Germanic Studies

About the major

The language of artists, philosophers, and scientists, German is spoken by over 100 million people and has a major presence on the European and world stages. The Department of Germanic Studies teaches language from beginners to advanced levels and offers study options in German literature, film, history, thought, and society from the 18th century to the present. All students, whether they come to the department as beginners in the language, with an HSC in German, or as background speakers, can complete a major in Germanic Studies. We have exchange programs with universities in Bamberg, Berlin, Cologne, Konstanz, Freiburg, Munich, and Vienna that provide exciting opportunities to enhance language proficiency and deepen your understanding of German culture, opening the door to career opportunities both in Australia and overseas. Our graduates work in diverse fields, from teaching, the arts and international relations, to law and commerce, both in Australia and internationally.

You can begin German language studies at different entry levels from beginner to advanced level, and it is also possible to fast track to a higher level. Our language levels are aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR: A1 – C2), which guarantees the international comparability and transferability of your language skills.

A Germanic Studies major combines well with any major in Arts and Social Sciences as well as with Law, Business, and the Sciences. If you are not majoring in German, you can take German as a Minor or German units as electives. If you have already completed your BA, you can still study German by taking the Diploma in Language Studies.

Graduates may continue to Honours and Postgraduate Studies.

Requirements for the major

A major in Germanic Studies requires 48 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level language units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level language units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level culture units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level language units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project units

A minor in Germanic Studies requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level language units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level language units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level culture units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level language units

All German language levels are tied to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Equivalent CEFR levels are given below.

First year

Depending on individual entry level, first year units in Germanic Studies will introduce or consolidate speaking, writing and aural skills in the German language. All first-year language units work with a wide range of authentic material that fosters cultural understanding along with linguistic competence. A focus on language in the first year prepares students for language and culture units offered from second year and beyond. The three pathways - beginners, intermediate, and advanced - all promote a differentiated understanding of German speaking cultures and provide a foundation for the more in-depth engagement with German/Austrian/Swiss culture, history and society in more advanced units in Germanic Studies.

Second year

Depending on individual entry level, second year units in Germanic Studies will further develop and consolidate the student’s speaking, writing, reading, and aural skills in the German language for both the major and the minor degree. Building on knowledge acquired in first year, second year culture units offer a diverse range of culture, society and history units, such as German speaking film and literature, German history, history of ideas as well as research in German as a Foreign Language for students who are planning to major in German.

Second year students are encouraged to plan an exchange semester at a German speaking university participating in the Department’s Exchange Program.

Third year

In third year, students are offered advanced and project driven language units as well as culture units that will consolidate their knowledge of German language, cultures and societies. This year provides high-level skills and the capacity to engage critically and in an informed way with complex issues concerning German-speaking societies, locally, within the European context and globally. Students will have the confidence to work openly and productively in diverse groups and across linguistic and cultural boundaries, both academically and in wider work place environments. Students who major in German will be well placed to progress into honours and postgraduate study.

Honours

If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: Admission to Honours requires a major in Germanic Studies with an average of 70 percent or above.

If you commenced your degree in 2018: Admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Germanic Studies with an average of 70 percent or above. You will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing Honours.

All students may qualify for the honours year, regardless of the language level at which they commenced.

The department offers four honours scholarships each year - the Emilie M. Schweitzer Honours Scholarships in German Studies. Details of the scholarship can also be obtained from the office of the School of Languages and Cultures.

Advanced Coursework

The requirements for advanced coursework in Germanic Studies are described in the degree resolutions for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies.

24 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2019.

Contact/further information

Chair of Department: Dr Cat Moir


Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr Andrea Bandhauer


Honours and Postgraduate Coordinator: Dr Cat Moir


Exchange Coordinator: Dr Tristan Lay

Example pathways
Placement of incoming students

Beginner pathway
If you have no or little experience of the language you should enroll in GRMN1001: German 1.

Intermediate pathway
If you have completed the HSC Beginners course (with a mark above 70) or the German Continuers (with a mark below 80), or equivalent, you should enrol in GRMN2003: German 3.

Advanced pathway
If you have completed the HSC German Extension course or the HSC German Continuers course (with a mark above 80), or equivalent, you should enrol in GRMN3007: German 7.

* Appropriate language units are determined either by language level and grade therein achieved in Higher School Certificate (as above) or International Baccalaureate, and/or by one-on-one interviews prior to commencement.

Please note: A ‘gap’ year after Year 12 does not normally affect placement.

The Beginners pathway will follow a 2-3-3 model = 2 language units at Level 1000; 2 language units at level 2000 + 1 culture unit at Level 2000; 2 language units at level 3000 + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit
Year 1: GRMN 1001 + GRMN 1002
Year 2: GRMN 2003 + GRMN 2004 + 1 culture unit at Level 2000
Year 3: GRMN 3005 + GRMN 3006 + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit

The Intermediate pathway (HSC Beginners >70 or HSC Continuers <80) will follow a 0-3-5 model = 0 units at Level 1000; 2 language units at level 2000 + 1 culture unit at Level 2000; 2 language units at level 3000 + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit
Year 1: GRMN 2003 + GRMN 2004
Year 2: GRMN 3005 + GRMN 3006 + 1 unit at level 2000
Year 3: GRMN 3007 + GRMN 3008 + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit

The Advanced pathway (HSC Continuers >80 or HSC Extension) will follow a 0-11-7 OR (0-0-8) model = 0 units at Level 1000; 4 language units at Level 3000 + 31 cultural unit at level 2000; 3 units at level 3000 (OR 2 culture units at 3000 level + 1 culture unit at 2000 level) + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit
Year 1: GRMN 3007 + GRMN 3008
Year 2: GRMN 3009 + 1 culture unit at Level 2000 + 1 culture unit at level 3000 (OR 2 culture units at Level 3000)
Year 3: GRMN3010 + 1 culture unit at Level 3000 + FASS3999 Faculty Interdisciplinary Project unit

Learning outcomes
  1. Demonstrate a high standard of oral and written skills in German language and the ability to communicate articulately and persuasively in a wide range of contexts.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the major theoretical approaches in the analysis of German texts, images and practices in relation to their cultural, historical, political and linguistic context.
  3. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of German speaking societies and cultures, and the ability to participate confidently in discussions on issues of cultural, sociocultural, linguistic and historical significance.
  4. Creatively apply linguistic skills and knowledge of the German speaking world in new contexts, including critical analysis of the ways Germany is perceived, both within Europe and globally.
  5. Demonstrate the skills and confidence to work openly and productively, with integrity and confidence in diverse groups and across linguistic and cultural boundaries.
  6. Demonstrate information/digital literacy through an ability to locate relevant information for academic and professional purposes.
  7. Exhibit, as a result of exchanges, project work and/or internships for credit, the capacity to confront new situations demanding adaptability, cultural competence and personal resourcefulness.
  8. Effectively apply approaches and knowledge from Germanic Studies to issues encountered in an interdisciplinary context.