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German Language and Literature

© Dr. Haack Leipzig; Heidelberg University Library; photo: Ingeborg L. Klinger


Degree Bachelor of Arts
Application not required
Course commences winter semester / summer semester
Standard course duration 6 semesters
Focus options 50% (with Teaching Degree option); 25%
Format options full-time / part-time
Language requirements BA 50%: basic knowledge of Latin and two other foreign languages
  BA 25%: two foreign languages (apart from German)
Language of instruction Deutsch

Faculty of Modern Languages


Note for prospective students interested in coming to Heidelberg University to take the Teaching Degree course qualifying its graduates to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany:

In accordance with the statutory provisions laid down by the State of Baden-Württemberg, students wishing to embark as of winter semester 2015/2016 on a Teaching Degree qualifying them to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany can only do so by enrolling in two-tier courses with a Bachelor/Master structure (polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor programme with a Teaching Degree option; Master of Education course scheduled to start in winter semester 2018/2019).

As of winter semester 2015/2016, the subject described on this page can be studied in a polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor course with a Teaching Degree option. It has to be combined with another 50% subject of relevance for secondary-school education.

For more information, go to


Note for students already enrolled in a Teaching Degree course in the framework of the Examination Regulations for Teachers at Higher Secondary Schools (GymPO I):

In the winter semester 2015/2016 and later, students enrolled by 31 July 2015 in a Teaching Degree course regulated by the provisions of GymPO I (2009) are entitled to switch to a different main subject under the conditions set out in said GymPO provided that the change is in accordance with the statutory provisions.

In this case, the following transitional regulations apply:


For more information, go to

Course outline

The subjects of the Bachelor's degree programme in German philology are the German language and literature from their beginnings to the present day in the context of their historical development, society and culture as well as their theoretical principles. It provides its graduates with an initial degree qualifying them for professional activity in the field in question and the knowledge and skills required to engage independently with issues and problems associated with linguistics, literary studies and the history of culture. The B.A. examination tests whether students have a sound grasp of the foundational subject matter discussed in the course, a structured overview of the various aspects of the fields dealt with in class and the methodological and practical skills enabling them to embark on professional activity.

The standard course duration is six semesters, including examinations. The course is modular in structure and can be studied at the Department of German Studies as a first or second main subject (50%, 74 CP in both cases) or as a subsidiary subject (25%, 35 CP). Please consult the Examination Regulations (see below) for a description of the modules required and the classes to be attended. For the main subject of the programme, students are required to prove they have basic knowledge of Latin (phonology, morphology, syntax, lexic, cultural and linguistic heritage) and knowledge of two other foreign languages to a level which is adequate for reading literary and academic texts. For the subsidiary subject, knowledge of two foreign languages is required. Proof of basic knowledge of Latin is not required for the subsidiary subject. If this knowledge is not ascertainable from their school-leaving certificates, they will be required to provide evidence of having remedied this deficit by the end of their fourth semester.

The academic programme is composed of a basic stage (1st and 2nd semesters), an advanced stage (3rd and 4th semesters), and a specialised stage (5th and 6th semesters).    An orientation examination must be taken no later than at the end of the second semester. This examination is integrated into the course of study and, for the main subject, consists of the successful completion of two introductory courses: the Introduction to Modern German Literary Studies and the Introduction to Medieval Studies (Middle High German). For the subsidiary subject, the orientation examination consists of the successful completion of the Introduction to Medieval Studies (Middle High German) course. All fields are studied to the same extent during the basic stage. In the advanced and specialised stages, study of the three main sectors of the course (German linguistics, German philology, post-Renaissance German literature) is continued within the framework of the basic module. At this stage, students taking the main course (first or second main subject) engage in more detailed study of one of the three sectors (focus).

Students with German Language and Literature as a subsidiary subject (25%) specialise in one of the three sectors (German linguistics, German philology, post-Renaissance German literature).

During the basic and consolidation phases, cross-disciplinary skills (equating to 20 credits) must be obtained in the main subject. For the Bachelor’s programme with a Teaching Degree option, cross-disciplinary skills (equating to 20 credits) must be obtained in modules relating to education studies (proof of this is an admission requirement for the Master of Education). In their third year of study, undergraduates will concentrate on the in-depth stage of the programme, including the B.A. thesis and the final oral examination.

Click here for more information on the subject of the course.

Formal requirements


There are no restrictions on admission. Click here for information on how to enrol.

International applicants

There are special regulations for international applicants. For more information, apply to the International Relations Office of Heidelberg University (Seminarstraße 2).

Study and examination regulations

Examination regulations B.A. (29 July 2015)
Examination regulations B.A. (12 November 2010)
Examination regulations B.A. (9 July 2009)
Examination regulations B.A. (8 February 2007)

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.

M.A. course

Heidelberg University offers a consecutive M.A. degree course in German Studies.

Academic advisor

Marcel Krings (responsible for the letters A-Kis)
Department of German Studies
Hauptstraße 207-209, Office 026
phone: +49 (0)6221 54 3228

Thordis Hennings (responsible for the letters Kit-Z)
Department of German Studies
Hauptstr. 207-209, Office 134
phone: +49 (0)6221-54 3219


Department of German Studies
Hauptstraße 207–209
D-69117 Heidelberg

Office 035
phone: +49 (0)6221 543201
fax: +49 (0)6221 543255

Student representation

Editor:: Email
Latest Revision: 2018-07-18
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