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MA Germanic Studies (Research Track)

Course Description

About the course

You’ll develop a critical understanding of the most important current issues and controversies within Germanic Studies.

You choose one specialised area within the general field of Germanic Studies (for instance German politics, 19th and 20th-century German and Dutch literature, German thought, German and Dutch linguistics or Luxembourg studies).

This focus helps you develop in-depth knowledge and the capacity for independent investigation and critical analysis.

This course will prepare you for doctoral research and improves your chances of obtaining funding from the AHRC and other funding bodies.

About us

You’ll study in a lively, sociable and intellectually stimulating environment. We’re part of the School of Languages and Cultures. We have nine permanent academics, a DAAD Lektor, an Österreich-Kooperation Lektor, and numerous language assistants and research associates. Our teaching is informed by new developments in the field and by our strong interdisciplinary outlook.

Your degree is rooted in our long and distinguished history of research. Our expertise spans Germanic languages, literature and society from the Enlightenment to the present day. Our research is world-leading and internationally recognised.

Fortnightly research seminars bring together students, departmental staff and visiting academics from the UK and abroad.

First-class facilities

We’re based in modern premises at the heart of the University campus. Shared with the School of Languages and Cultures, English and History, the building is designed with student needs in mind, and features modern flexible learning, teaching and research spaces.

Our library has a wide range of materials, including major collections in modern literary, cultural and social studies, nineteenth-century German studies, contemporary German theatre and drama, Germanic linguistics, Dutch studies and Luxembourg studies.

Excellent training

Your course will train you in the techniques you need to prepare, write and present your work. You’ll also learn about research principles and ethics, interview techniques, formulating professional applications and the academic job market.


For information about funding opportunities for postgraduate study, please visit our website.


Choose either the Research Track or the Programme Track, depending on your future plans. Each can last one year (full-time study) or two years (part-time study).

Core modules

Approaches to Germanic Studies I; Approaches to Germanic Studies II;
Research Methods in Modern Languages; Research Colloquium; Dissertation.

Optional specialisation

Choose from: Modern German Political Culture; German Intellectual History; Nineteenth-Century German Literary Studies; Twentieth-Century German Literary Writing; Post-War German Politics; Germanic Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics; Dutch Linguistics; Dutch Literature Since 1945; Luxembourg Studies.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching takes place through small group seminars (on average two to three students) and one-on-one supervisions. Assessment depends on the module.

Research Methods in Modern Languages is assessed by two 1,500-word reviews of texts in your chosen area, as if for publication in a suitable journal (including initial draft, revisions, adapting to journal house style and copy-editing).

Approaches to Germanic Studies is assessed by a 3,000-word essay. Research Colloquium is assessed by a presentation and participants are required to actively participate in the organisation of the colloquium. Your final dissertation will be 18,000–20,000 words for 90 credits.

Visit the MA Germanic Studies (Research Track) page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Joanne Richardson

I did my undergraduate degree hereand after a few years working abroad it seemed the obvious choice for my MA. It's easy to tailor the corse to your individual needs and the department's research track MA is good preparation for a further research degree.


Entry Requirements

You’ll need a good 2:1 degree or equivalent in an appropriate subject. We’ll consider your application if you have other qualifications, as long as you can provide evidence of very strong motivation for research in Germanic Studies. You should include a short written account of your academic interests and motivation in your application, along with samples of previous written work. You should expect to attend an interview. English language requirements: overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

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