University of Technology Sydney

MAJ09436 Germany

Germany is the largest country in the European Union. Historically, it has linked Slavic Eastern Europe with Western Europe. This function of Germany as the bridge between West and East still plays a very important role in European political and economic developments. Germany is well known as a major economic power in the world and also has a rich and varied culture and artistic heritage: from some of the world's most influential modern philosophers, such as Nietzsche and Adorno; to the cream of classical composers like Bach and Beethoven. German is the native language of about 100 million people, the official language of Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein and one of the official languages of Switzerland. It is also the most common lingua franca in Eastern Europe.

There are no restrictions on entry to the Germany major of the International Studies program. Students who already have a sound working knowledge of German on entry to UTS have more options for the development of their study program when they undertake in-country study in Germany, however, it is also possible to enter the Germany major with no previous knowledge of the German language.

Through arrangements made by UTS: International Studies, students spend two consecutive semesters studying at one of the following universities:

  • Georg-Augustus Universität Göttingen, Göttingen
  • Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin
  • Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe
  • Universität Köln, Cologne
  • Universität Konstanz, Konstanz
  • Universität Potsdam, Potsdam
  • Universität Regensburg, Regensburg
  • Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken
  • Universität Tübingen, Tübingen.

The location and content of each student's period of in-country study in Germany is determined by the level of their language competence in German. Generally speaking, students who have a sound working knowledge of German before their entrance to UTS (usually defined as HSC 3-unit or a good pass in 2-unit German) can study at any of the abovementioned universities. Such students study an appropriate two-semester program of host university subjects broadly relating to German language, society and culture. All other students spend a first semester engaged in the study of language and culture at the universities offering special language programs, going on to a second semester of subjects chosen more broadly from the university's curriculum. Students are assessed on each semester separately and assessment is based on the subjects undertaken at the host institutions, as well as project work administered by UTS: International Studies.

The costs of living in Germany are generally slightly higher than in Australia. On the whole, accommodation is cheaper than in Sydney but eating in restaurants is considerably more expensive. It is, however, possible to spend a year there on an amount roughly comparable to living away from home in Sydney.


Göttingen, a city of around 130,000 inhabitants, lies in the geographical heart of Germany. The city is over one thousand years old, and was an important Hanseatic commercial centre in the Middle Ages. It suffered from the effects of the Thirty Years' War in the 17th century, but in 1737 George II, King of England and Elector of Hanover, founded a university there, and today Göttingen is one of Germany's best renowned university towns. The brothers Grimm, world-known for their collection of fairy tales, worked in the impressive Göttingen library. More than 40 Nobel Prize winners lived and worked in Göttingen in the 20th century, and the city's lively, cosmopolitan feel is, in large part, the product of the prominent role played by science and education in the past and present, and to the large proportion of students.

Approximately 24,000 students are currently enrolled at the Georg-Augustus University Göttingen. This includes almost 3000 international students. There are 13 faculties and around 170 departments, with over 2000 academic staff. The university is particularly eminent in the natural sciences, but also has a strong tradition in the humanities and social sciences. The faculties encompass Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Forestry and Forest Ecology, Geosciences and Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Law, Social Sciences, Economics and Business Administration, Theology and Arts. The Medical Faculty is one of the largest in Germany.


Berlin is Germany's historical and present-day capital city and is the country's largest and ethnically and culturally most diverse city. It is a major centre of culture, politics, media and science and is a very popular tourist destination within Europe. The city of Berlin is home to world-renowned museums, universities and research institutes as well as numerous sporting and cultural events. Famous for its festivals, contemporary architecture, nightlife and avant-garde arts Berlin is an exciting, cosmopolitan and increasingly global city to live and study in.

The Technische Universität Berlin is located in the central west of the city in the Charlottenburg district on Strasse des 17 Juni.

Internationally renowned, TU Berlin has a history which spans back to 1770 and has the distinction of being Germany's first technical university. TU Berlin is home to almost 30,000 students and possesses the highest percentage of international students of any German university. Research and teaching at the TU Berlin covers a range of academic disciplines, including engineering and natural sciences, economics, the humanities and social sciences. Semester dates are early April to mid July (Summer semester) and early October to mid February (Winter semester).


Cologne is over 2000 years old, located at the river Rhine and home to the world-famous Cologne Cathedral. This colourful and cosmopolitan metropolis has just over one million inhabitants and is the fourth largest city in Germany. The surrounding Rhineland is one of Europe's most developed economic regions. Cologne is a lively venue for the most diverse trends in music, culture, partying, sports and media. It's a booming city and thanks to its central position, large train station and airport (Cologne-Bonn), you can quickly reach other cities in Germany and abroad.

The atmosphere in town comes to a boil at the so-called 'fifth season of the year' – the Kölner Karneval. Cologne is also an important venue of the fine arts. A high number of museums and more than 100 galleries exhibit art by prominent artists and up-and-coming artists.

