German Language & Culture in Europe

Programme Overview
This taught masters programme is run jointly the Department of German Studies, Mary Immaculate College and by the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication, University of Limerick. Uniquely among the MA programmes in German Studies currently on offer at Irish universities, this course takes account of recent changes in Ireland's economic circumstances. The design of the course reflects Ireland's increasing integration into, and inter-dependency with, a constantly changing European Union in which Germany will continue to represent a crucial political, economic and cultural force. By positioning German culture firmly within an EU and broader European context, the MA explores Ireland's relationship with Germany as a key to a better understanding of this country's relationship with Europe as well as the cultural dimension of the European integration process.

Key Features
The programme also features elements on Austrian culture, on Germany's interaction with Eastern European cultures as well as the outside perspective of the European Union present in German-language Swiss writing. Beside the European focus, the traditional orientation of post-graduate degrees in German Studies towards literature is expanded by the inclusion of visual and other media texts, in particular film, once again exploring the European dimension of contemporary German-language cinema.

Alongside comparative cultural knowledge the programme intends to provide graduates with high-level language competence related to the areas of potential future employment in companies in Ireland requiring near-native language competence in German, in Irish foreign trade organisations as well as in EU institutions.

The programme is offered on a full-time basis using a combination of faculty-student contact hours and self-directed learning and research. In Semester 1, students will be fully-based at UL and at MIC in Semester 2.

Entry requirements

•An undergraduate degree at 2.2 Honours level or above with a substantial component of German Studies. An oral and written assessment of applicants' language skills is part of the admission procedure.

•Candidates who do not meet these criteria may apply for admission. Recognised prior learning may be taken into account, subject to the approval of the Programme Coordinators.

English Language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.

Subjects taught

In Semester 1, students will be fully-based at UL and at MIC in Semester 2.

The compulsory core modules are normally taught by lecture, tutorial discussion, film screenings, assigned and recommended reading and viewing, and by research-based critical writing. Students will learn by listening to and engaging with lectures, reading primary and secondary sources (both assigned and recommended), watching films critically, engaging in discussion in tutorials, giving presentations and writing analytical/critical papers.

The core German Studies modules are delivered and assessed in the target language in order to foster active language competence. The final thesis (15,000 words) can be written in either German or English, following consultation with the relevant supervisor and joint programme directors.

Semester 1
German-language Culture in Europe 1: Transcultural Theory and Textual Practice (delivered at UL)
Advanced Language Skills 1 (UL)
Advanced Language Skills 2 (UL)
Analysing Media Texts (UL)
Research Methodologies in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies or Research Methodologies in Applied Language Studies
German-Irish Cultural Connections or The German Language Today

Semester 2
German-language Culture in Europe 2: German Literature in a Comparative European Context (delivered at MIC)
Advanced Language Skills 2: Analysing Films and Other Visual Texts (MIC)
Thesis Writing (UL)
Electives (Choose one):
German Language-in-Education Policy and Practice (UL)
Utopian Theory and Texts (UL)
European Public Administration: Actors, Institutions, and Policy Process (UL)
European Modernism (MIC)
Questions of European Identity from the 19th to the 21st Century (MIC)
Culture and the Market (UL)



1 year full-time

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
The programme prepares students for the evolving employment prospects in the EU, in particular at the political, economic and cultural interfaces between Ireland and the strongest and largest economy in the Union. It equips student with the skills necessary for obtaining employment in institutions and companies in Ireland requiring excellent language competence in German, in Irish foreign trade organisations, in EU institutions, or for employment in German-speaking countries. The programme is also attractive to existing and future teachers of German in secondary schools, where a progressive Europeanisation of the curriculum is set to be one of the features of educational reform. As cultural tourism is expected to grow, the course through its specific mix of modules prepares graduates for work in the tourism sector, especially in organisations and companies dealing with German tourists, one of the largest contingents of continental tourists in Ireland, e.g. by a specially designed module in Irish-German cultural relations.

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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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