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New Essay Prize for Sixth-Formers

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new prize as part of the Oxford German Olympiad: ‘A German Classic: Goethe’s Faust, part I — Essay Prize for Sixth-Formers’. The Prize is designed to be the focus of an annual celebration of a classic text of German literature, providing resources that will remain available via our website for the future. Click here for more details.


Oxford has one of the oldest, largest and most active departments of German in the country, with an excellent record in teaching and research, an intake of about 120 undergraduates a year, and a strong and flourishing graduate presence.

With 17 full-time members of staff and a wide range of expertise between them, the department is able to offer an unusually challenging and diverse course at both undergraduate and graduate level.

German is spoken as a first language by approximately 100 million people, and is widely used as a second language, especially in Eastern Europe. Germany is the UK’s most important trading partner and remains the powerhouse of the European Union; contacts with Germany are of ever-increasing importance for the governments, businesses and citizens of the new Europe.

The culture of the German-speaking countries is exceptionally rich and vibrant. 18% of the books published worldwide each year are in German. German-speaking writers, thinkers and artists have long been and continue to be at the forefront of intellectual life.

A knowledge of the German language and German culture is both personally enriching and a valuable, and highly marketable, asset in a wide range of careers. To find out more, click on one of the options to the left.

Undergraduate Studies

The German department is the largest in the country, admitting about 90 students a year from approximately 225 applicants. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise underlined the high standing of the sub-faculty of German by ranking it first among the 27 departments of German in the UK. Students are taught in small groups or pairs throughout their course. These factors combine to create a learning environment which brings out the best in the participants and develops their faculties to the full. Graduates of the German course at Oxford are highly employable and go on to a variety of challenging careers in later life.

Learning support is given in depth. Library needs are fully covered at University, Faculty and College level. The IT facilities in the University and the Colleges are excellent, and the Language Centre has a wide variety of authentic language material.

The course combines a thorough grounding in the four key language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing with an extensive choice of options ranging from medieval studies and linguistics to contemporary German literature and society.

German is studied at Oxford either on its own, or in combination with other subjects, whether another modern European language, or Classics, English, History, a Middle Eastern language or Philosophy. If you want to study it on its own, or with another modern language, you apply for the course in Modern Languages; if in combination with one of the other subjects listed, you apply for a joint course (e.g. in English and Modern Languages). You can find further information in the FAQs page and the University prospectus, which also tells you how to apply.

German multi-level entry course

The Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages welcomes applications for German at all levels. Find out more here.

Graduate Studies

Oxford has the largest body of graduate students in German in the country. It is one of the leading centres for research in German in the country and indeed the world. The Taylor Institution Library is the largest Modern Languages library in the country and the Bodleian Library’s holdings in all fields of intellectual, cultural and literary history make it one of the world’s top research libraries.

The University and the Colleges provide excellent IT support. In addition, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages has a computing room for the use of graduate students.

The department offers one- and two-year taught courses, as well as research degrees. A number of studentships and scholarships are available.


Medieval German texts

Das Innsbrucker Osterspiel — Word | pdf

Electronic text based on the manuscript and comparison with the editions by E. Hartl (1937) and Meier (1962).

Das Osterspiel von Muri - pdf

Electronic text based on the transcriptions by Friedrich Ranke (1937/1944) and consultation of the facsimiles.

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