The German language is a leading world language, mother tongue of almost 100 million speakers. The German-speaking countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein – form the largest language area in Central Europe. It is an important language of trade, with Germany being the third largest economy in the world.
Germany's influence has been growing steadily since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. German is a commonly used language in Eastern European countries, and its influence has increased since the enlargement of the EU. There are about 17 million learners of German in the world – you could be one of them.
Knowledge of German can be vital to international work in the areas of science, engineering, business, and tourism. German also holds the key to a deeper understanding of where our modern world has come from and where it might be going. Through its authors, philosophers, composers, painters, and scientists, German-speaking Europe has not only been at the crossroads of history for the past 800 years, but promises to remain one of the most important world cultures in the future.
- The German programme has a distinctive focus of embedding German culture and language in a context of European studies. German language courses are based on an interesting mix of distance and on-campus studies. The latest e-learning tools are used in German language courses.
- UC has study exchange programmes with the University of Konstanz and the University of Freiburg.
- UC hosts the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE). The Centre is Aotearoa New Zealand's only research centre devoted to the study of Europe and the EU. It fosters research on the EU that is regionally relevant. The Centre attracts visiting academics from all over the world and is an important national destination for those wishing to further their study in the area or utilise specialist study resources at UC.
The German programme offers courses for both beginners and those who have prior knowledge of the German language.
UC offers a major and a minor in German as part of the Bachelor of Arts.
To complete a major in German within the Bachelor of Arts, you will need to take the following courses throughout the degree:
Courses from European and European Union Studies can also be credited towards the major, with approval from the Programme Coordinator.
It is highly recommended that students complete some German language courses during their major study. The 100-level language courses are for absolute beginners or those with very little previous experience in German language. Students with a high level of German language proficiency may be given direct entry to 200-level language courses.
For the German minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, you will need to take these courses throughout your chosen degree:
A knowledge of German and a familiarity with the cultures of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland can enhance a wide range of career options. People who demonstrate an open and informed attitude to the world are rightly preferred for many business and governmental positions, and skills in German are likely to prove particularly attractive as Aotearoa's trade and tourism relations with Europe continue to grow.
Diplomatic service, teaching, journalism, and library and information services are further areas in which German has proved to be a highly useful course of study.
The exchange programmes with the universities of Konstanz and Freiburg provide an excellent opportunity to study at a German university and to plan ahead for a career in a German-speaking country.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in German.
Level 5, Logie building – see campus maps
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Browse related subjects to German
Choose an area that you are interested in and learn how UC's extensive range of study options can let you study what you want to.
Studying Europe from afar provides a number of advantages – of perspective, comparative analysis, and of isolation from short-term trends. Europe provides an ...