Welcome to the Department of Germanic Studies
German has been taught at the University of Sydney since the 1850's, starting only a few years after the foundation of the University. A Chair of German was established in 1938. To this day, it remains the largest German department in NSW, among the largest in Australia, and offers a very wide range of study opportunities, from the most elementary courses through to supervised postgraduate research. The University also operates a number of student-exchange schemes with universities in the German-speaking world. We currently have exchange agreements with Freiburg, Vienna, Bamberg and Berlin. If German is not the main subject of your degree, or you have already graduated, you can undertake a full three years of study in German by taking the Diploma in Modern Language Studies.
Germanic Studies involves the study of the German language, and the culture for which that language is the medium: its literature, history, society and lifestyles. Study options include tuition in the German language, Business German if you might be using German in the commercial world, and on the cultural side, a whole range of fascinating seminars on German culture, film and literature from the 17th century through to the contemporary. German also combines well with European studies, history, business and science, to name but a few. Whatever your interest in the area of German studies may be, we are likely to have a course to fit it.
Graduates with German language skills and a good understanding of German culture can take advantage of opportunities both in Australia and overseas. German is the native language of some 100 million people and is the most widely spoken native language in Europe. It is much in demand in: business; banking; the hospitality industry; retail; science; education; and the arts. German is the language of musicians like Mozart and Beethoven, philosophers like Kant and Hegel, or scientists like Einstein and Goedel. A recent survey of foreign language requirements in 50,000 job vacancies in major European newspapers showed that, after English, German was the second most desirable foreign language qualification. If you can see yourself working in any of these environments, you should consider studying German.