Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2017

German and History BA

This four-year programme combines study of the language and culture of the German-speaking countries with a wide range of history modules offered by UCL’s School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES).

Key information

UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2017
Applications per place
5 (2015 entry)*
Total intake
216 (2017 entry)*
* Figures relate to European Languages, Culture and Society subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

History required, foreign language preferred.
English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects including History and preferably a foreign language, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. History required and a foreign language preferred.

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher), including History and preferably a foreign language at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB, including German and History.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • Studying German at UCL provides access to a broad range of subject areas, an innovative approach to learning and a rich tradition of research.
  • Academic staff are prominent in their fields and include the leading British historian of the German Democratic Republic and acknowledged experts on medieval comedy, sociolinguistics, women's writing and Austrian literature.
  • Students play an active role in the department, organising an annual German play, and hosting high-profile events, recent examples being debates on EU expansion and Jewish identity in Germany.
  • Resources within ten minutes' walk include the British Library, the Institute for Germanic and Romance Studies, the German Historical Institute and the Institute of Historical Research.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

  • 74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The first two years are essentially 'contextual', providing you with a broad overview and a methodological framework for your literary, linguistic and historical studies. Courses can be divided into the following broad areas:

  • Language - discussion and essay, comprehension, translation, grammar
  • Literature and literary theory - authors, themes, textual criticism
  • Cultural Studies - interdisciplinary analysis, diverse forms of representation
    • Film - history, theory and analysis of film
    • History/politics - East and West German and Austrian politics, and history and social and political theory
    • Linguistics - linguistic theory, history of the language, sociolinguistics, political discourse

    You may also take modules from the School of European Languages, Culture & Society (SELCS), which allow students to study literature, film, art and culture from outside their subject area(s), focusing on broad cultural movements, issues and approaches from an interdisciplinary perspective and drawing on the full range of specialisms within the school.

    You will spend your third year abroad in a German-speaking country, at a university, as an English language assistant within a school, or on an approved work placement. In your final year you choose from a range of advanced options, allowing you to specialise in your own areas of interest. You will take half your modules in each discipline.


    An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

    Compulsory modules

    Introduction to Modern German Literature or Introduction to German Language and Literature up to 1740
    German for Beginners (for students who have not taken German at A level or equivalent) or Modern German Language I (for post-A level students)
    History of Eastern Europe Since 1856
    Modern Historiography
    Seminars in History

    Optional modules

    You will select from:

    An Introduction to German Film since 1945
    An Introduction to German History
    An Introduction to German Linguistics
    ELCS Intermediate Level modules

    In addition you will select 2.0 credits from a wide range of history modules taught in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

    Compulsory modules

    Modern German Language II

    One of:
    The Challenge of Modernity: Literature and Culture 1870-present
    Debating Enlightenment: Literature and Culture 1740-1870
    Love - Violence - Laughter: Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture

    During the spring term students will participate in the Study Abroad Preparation Programme, the successful completion of which is a prerequisite for progression to the year abroad.

    Optional modules

    You will select 1.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules. Options may include:

    Aspects of Twentieth Century German History
    The German Language: Its History and Development
    An Introduction to German Film since 1945
    An Introduction to German Linguistics
    Politics, Culture and Society in Germany since 1945
    ELCS Intermediate modules

    In addition you will select 2.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules taught in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, which may include:
    Between Politics and Culture: German Ideas 1890-1970
    Fascism and Authoritarianism in Eastern Europe 1918-1945
    History of Modern Germany

    Year abroad in a German-speaking country

    Students choose a first and second choice university (or two destinations for split-language students). Allocations are made according to preference, number of spaces available at each university and demand for these spaces, with the final decider being the students? average Year 1 mark achieved on SELCS modules. Students allocated to destinations within the EU are eligible for the Erasmus+ Mobility Grant. While students are advised by their host universities on how to apply for accommodation, UCL also puts students in contact with returning students and often find it helpful to take over their accommodation or get tips on living arrangements. Students must study in the target language.

    Further details

    Institutions currently open to the programme include:

    • Universität zu Köln
    • Universität Wien
    • Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
    • Freie Universität Berlin
    • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    • Universität Hamburg
    • Universität Trier
    • Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg in Breisgau
    Note: Students can take work placements provided it is arranged and approved by the end of April in the preceding academic year. Students may also apply for British Council language assistantships.

    Visit UCL Study Abroad for further details.

    Compulsory modules

    Discussion and Essay in German

    Optional modules

    You will select 1.5 credits from a wide range of optional modules within the German Department, which may include:

    Austrian Literature 1890-1938: From Empire to Republic
    Gender in Modernity
    German Political and Social Thought
    Language, Power and Ideology
    Modern German Art
    Reading Modern Novels

    You will also select 2.0 credits from a wide range of optional modules taught in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, which may include:
    East and West through Travel Writing: The Limits and Divisions of Europe
    The Russian Revolution
    Urban Culture and Modernity: Vienna-Prague-Budapest, 1857-1938

    Your learning

    The programme is delivered primarily by seminars, often including individual and group presentations and small-group exercises. You will also attend oral and translation classes in groups of 10-15 students. Lectures are less frequent, and are used to convey information which can then be discussed in the small-group teaching.


    The programme is examined in a variety of ways: timed examinations, assessed coursework, oral examinations, an assessed year abroad, assessed oral presentations, and five-day take-home papers.

    Further Information

    Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: German and History BA.


Thanks to a combination of intellectual training, articulacy and vocational skills, our graduates find employment in many areas of business and commerce, as well as in the public sector (especially, but not exclusively, in education and culture).

While a significant number of our graduates choose to remain in the UK, others spend at least part of their working lives based elsewhere, often in German-speaking countries. Recent graduates of German-related programmes have been very successful in gaining employment with companies such as Deutsche Bank, Google, The Wall Street Journal and with organisations such as the British Council.

A high percentage of our graduates proceed to further study, either acquiring additional qualifications in law, journalism or business administration, or embarking on Master's or doctoral degrees, in German studies, in European history, and in related areas such as translating or interpreting or international relations.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2012-2014) of this programme include:

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, We
  • Business Analyst, Linds and Bing
  • Business Development and Account Manager, Corporate Executive Board Company
  • Full-time student, College of Law
  • Heritage and Publicity Intern, City of London Corporation

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme only.

UK/EU students
£TBC (2017/18 - see below)
Overseas students
£17,710 (2017/18)

UK/EU undergraduate fees are currently (August 2016) capped at £9,000 and UCL charges fees at the level of that cap. This cap on UK/EU undergraduate fees is currently under review by the UK Government and may be subject to increase for the year commencing 2017 and for each year of study thereafter. Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.

Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

In your application we will be looking for evidence of your aptitude for language learning. We will hope to discover how you became interested in history and in German language, literature, culture or society, what you are doing to further those interests, and why you wish to study these subjects at degree level.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2017


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation make you well-suited to our degree and you receive an offer, then we shall invite you to a post-offer Open Day, where you can experience the sort of teaching which we offer and life in SELCS.

Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and attainments as well as cultural awareness and intellectual potential. We may interview candidates by telephone in order to establish a level of language ability.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students

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