The University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln) was founded in 1388 and is one of the oldest universities in Germany. With about 50,000 students, it is also one of the largest German universities. The University of Cologne is a leading German research university and one of the eleven German Excellence Universities. This University offers over 260 degree programs (BA and MA) and has particular strengths in five key research areas: Aging-associated Diseases, Behavioral Economic Engineering and Social Cognition, Quantum Matter and Materials, Socio-Economic, Cultural and Political Transformations in the Global South and in Plant Sciences. The University is set on an urban campus right in the heart of the vibrant city of Cologne. Open, friendly and with an international outlook, Cologne is a great place to study, work and live.


Karlsruhe was established in 1715. Its urban planning, unique in the early 18th century with its streets and avenues radiating like sunbeams in all directions from the palace, is still visible and facilitates orientation. The city is located in the Rhine Basin. It borders on the Black Forest and is in easy reach of France. It is mainly a city of trade and administration. Several significant research and development institutions have contributed to giving Karlsruhe a leading position in international high-tech development. This region, between the Black Forest and the River Rhine, has the highest per capita number of researchers in Germany. Karlsruhe is also well known for being the home of the two highest federal courts of Germany: the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeals. However, this is not to say that cultural events are a rarity. The 'Badisches Staatstheater', the concert hall, several museums, art galleries, the 'Barockschloß', libraries and the internationally significant 'Zentrum für Kunst und Medien' (a centre for art and media) offer a great variety of events for those who love art, music and theatre. Tennis courts, soccer fields, public swimming pools, ice skating rinks, golf courses, riding stables, biking and hiking trails, and airports for recreational pilots are also available for sports fanatics.

The École Polytéchnique in Paris was the forerunner of and model for this university, which was founded as a polytechnic on 7 October 1825. Taking its first students in 1832, the polytechnic was expanded and reorganised, in 1967 renamed University Karlsruhe, but retaining its 'Technical School' title as well. Today the University Karlsruhe is a large and modern institution for teaching and research. Engineering and natural sciences, business administration and engineering courses are definitely the strongest university programs here. About 17,000 students currently study at Karlsruhe, 15 per cent from foreign countries. Research innovations are in information and communication technologies, energy techniques, automation and assembly techniques, and environmental research. Faculties include Business Administration, Humanities, Bio- and Geo-Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Architecture, Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology. There are plenty of extracurricular activities on campus: the students' cultural centre, the Collegium Musicum, the university choir, the symphony orchestra, the university big band, the academic flyers, the academic sailing club, and the solar vehicle.


Konstanz is a small city in the south-west of Germany. It has a very picturesque medieval centre and the city is adjacent to the Swiss border, Lake Constance and the Rhine. It is an exceptionally prosperous part of Germany with a very long history. The climate of the Alpine foothills is mild, and the region belongs to those German areas with the most amount of sunshine. The Black Forest can be reached in about one hour, and Konstanz prides itself on being an ideal starting point for mountain trips into the Swiss, Austrian and German Alps.

University Konstanz was established in 1966. A central concept has been the principle of developing 'teaching on the basis of research' and making the courses very student-oriented. This has led to University Konstanz being heralded a model university. A significant expression of this spirit of reform was the establishment of a university library accessible on a 24-hour basis. From its inception, University Konstanz focused on new courses of studies and study-models designed to encourage interdisciplinary cooperation. It is most famous for its departments of Economics, Public Policy and Cultural Studies. Currently there are about 10,000 students enrolled in over 40 degree programs. The campus is located on a hill about 10 minutes by bus from the city, on the shores of Lake Constance. Faculties include Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, Economics, Law, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, and Computer Information.


Potsdam became the capital of the state of Brandenburg after German unification in 1990. It is located on the Havel River, and borders on the south-west suburbs of Berlin. In the 17th and 18th centuries Potsdam was the residence of the royal family of Prussia. The Sans Souci Palace and the New Palace, both built by Friedrich II in the middle of the 18th century, are among the architectural wonders of the city. It is Germany's main centre of film production, with a famous studio in Babelsberg and an equally prominent College of Film and Television.

University Potsdam was established in 1991 and is one of the youngest universities in Germany. It aims at being a 'small but excellent' institution of higher education with a traditional, generalist profile for 12,000–15,000 students. About 250 professors and 600 other full-time academic staff are engaged in teaching and research. Special emphasis is put on the four 'flagship' areas: general linguistics, including computer linguistics; history, with a focus on modern history and European Judaism; science and mathematics; and the Potsdam teacher training model. This last area offers an integrated and overlapping education as well as comprehensive, advanced training for the teaching profession. The university is located in the parklands surrounding the elegant palaces. Despite its historical ambience, Potsdam is becoming one of the most modern venues in Germany for research in science and technology. Faculties include Law, Mathematics and Science, Arts, Human Sciences, Economics and Social Science.


