Abroad, Students as Partners, and Staff and Students in the multicultural classroom.


  • PG Cert Coaching and Mentoring (Distinction), Newman University (Birmingham) 2020
  • HEFi Fellow 2025
  • National Teaching Fellow, HEA 2014
  • PhD 1989
  • MA 1985
  • Staatsexamen I 1985


  • German Core Courses in all years
  • Courses on the Translation Studies Pathway
  • Sex, Seduction and Submission (Final Year)
  • Landmarks in European Literature (Year 1)
  • Supervision of dissertations in Year 2 and Final Year

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising theses dealing with narratives of (personal, gendered, professional, national) identities as well as on pedagogical aspects of teaching and learning, particularly the role of mindset and reflection in deep learning.

Find out more - our PhD German Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research interests include 19th- and 20th-century literature as well the role of reflection and mindset for deep learning. In my current research I investigate students’ feelings in connection with their mindset in order to find out effective ways of individualising further personal tutoring. This research is taking place across a number of schools, and will therefore also be useful for determining whether Modern Languages students are similar or different and have different needs from students in other disciplines.

Other activities

  • I am a member of the University’s Chaplaincy Engagement Committee and the Chaplaincy Committee.
  • Using essay feedback to improve your work (with Prof A Cavoski). Available on CAL Education Gateway



Recent publications


Whittle, R & Sandra, S 2017, Preparing Modern Languages Students for 'Difference': Going beyond Graduate Skills, Peter Lang, Oxford, New York, London, Bern.

Klapper, J, Glöckel, K & Whittle, R 2011, Modern German Grammar - Third edition. Routledge.

Klapper, J, Whittle, R & Zojer, H 2011, Modern German Grammar Workbook - Third edition. Routledge.

Klapper, J, Dodd, W, Eckhard-Black, C & Whittle, R 2008, Modern German Grammar (Chinese translation). Routledge/Dalian University of Technology Press.

Kord, S & Whittle, R 2008, Re-Thinking the German Enlightenment; A Special Number in Honour of David Hill Special Issue of German Life and Letters 61.1. Not Known.


Jenkins, L, Suleymenova, K, Buttner, A & Whittle, R 2023, 'Student mindset: emotional responses to the university learning journey', Education in Practice, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 16-25. <https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/hefi/research-scholarship-development/scholarship-teaching-learning/hefi-journal/index.aspx#issues>


Whittle, R & Whittle, R 2012, Die ‘Beheimatung’ der Frauen des Berliner Salons in der deutschen Literaturgeschichte. in Akten des XII. Internationalen Germanistenkongresses Warschau 2010 Vielheit und Einheit der Germanistik weltweit. Publikationen der Internationalen Vereinigung für Germanistik (IVG), vol. 5, Peter Lang, Oxford/Bern, pp. 157-161.

Whittle, R 2011, Karl Gutzkow in der deutschen Literaturgeschichte. in Impotenter Reflexionsschwelger oder‚ Ritter vom Geist’?.

Höhne, S & Whittle, R 2011, Völkisch-nationale Weiblichkeitsentwürfe bei Ludwig Geiger und August Sauer. in peer-reviewed conference volume August Sauer – ein Intellektueller in Prag im Spannungsfeld von Kultur- und Wissenschaftspolitik, Prag, Nov 2008, volume.

Book/Film/Article review

Whittle, R 2012, 'Kilchmann, Esther. Verwerfungen in der Einheit. Geschichten von Nation und Familie um 1840. München: Fink, 2009', The German Quarterly, pp. 700 words.

Whittle, R 2011, 'Review of...Annette KUHN, Historia, Frauengeschichte in der Spirale der Zeit. Opladen / Farmington: Barbara Budrich 2010', Journal of Contemporary European Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 139-141. https://doi.org/10.1080/14782804.2011.554202

Whittle, R 2009, 'Schwellenüberschreitungen: Politik in der Literatur von deutschsprachigen Frauen 1780-1918. Ed. by Caroline Bland / Elisa Müller-Adams. Bielefeld: Aisthesis 2007', The German Quarterly, vol. 82, no. 1, pp. 116-118.

Conference contribution

Whittle, R 2019, Can Students be Knowledge Creators? in C Goria, L Guetta, N Hughes, S Reisenleutner & O Speicher (eds), Professional competencies in language learning and teaching . research-publishing.net, pp. 121-131. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2019.34.920

Whittle, R 2012, Year Abroad Matters: Change Management for Students Going to a European Country. in Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. LLAS Language Futures, Languages in Higher Education, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 5/07/12.


Whittle, R & Sachse, D 2014, 'Promoting Graduate Skills in ML Students', Paper presented at LLAS Conference: Reshaping Languages in Higher Education, Southampton, United Kingdom, 9/07/14 - 10/07/14. <https://www.llas.ac.uk/sites/default/files/nodes/6700/Whittle-Sachee_LLAS_Conference_2014.pdf>

View all publications in research portal


  • How students respond to transition (from school to university, from university to year abroad, from university to work) and how to support these experiences of transition