MA Germanic Studies (Research Track)

Department of Germanic Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

We'll teach you how to prepare, write and present excellent work. And we can show you how to apply your skills in an academic or professional career.

Our expertise spans Germanic languages, literature, society and thought from the Enlightenment to the present day.

Choose either this course (Research Track) or the Programme Track, depending on your future plans.

This course will prepare you for a PhD, while the Programme Track has a shorter dissertation and more taught modules.

About the course

You'll develop a critical understanding of the most important current issues and controversies within Germanic studies.

You choose what you want to specialise in, for instance German politics, 19th and 20th-century German and Dutch literature, German thoughts, German and Dutch linguistics or Luxembourg studies.

This focus helps you develop in-depth knowledge and the capacity for independent investigation and critical analysis.

You'll also learn about research principles and ethics, interview techniques, formulating professional applications and the academic job market.

This course will prepare you for doctoral research and improves your chances of obtaining funding from the AHRC and other funding bodies.

If you're sure you don’t want to do a PhD, choose the Programme Track.

Core modules

  • Approaches to Germanic Studies I
  • Approaches to Germanic Studies II
  • Research Methods in Modern Languages
  • Research Colloquium
  • Dissertation

Optional specialisation

Choose from:

  • Modern German Political Culture
  • German Intellectual History
  • Nineteenth-Century German Literary Studies
  • Twentieth-Century German Literary Writing
  • Post-War German Politics
  • Germanic Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics
  • Dutch Linguistics
  • Dutch Literature since 1945
  • Luxembourg Studies


  • Small group seminars (on average two to three students)
  • One-on-one supervisions


Assessment depends on the module.

  • Research Methods in Modern Languages is assessed by two 1,500-word reviews of texts in your chosen area, as if for publication in a suitable journal (including initial draft, revisions, adapting to journal house style and copy-editing).
  • Approaches to Germanic Studies is assessed by a 3,000-word essay.
  • Research Colloquium is assessed by a presentation and participants are required to actively participate in the organisation of the colloquium.
  • Final dissertation of 16,000-18,000 words

Apply now

Joanne Richardson, postgraduate student in the department of Germanic Studies

Joanne Richardson, postgraduate student in the department of Germanic Studies

Key facts

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

You'll need a good 2:1 degree or equivalent in an appropriate subject. We'll consider your application if you have other qualifications, as long as you can provide evidence of very strong motivation for research in Germanic Studies.

You should include a short written account of your academic interests and motivation in your application, along with samples of previous written work. You should expect to attend an interview

English Language Requirements

Overall IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Studentships: for information about funding opportunities for postgraduate study, please contact us.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses


A languages degree from Sheffield is a confident step towards a life with broader horizons. Our graduates live and work all over the world in academia, the arts and culture.

First-class facilities

We're based in modern premises at the heart of the University campus. Shared with the Schools of Modern Languages, English and History, the building is designed with student needs in mind, and features modern flexible learning, teaching and research spaces.

Our library has a wide range of materials, including major collections in modern literary, cultural and social studies, nineteenth-century German studies, contemporary German theatre and drama, Germanic linguistics, Dutch studies and Luxembourg studies.

Other Germanic Studies MA pathway

Programme Track

About us

You'll study in a lively, sociable and intellectually stimulating environment. We are a relatively large department, with nine permanent academics, a DAAD Lektor, an Österreich-Kooperation Lektor, and numerous language assistants and research associates. Our teaching is informed by new developments in the field and by our strong interdisciplinary outlook.

Your degree is rooted in our long and distinguished history of research. Our expertise spans Germanic languages, literature and society from the Enlightenment to the present day. Our research is world-leading and internationally recognised.

Fortnightly research seminars bring together students, departmental staff and visiting academics from the UK and abroad.

Excellent training

Your course will train you in the techniques you need to prepare, write and present your work. You'll also learn about research principles and ethics, interview techniques, formulating professional applications and the academic job market.

Dr Kristine HornerDr Kristine Horner

Research interests include:
Multilingualism, Sociolinguistics and Luxembourg Studies.

Published extensively on language politics, language ideologies and multilingualism. Her latest major publications are Introducing Multilingualism: A Social Approach (with J-J. Weber; Routledge, 2012) and Multilingualism and Mobility in Europe: Policies and Practices (with I. de Saint-Georges and J-J. Weber; Peter Lang, 2014).

Current projects:
Citizenship, Identity and Language in Luxembourg; Multilingualism and the Voices of Young People in Luxembourg; Worldwide Universities Network on Multilingualism and Mobility in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

Dr Kristine Horner
T: +44 (0)114 222 4909