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The German language is a leading world language, mother tongue of almost 100 million speakers. The German-speaking countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein – form the largest language area in Central Europe. It is an important language of trade, with Germany being the third largest economy in the world. Germany's influence has been growing steadily since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. German is a commonly used language in Eastern European countries and its influence has increased since the enlargement of the EU. There are about 17 million learners of German in the world – you could be one of them.

Knowledge of German can be vital to international work in the areas of science, engineering, business and tourism. German also holds the key to a deeper understanding of where our modern world has come from and where it might be going. Through its authors, philosophers, composers, painters and scientists, German-speaking Europe has not only been at the crossroads of history for the past 800 years, but promises to remain one of the most important world cultures in the future.

Why study German at UC?

The German programme at UC has a distinctive focus on embedding German culture and language in a context of European studies. German language courses are based on an interesting mix of distance and on-campus studies. The latest e-learning tools are used in German language courses.

UC has study exchange programmes with the University of Konstanz and the University of Freiburg.

UC hosts the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE). The Centre is New Zealand's only research centre devoted to the study of Europe and the EU. It fosters research on the EU that is regionally relevant. The Centre attracts visiting academics from all over the world and is an important national destination for those wishing to further their study in the area or utilise specialist study resources at UC.

The German programme offers courses for both beginners and those who have prior knowledge of the German language.


See all German courses

100-level courses

At 100-level there are three courses which do not presuppose any knowledge of the German language:

Some knowledge of the language is required for the first-year course GRMN152 Elementary German Language B, and this naturally applies to courses at 200 and 300-level as well.

Courses from European and European Union Studies can be credited towards a Bachelor of Arts in German.

Placement tests are available for any student wishing to enrol in German language courses and who is unsure of their entry level. Please contact the Department of Global, Cultural and Language Studies for instructions and login details.

200-level and beyond

After GRMN151 and GRMN152, language studies continue with GRMN251 Intermediate German Language A and GRMN252 Intermediate German Language B. These language courses constitute excellent preparation for any of the various scholarship opportunities at German universities and in particular for our exchange programmes with the universities of Konstanz and Freiburg.

Career opportunities

A knowledge of German and a familiarity with the cultures of Austria, Germany and Switzerland can enhance a wide range of career options. People who demonstrate an open and informed attitude to the world are rightly preferred for many business and governmental positions, and skills in German are likely to prove particularly attractive as New Zealand's trade and tourism relations with Europe continue to grow.

Diplomatic service, teaching, journalism and library and information services are further areas in which German has proved to be a highly useful course of study.

The exchange programmes with the universities of Konstanz and Freiburg provide an excellent opportunity to study at a German university and to plan ahead for a career in a German-speaking country.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in German.

More information

Department of Global, Cultural and Language Studies

Phone +64 3 369 3377

Logie building – see campus maps

Postal address
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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