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BA German

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined, Single Honours, Study abroad year

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25:
£9,250 (UK)
£22,860 (International)
More detail.

Experience a blend of language and cultural learning with an undergraduate degree in German at Birmingham. Throughout your degree, you'll expand not only your German vocabulary and language skills, but also your cultural horizons.

With this intercultural degree, you'll gain competency in the German language, preparing you to work in a number of sectors from business and marketing to translation and teaching. Our BA German  is flexible, meaning you'll be able to major in the German language or choose to study it alongside one other language. If you want to study two additional languages consider our BA Modern Languages programme.

You will learn a wide range of topics beyond language. Choose from an extensive selection of exciting modules, which may include: 

  • Writing identities in the German-speaking world 
  • Desire, Disease and Decay: Thomas Mann and his world 
  • Cultures of protest and terror in West Germany, 1967-1977 
  • Sex, Seduction and Submission: gender in German literature from 1900 to today 
  • German First-World War writing 
  • Epic and Romance 

And cross-departmental modules which may include:  

  • Constructions of gender, sexuality and race   
  • Cross-cultural cinema  
  • Decolonial approaches to contemporary thought and culture  
  • Introduction to linguistics   
  • Narratives of conquest and incomprehension  
  • Race, gender and the legacies of colonialism  
  • From Text to Tech: Digital Approaches to Languages and Cultures

As well as a year abroad, providing you with the opportunity to submerge yourself in the culture and education or work environment of your chosen languages. 

There are some combinations we aren't able to offer due to timetabling restrictions.

Find out more about your chosen combination using our MyChoices app

The Modern Languages degree at the University of Birmingham has given me the cultural awareness and the confidence to interact with people from different backgrounds. The programme has enabled me to explore a range of different topics from different subject areas such as history, politics, art and linguistics. My favourite thing about my degree is the flexibility in language choice and the opportunity to do a wide range of optional modules.


Why study this course?

  • Flexibility – choose to combine German with ONE additional language, or consider combining with Translation, Business Management, English Literature, History, or Music – visit our Department course pages for details.
  • Study differently – with our CLIL ("Content Language Integrated Learning") teaching method. CLIL is a blended approach to language learning, based on a fusion of language and culture: study language, grammar and vocabulary in direct relation to topics of real cultural significance in your chosen language.
  • Multicultural city – Learn in a vibrant city that is culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse. Join a number of language and culture-based societies to further enhance your skills including the multilingual Linguist Magazine.
  • Focused academic contact – We pride ourselves on competitive contact hours. These take place within small groups, encouraging active language learning through engagement with thought-provoking cultural material (beginners will receive more support in English, as appropriate).


Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2025. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

The range of modules available to you does depend the combinations you choose to study.
Explore our My Choices app to download a personalised prospectus and discover more about the modules available to you within each language area.

During your years of study you will take compulsory modules depending on your language proficiency (beginner or advanced). Depending upon the number of languages you are taking, you will choose amongst a wide range of optional modules to make up your remaining credits.  Learn more about optional modules options in the department.

Some combinations we are unable to offer due to timetabling restrictions.

There are also a number of optional departmental-wide modules available throughout your degree. This collaborative approach within Modern Languages currently includes modules such as; ‘Cross-cultural Cinema’, ‘Language Learning in the Classroom: Pedagogy and Practice’, ‘Global Enterprise Project’ and ‘Legal Cultures Compared’.


For UK students beginning their studies in September 2024, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2024/25 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £22,860

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.

Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Important information: When completing your UCAS application, please indicate your proposed language(s) / pathway selections under ‘Further details’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application by using the following codes, separated by a space.

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A level grade B is required for the advanced language you wish to study. It is also possible to study two beginner (including post-GCSE) languages without taking an advanced language, as long as one of your beginner languages is French or Spanish.
General Studies:

IB Diploma:
6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. You also require a Higher Level or equivalent in the modern language that you plan to study.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus a B at A level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus a B at A level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A level, including the required subject/s mentioned above.

Independent language diplomas:

If you would like to study advanced French, Spanish, German, Italian or Russian as part of your programme but are not currently studying the required language at A level, we are happy to consider applications from those offering an independent language diploma at B2 level as demonstration of advanced language skills.

The independent language diplomas we would consider are as follows; DELF-B2 (French), DELE-B2 (Spanish), Goethe-Zertifikat-B2 (German), DILI-B2 (Italian) and TRKI 2nd Certificate (Russian). These diplomas are assessed against the criteria set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, and can be studied for in your own time or through a language centre.  These diplomas will be considered when taken in addition to three A levels or equivalent qualifications as outlined above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.


