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Studying German within European Languages and Cultures

Bachelor’s degree programme in European Languages and Cultures
NB: A-levels/vwo eindexamen/Abitur or equivalent with German as subject is obligatory to be admitted to German as major language.

The more deeply you delve into the language, history, literature, films and media of present-day Germany, the more you will realize how unique the position of Germany in Europe is, what German culture and literature have to offer, and how important a role language plays in this. The University of Groningen enables you to immerse yourself in all things German, and to largely determine your own study programme.

The Weimar Republic, National Socialism, the Second World War, the fall of the Wall – Germany has been through many a turbulent historical episode. The country was home to great thinkers such as Kant, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche and Marx, famous composers and prominent writers, filmmakers and visual artists. Germany plays an important role in the economic and political arenas, both within Europa and on a global scale.

Why German?

If you would like to study the German language as well as German culture, politics and history, then the degree programme in European Languages and Cultures with German as a specialization may be just what you’re looking for. You will follow a broad-based programme in which you will learn to place the German language, culture, society and politics in a European framework and develop specialist knowledge of aspects of the German language and culture. In addition, Groningen is just a short train ride away from Leer and Oldenburg.

The ‘European’ course units and electives in the field of German Studies will help you develop an academic level of working and thinking as well as the accompanying skills. You will learn about important developments in German history, culture and language and analyse their influence on modern society. Germany’s tenacity in wanting to maintain the three-percent limit with regard to the national debt of EU countries, for example, is rooted in the country’s fear of hyperinflation, which dates back to the 1920s.


You can follow German specialization course units in the fields of linguistics, culture, literature or history/politics. ‘German Linguistics’ will introduce you to the structure of modern German as well as the language history of German and the changes that the language has undergone over time.

‘German Literature and Culture’ will give you the opportunity to read key works of German literature. You will study works and authors from cultural-historical and political perspectives, discuss literary genres and familiarize yourself with methods of analysing texts.

You will improve your language proficiency in small-group teaching in the intensive German proficiency part of the programme. You will read a wide variety of text types and actively work with the information provided via current media. You will develop your German proficiency to near-native speaker level. In your third year you will spend a semester following German course units abroad. The University of Groningen has partnerships to this end with universities in numerous cities in Germany and Austria: Bremen, Frankfurt/Oder, Göttingen, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Jena, Kiel, Cologne, Leipzig, Mainz, Marburg, Münster, Oldenburg, Tübingen, Würzburg and Vienna.

Back to European Languages and Cultures .

Marcella Herzog (student of ELC German)

After secondary school I spent a year in Austria, where I discovered how much I really liked the German language. So when I heard about the new degree programme in European Languages and Cultures in Groningen I immediately knew this was what I wanted! As an ELC student of German you get to immerse yourself in German culture and literary, social , historical and political themes. What I particularly like is the flexible setup of the programme. I specialize in the Politics and Society profile, which focuses on the political and social history of Europe and on current issues – and of course within this profile I concentrate on Germany. I am really looking forward to my stay at the University of Würzburg next year, where I can delve even more deeply into German language and culture!

Last modified:08 February 2022 4.03 p.m.
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