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What is the German program about?

German is the language of many of the world's best-known innovators, philosophers, writers and musicians. With 81 million people, Germany has the largest population in the European Union and German remains the language with the most native speakers in Europe.

However, you don't have to leave Australia to hear German spoken. With many towns founded by German immigrants, German is a major community language in Australia, and each year Australia welcomes tens of thousands of tourists from German-speaking countries.

While Germany is the EU's largest economy – and fourth place in the world behind the US, China and Japan – nearly a third of Germany is powered by renewable energy. Its legacy of innovation has manifested in Australia through well-known companies like Siemens, Allianz, Bayer, and Volkswagen.

German language skills are an asset in many careers across tourism, international relations, business, interpreting and translation, teaching and the sciences. Whether you have some understanding of the language or are just starting out, we have a range of exciting units for you.

"For me, the appeal of German is encapsulated in the words of the poet Bas Böttcher – Freiheit im Quadrat – a language that combines such freedom and flexibility with form and structure."

— Dr Billy Badger, German Coordinator

Europe's most spoken language

Globally, German is the 11th most-spoken language, with about 90 million native speakers. In Europe, however, it's the number one most common mother tongue, beating out Italian, French, Spanish, and even English. About 16% of the European population speaks German as a first language.

Why study German with us?

For an experience to write home about, take part in our student exchange program that gives you access to a range of highly regarded partner institutions in German-speaking countries and the chance to travel. Generous scholarships are also available.

Develop your ability in all four essential German language skill sets – reading, writing, speaking and listening – whether you are new to the language or have prior knowledge or experience.

Taught in English, our German Studies units allow you to explore German culture, film, literature, and business.

Broaden your knowledge of global cultures and languages by combining your studies in German with programs in French, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Asian Studies also available through the School of Humanities.

Undertake a major (eight units) in German on-campus in Hobart or Launceston.

What careers relate to German?

With demonstrable language skills in German, you can enhance any career and open doors for employment overseas. Graduates from our German program have successfully applied for competitive scholarships in Europe, and pursued postgraduate study at universities in the region.

Become an effective global citizen with a better understanding of the fundamental changes taking place in this dynamic region of the world. Demonstrate you have developed skills in intercultural understanding, communication and team work, independent research and leadership – all skills sought after by employers anywhere.

  • Advocacy and counselling
  • Arts and heritage
  • Communications and public relations
  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Finance
  • Foreign relations and international aid
  • Healthcare and healthcare ethics
  • Historian
  • Interpreter or translator
  • Journalism and publishing
  • Law
  • Manager in private and public enterprises
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Politics and public policy-making
  • Psychology
  • Public health and welfare
  • Researcher
  • Trade and foreign exchange
  • Tourism and travel operator
  • Writer

How can I learn German?

Many people who undertake a major in German do so to master the language itself, or as a valuable adjunct to other study in their undergraduate degree. German is also a popular choice as the Arts major in combined degrees with Business, Science, Fine Arts and Education.

The major involve core and elective units in German which can be identified with HEG in the unit code. The program provides you with a structured pathway through German language learning (written and spoken), as well as units on modern German society, literature, politics and popular culture.

Interested in studying with us? Explore our course and research opportunities below.

Each course and unit is linked to its own page with more detailed information and entry requirements on the Courses & Units website.

Your learning experience in German goes beyond the lecture and tutorials.

You will be taught by experts, and gain perspective from guest lecturers and forums; gain a competitive advantage with real-world experience prior to graduation; study abroad for a fortnight, a month, a semester or a year, as part of your degree; have options to complete your studies your way, whether on-campus, online, part-time or full-time;  pursue your passion or specialisation with a range of scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance programs, or meet your career goals with our pathway options.

The College of Arts, Law and Education, including the School of Humanities, offers a growing collection of units that are available to be completed either wholly or partially online to enable flexible study.

* The online availability for each unit is indicated on each individual unit page under ‘Availability’, then ‘Attendance options’ by the ‘Off-Campus’ icon .

Read more about Online Study options

We provide access to a variety of scholarships and bursaries at a University, College and Discipline level. The main application period begins in August, and closes on the 31st October the year prior to study commencing.

Browse Scholarships

Don't meet the traditional entry requirements? The School of Humanities offers an alternative entry pathway into our undergraduate programs. The Arts pathway is a great introduction into university study, and can assist you in gaining the qualifications and experience you need for your chosen career. This foundation year of study provides students with the skills and knowledge related to studying the arts and social sciences, with additional support and guidance to help you succeed.

If you would like to study a Bachelor of Arts, completing this year of foundation study in Diploma of University Studies (Arts Specialisation) (21A) will assist you in achieving your goals.

Pathway Programs at the University

An overseas study program gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures, study languages, undertake work placement or internships, make new friends and explore the world while receiving credit toward your degree and creating professional and life experiences. It provides a 'total immersion' experience in a variety of study areas and locations. You can choose a program length that suits you, from a 2-week fieldtrip, a short-term summer program to a full semester (or two).

Find out more about Overseas Study opportunities

Take your passion for ideas further than you ever imagined.

We offer a collegial, supportive environment, with experienced supervision, regular seminar series, research skills training, and many opportunities to work with peers and academics on your areas of interest. We supervise across a range of methodologies and conceptual/theoretical approaches, and encourage scholarship that draws on ideas from across diverse fields.

Choose a research topic that reflects your interests and identify a supervisor with the expertise to guide you in your research. Search for a discipline staff member via our staff profiles, or by an area or expertise.

The School of Humanities welcomes qualified applicants to undertake a research degree with us in any of our areas of research strengths and interests.

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, refer to College of Arts, Law and Education Research Degrees.

Our research in European Cultures & Languages

Our program has particular research strengths in both the innovative cutting-edge work of France and Germany’s young poets and in the classical writers who have made France and Germany famous for literature, drama and poetry.

Many of our research students work within these disciplines but we also actively advocate for projects that move beyond strict disciplinary boundaries, while being theoretically grounded. Our research strengths include the following areas:

  • Translation and interpretation studies
  • French and German language
  • Comparative language studies
  • French and Francophone literature
  • Austrian, German, and Swiss literature
  • Comparative literature studies
  • Poetry and communication
  • Contemporary German poetry
  • Politics and poetry

We welcome proposals from qualified applicants to undertake research degrees at both the Masters and PhD levels, and are pleased to discuss proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries.

Dr Billy Badger

Featured Researcher | Dr Billy Badger

Billy is a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of German in Global Cultures & Languages. His research interests centre on contemporary German spoken-word and performance poetry, and include an understanding of metaphors of poetry and the communicative potential of poetry.

View Billy's full researcher profile Browse our academic staff profiles