German Studies – Willkommen! (Welcome!)

  • The German Studies program is designed to enable students to develop a high level of communicative competence in the German language and a critical awareness of fundamental areas of German studies: literature, cultural studies and linguistics. Students will develop writing and research skills appropriate to advanced independent study.

    You will be taught by talented and enthusiastic native speakers, all of whom have extensive experience in language and university teaching. We use music, film, popular media and literature to assist you to improve your language skills and to gain an understanding of the history and culture of the German speaking countries.

    We prepare our students for life-long learning, both academically and vocationally. Learning pathways extend from first year undergraduate subjects to honours and beyond.

    Structure of German Studies

    German Studies at Monash is made up of three different components: language, culture and linguistics. That means, if you study German you will not only learn how to write, read and speak German but you will learn about the functioning of the language and you will be introduced to the culture of the German speaking countries.

    In the language component of the German course you can study German at 10 different levels depending on your proficiency:

    • If you have no or very little prior knowledge of German you can enter at introductory level.
    • If you have some knowledge of German but didn’t do VCE-German your entry level will be at intermediate.
    • If you completed VCE-German or the equivalent you can enter at proficient level.

    If you received excellent results in VCE-German or have native speaker background you might want to consider an even more advanced level.

    In the culture component you are introduced to German literature, history, philosophy, politics, and society. In the first year students are given an overview of the history of the German speaking countries. In addition they read and discuss a variety of short texts relating to the study of German culture. In the second and third year students proceed to a more in-depth study of German media, culture, and history in the late eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century.

    Linguistics, another component of our German course, is the systematic study of the nature and use of language. You will get acquainted with the structures of the German language, the processes of learning a first and second language, and the ways in which language changes and the role it plays in society.

    In second and third year apart from doing your core subjects you will be given a choice of additional subjects focusing on specific areas of German culture and linguistics.

    At undergraduate level German can be studied as a one year sequence, a minor sequence (2 years) or a major sequence (3 years) within many Monash degree programs.

    If you want to continue to further studies you can proceed to Honours in your fourth year. If you are even more ambitious you might want to take up studies at a postgraduate level and undertake a Masters or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

    The School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, and German Studies in particular, is well-known for its international links. Many of our students in later years spend time in Germany. Our Study Abroad program is partly supported both by Monash International, and by the German government. Monash German Studies has a long-standing and very successful relationship with the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – German Academic Exchange Service) which offers generous scholarship schemes for study and research in Germany.

    In addition, we maintain contact at the local level with German companies and cultural institutions (Goethe Institute, German Chamber of Commerce, Siemens, Bosch, etc.).

    In addition to your regular classes you are also invited to be involved in the Monash University German Club (http://www.monashclubs.org/clubs/German) which is one of the most active clubs on campus. They hold weekly “Kaffee und Kuchen” meetings and organize various other events and activities, such as film nights, pub nights and an annual dinner at a German restaurant.

    What Level of German Should I Enrol In?