The city of Regensburg spreads along the banks of the Danube. Once the Bavarian capital, Regensburg offers the remnants of 2000 years of cultural history. It was founded by the Romans in the second century AD and became a very wealthy merchant city in the Middle Ages. It served as the seat of the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation for almost three centuries until the empire was dissolved in the defeat of the Napoleonic war in 1806. It is one of the most captivating cities in Germany. The richness of history and the artistic wealth of the city have had a conspicuous influence on daily life. Fortunately escaping destruction in World War II, it remains today a magical blend of the old and the new. The first stone bridge to span the Danube, the 'Steinerne Brücke', as well as the cathedral still retain their original character in perfect intactness. Today Regensburg is said to be the most beautiful medieval city in Germany and has one of the highest productivity rates in all of Germany. Munich is easily reachable by train in about one hour.

Founded in 1962 as the fourth fully-fledged Bavarian university, University Regensburg comprises 12 faculties, providing a full range of academic subjects. In 1989 the university established a new course of studies: biochemistry. In 1994, business informatics (Wirtschaftsinformatik) was added together with an attached non-profit Institute of Banking Informatics. Training in electronic data processing, foreign languages, rhetoric and presentational skills is offered to students of all faculties to further prepare them for the modern working world. At present, about 16,000 students are enrolled at University Regensburg. The campus atmosphere and the short distances between buildings are conducive to a more efficient way of studying. The university library holds more than three million volumes. The university's attractiveness is also due in part to the charms of the historical city and the beautiful surrounding landscape. Leisure activities include a multitude of cultural activities on campus. There are, for instance, 11 student theatre groups performing regularly, thus benefiting from the fact that University Regensburg is one of only two within Germany to have its own theatre. Faculties include Catholic Theology, Law, Business, Economics and Management Information Systems, Medicine, Humanities I (Philosophy, Fine Arts, Physical Education), Humanities II (Psychology and Education), Humanities III (History, Social Sciences and Geography), Humanities IV (Languages, Literature and Linguistics), Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Pre-Clinical Medicine, Chemistry and Pharmacy.


Saarbrücken is the capital of the Saarland, a state located on Germany's border with France and Luxemburg. Indeed, on two recent occasions, in the 1930s and the 1950s, the Saarland held plebiscites on its preferred location in France or Germany. Many of the inhabitants are bilingual, and Saarbrücken prides itself on being one of Europe's 'crossroads'. It is possible to reach most of Europe easily from here. Trier and Luxemburg are to the north, Metz to the west and Frankfurt to the east. Once a coal-mining area, today Saarbrücken is among the leading centres for the study of artificial intelligence, and it hosts a considerable number of enterprises in the field of advanced technology. It is the base of the glass and ceramics giant Villeroy Bosch.

The university was founded in 1948 with French assistance. The special situation of the Saarland at that time (its partial political autonomy and its close association with France as a result of economic and monetary union) strongly influenced the early years of the university's development. The special relationship with France remains a special feature of Universität des Saarlands' character. A comprehensive system of reciprocal recognition creates the opportunity to study simultaneously for degrees in both countries. In the departments of German and Romance Languages and Literature, besides gaining German degrees, students can study for the French Licence and Maîtrise d'Allemand or Licence de Lettres Modernes. Similar objectives are found in the program of Cross-Border Franco-German Studies, which is conducted in collaboration with the Université de Metz. The field of information and computer science in Saarbrücken enjoys a worldwide reputation. Currently Universität des Saarlands has some 17,000 students, with 290 professors and 800 other full-time academic staff. The university's faculties include Law, Economics, Information Technology (legal and business IT), Medicine and Humanities.


This tranquil, picturesque university town, just 35km south of Stuttgart, is a place to wander winding laneways, past half-timbered houses and old stone walls. The university is more than 500 years old and has always played as much of a role in characterising the city's outward appearance as it has in weaving its inner social fabric and its economic structure. Today's students are the proud custodians of a rigorous liberal intellectual tradition, and can be seen in every café plotting earnestly to save the world. With an overall population of 85,000 and a presence of some 26,000 students, Tübingen has the largest 'student density' of all German university towns. It is not only an intellectual city where major contributions to European intellectual history were written, but also a very romantic town.

In 1477, Eberhard im Bart, Count and later Duke of Württemberg, established the founding tenets of University Tübingen, which the institution has followed to this day. Today, the university's character is marked by an awareness of tradition and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. The university's academic reputation is determined by the research achievements of more than 700 professors and about 2000 other full-time academic staff. The tradition of the old universitas scientiarum, encompassing a wide variety of fields from theology, jurisprudence and philosophy to economics, the social sciences, languages and cultural studies and to medicine, mathematics and the natural sciences, is conducive to an effective interdisciplinary cooperation between these fields. The University's faculties include Protestant Theology, Catholic Theology, Law, Economics and Business Administration, Medicine, Philosophy, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Modern Languages, History, Cultural Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Biology, Geosciences and Informatics.

Completion requirements

976421  Contemporary Germany  8cp
977420  In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 1: Germany  24cp
978420  In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 2: Germany  24cp
CBK90485  German Language and Culture  32cp
Total  96cp