Language laboratory sessions allow you to practise your listening and spoken skills and are an essential part of all our language programmes.

Contact Hours

All Birmingham degrees are set within a credit framework designed to measure your academic achievements. We expect all students to accumulate 120 credits in each full year of study which is equivalent to 40 hours of learning a week. Learning is considered to include contact learning (lectures and seminars), private study, revision and assessment.

For this programme, those 40 hours are estimated to be broken down and split into lectures, seminars and other guided teaching opportunities and independent study. This is a general rule across the entire academic year and may change week by week. 

Year 1: 25% Lectures, Seminars or similar, 75% Independent study
Year 2: 20% Lectures, Seminars or similar, 80% Independent study
Year 3: 100% Time on placememt
Year 4: 15% Lectures, Seminars or similar, 85% Independent study

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within three weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.


Assessment throughout BA German also prepares you for subsequent parts of your degree and for the working world beyond it. This includes; digital projects, practicing everyday interactions in preparation for the Year Abroad, and producing a mini-research project to build skills for writing the final-year dissertation. 

Global workplace skills are developed throughout the lifespan of our Modern Languages programmes, which enable our graduates to thrive in a number of professional environments. Birmingham’s Modern Languages graduates have a consistently high employability rate.  

Modern Languages graduates have a wide range of skills that are valued by employers, such as:

  • Strong communication and presentation skills in English and one or more other languages
  • A deep understanding and appreciation of other cultures
  • Critical thinking skills, alongside the ability to research, analyse and interpret information
  • Independence and experience of living abroad
  • Expressing thoughts, feelings and opinions in different registers
  • Leadership, negotiation, debating and teamwork
  • Handling complex information
  • The ability to form concise and articulate arguments
  • Time-management, alongisde the ability to prioritise workload

Some of our employers (2022 survey amongst graduates):

  • Birmingham Museums Trust 
  • Birmingham City Council 
  • Department for Education 
  • British Council 
  • UK Naric 
  • HSBC 
  • NHS 
  • Oracle  
  • Vodafone  
  • Tiktok 
  • Civil Service 

Example roles:

  • Editorial Project Leader
  • German Teacher
  • International Sales Coordinator
  • Investigation Specialist
  • Operations Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Marketing Officer
  • Account Executive
  • Account Planner

Examples of further study include:

  • PgDip Education
  • MA Social Work
  • PGCE Modern Foreign Language
  • PGCE Primary
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • MA in International Relations 
  • MA in Comparative Literature 
  • MA in Linguistics 
  • MA in Creative Writing 
  • MA in Media, Communcations and Critical Practice 
  • MA in Journalism 
  • MA in German
  • MA in Advertising and Marketing 
  • MA in Public Administration

Modern Languages graduates enter the wide range of careers similar to other arts and humanities graduates but with much greater scope in international settings. 

You will benefit from organised events in the Department whereby our graduates return to campus to talk to current students about their careers, how to find opportunities and the variety of roles available to linguists. The curriculum also has an increased focus on professional development in areas such as; presenting, CV-building, debating, and developing digital projects in the target language.

Developing your career

The University of Birmingham is the top choice for the UK's major employers searching for graduate recruits, according to The Graduate Market 2024 report. Our Careers Network are here to offer you tailored, expert advice on your career plans and support you with finding and applying for jobs, internships and further study. There are hundreds of events to help you meet potential employers and learn more about the breadth of opportunities and career sectors available to you.

Support will be offered to you covering the whole job application process, including CVs, LinkedIn, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.  You can also email our experienced Careers Advisors and College Teams to review your applications or answer any careers related question, alongside our on campus and online 1:1 appointments.

We have a number of exclusive Internship Programmes such as our Cultural Internship, which will give you paid, professional experience to set you apart in the graduate market. We also offer work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. 

First years can take part in The Birmingham Project, with themes including celebrating arts and culture and shaping a global society. There’s also a successful Mentoring Programme, where you can gain access to experienced Mentors who can empower, inspire and inform you about their experiences.  As a University of Birmingham student you will also be given access to LinkedIn Learning giving free access to real world training courses to kick-start your careers.

If you want to earn money WorkLink advertises convenient part-time job opportunities on campus to fit round your studies.  

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. Our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme.

There are more than 500 student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students (our Students’ Union) so you’re bound to find activities that you want to be involved in whilst meeting friends who share your interests.