From the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 back to the teachings of Luther, the music of Bach and Beethoven, the writing of Goethe and Thomas Mann, and the theories of Marx and Nietzsche, Germany and the German-speaking tradition have occupied a central place in Europe and the world. The Department of German at UCL is one of the premier departments, recognised in the UK and overseas, for the study of German culture, history and language.
In the RAE 2008, UCL German was tied for first place in percentage of research judged to be 'world leading' and received the second highest rating overall.
In 2004, the year UCL was styled The
Sunday Times University of the Year, the German Department
was declared the best in the UK in The Times Guide to Higher
In the RAE 2001, UCL's German Department received the top ranking of 5*.
The Department of German at UCL is the oldest in the United Kingdom. It was established as part of the original University of London by an 'association of liberals' who sought to increase the breadth of learning in the UK and to make a university education accessible to students from a wider social background.
Today, the department continues this tradition of innovation and openness. In recent decades, it has become an interdisciplinary centre of excellence, offering in-depth study of German thought, literature, history, politics, theory and film. The department's research standing is extremely high, and it has one of the largest groups of graduate students in the country.
The department takes full advantage of all the German occasions and facilities that London offers - plays, films, concerts, operas, exhibitions, conferences, and so on. In previous years, students and staff have mounted a variety of productions in UCL's Bloomsbury Theatre and in the experimental Theatre Workshop, including three short plays by Hans Sachs, Grass's Hochwasser, Brecht's Lux in Tenebris and Der kaukasische Kreidekreis, Dürrenmatt's Der Besuch der alten Dame, and both parts of Goethe's Faust. In addition, there are a number of university facilities, such as the University of London Union's fitness centre, sauna and swimming pool, within easy walking distance.