This new taught masters programme is run jointly by the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication, University of Limerick, and the Department of German Studies, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.
Uniquely among the MA programmes in German Studies currently on offer at Irish universities, this MA programme takes account of recent changes in Irelands economic circumstances. The design of the course reflects Irelands increasing integration into ,and interdependency 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 programme explores Irelands relationship with Germany as a key to a better understanding of this countrys relationship with Europe as well as the cultural dimension of the European integration process. The programme also features elements on Austrian culture, on Germanys 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 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, eg. by a specially designed module in Irish-German cultural relations.
Programme of study
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, in semester 2 at MIC.
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 Course Directors.