Research course

German Studies (on-campus or by distance learning)

University of Birmingham · Department of Modern Languages
PhDMA by research

Entry requirements

If you have gained a good Honours degree in, or including, German, and are interested in continuing your studies at postgraduate level, we welcome your application.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

We offer promising German Studies candidates the opportunity to carry out research in one of the leading centres in the country for language, literature, history and culture. Germanists working here are part of a stimulating research culture within the Department of Modern Languages, and also benefit from special links to the DAAD-supported Institute for German Studies based in the College of Social Sciences. Between us we are able to offer an exceptionally wide range of expertise, and hence supervision opportunities, ranging from the medieval period to the present day.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning.

We have particular strengths and traditions in studying the interface and interactions between literature (and other forms of cultural expression) and the socio-political contexts in which they were produced. We also encourage and enable interdisciplinary research, and have a successful history of joint supervisions with other departments and schools within the College of Arts and Law (and beyond).

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Department specialisms

German and European literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the history of translation; literary translation; gender and translation. Critical linguistics; Sprachkritik; language corpora; Kafka. German and Germanic philology. German culture and history since 1750, particularly the relationship between literature and politics; German cinema. Medieval and sixteenth-century literature and culture. Twentieth-century German literature; language teaching methodology. German intellectual and cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially Nietzsche, the First World War, and National Socialism. Twentieth- and twenty-first-century women’s writing; the politics of remembrance; feminist theory; gendered memories of Nazism; autobiography and identity; women's writing and fascism. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women's literature.

Information for international students

International students can find details of scholarships at

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,121 FT - £2,061 PT
International students
£13,680 FT - £6,840 PT (DL only)

Please visit:

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
36-72 months
full time
36 months
part time
72 months

MA by research

distance learning
12-24 months
full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiry Service
0121 414 5005