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Language and Cultural Studies

Study Language and Literary Studies in Germany

Explore 481 programmes.

Are you interested in languages, reading, and communication? The field of study language and literary studies offers a broad spectrum of specialisations that deal intensively with the different characteristics and functions of languages and language systems. Whether in translation, communication consulting, or editorial work, a degree programme in this field provides you with cultural, communication, and linguistic skills that can be applied universally.


78 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Diplom, State Examination

German, English, French, Spanish, Dutch

2-10 Semesters

What content can I expect?

A programme in language and cultural studies teaches cultural, communicative, and linguistic competences that are universally applicable. You can choose from various specialisations that allow you to study specific aspects such as the structure or function of languages and language systems. Other aspects that you may focus on include language history, language use, speech perception, and language processing. You can work with specific languages or language families and evaluate them in comparison to others, or study language in general. The following subject areas belong to the field of language and cultural studies:

  • General literary studies
  • General linguistic science
  • Computational linguistics
  • Interpreting
  • Linguistics
  • Literary writing
  • Phonetics
  • Rhetoric
  • Speech science
  • Translation
  • Comparative literary studies
  • Comparative linguistics
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Are you interested in an in Language and Cultural Studies? Run a non-binding eligibility check now.

What are the admission requirements for degree programmes in language and literary studies in Germany?

Degree programmes in language and literary studies are offered throughout Germany at a large number of higher education institutions, mostly universities; therefore, the higher education entrance qualification or a comparable qualification is often sufficient for admission to a Bachelor’s degree programme. This means that the courses of study are free of additional admission restrictions at many universities. Nevertheless, some higher education institutions have admission restrictions, for example in the form of a numerus clausus (NC), i.e. a minimum grade on your school leaving certificate; however, these are often not especially high. Since the NC can change from semester to semester, make sure you always research the latest information!

If you want to study the subject in another language, you should be very familiar with this language; as a rule, you will also have to formally prove your language skills.

Of course, you should also have a good understanding of texts and enjoy reading (both historical and modern texts) and searching for literature, as these degree programmes expect you to deal intensively with texts.

How long does a degree programme in language and literary studies take and where can I study?

You can usually expect a standard period of study of six semesters for the Bachelor’s degree and four semesters for the Master’s degree. Stays abroad are often encouraged but are not a must at most higher education institutions. An internship, on the other hand, is often compulsory and must be completed during your studies. However, the time during the semester break is usually sufficient for this.

As is typical in the humanities, at most higher education institutions you have the option of studying the Bachelor’s programme either as a major or as a 2-subject Bachelor’s programme. With your chosen minor or second subject, you can combine your various areas of interest and possibly even work across disciplines. If you want to become a teacher, you can also study for a teaching degree at many universities. You would then complete your studies with a state examination.

If you want to study language and literary studies, you have a very broad but also varied choice of degree programmes. You should therefore be all the more thorough in your search: Some higher education institutions offer these programmes separately or in combination with other subject areas, such as economics, technology or medicine. You also have the option of studying language and literary studies in other languages; you will find similar content in programmes such as English, Hispanic, German and Mongolian studies. So, it’s worth broadening your search terms and looking at neighbouring degree programmes. Higher education institutions often have module plans on their websites, from which you can find the exact course content and courses.

How much does it cost to study language and literary studies in Germany?

Almost all courses of study in the field of language and literary studies can be found at public higher education institutions, and they usually do not charge tuition fees. However, there is always a semester contribution that all students must pay to their higher education institution each semester. The amount of this varies from institution to institution but should be between 100 and 400 euros per semester. This contribution pays for the student services, for example, but sometimes also for a ticket for local public transport. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available.

The cost of living is less easy to calculate, as there are large differences within Germany: In large cities, housing is often scarce and expensive, while in smaller cities it is comparatively affordable. In any case, student halls of residence are usually your cheapest option. As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. , you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships  and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What are my career options with a degree in language and literary studies?

Since the degree programme imparts interdisciplinary knowledge and skills, you can choose from a variety of occupational fields after graduation. However, choosing and finding your individual career may take a little more time. Fleshing out your specialisation and gaining additional qualifications, such as experience abroad, volunteer work or internships, can help you with gaining a foothold in a job you are passionate about.

After graduating, you can pursue a career as a translator, in communication consulting, education, research, or cultural management, for example. Editorial work, e.g. journalism, media companies or publishing houses, might also be an option for you.

With the right specialisation, however, you can crack open up many more opportunities. A specialisation in neuro- or psycholinguistics, for example, allows you to work in the medical field. This can include speech therapy with people. Or you can specialise in computational linguistics and go into software development. As you can see, there are few limits here, as long as your qualifications fit.

Your income with a degree in language and literary studies strongly depends on your work experience, the company and the industry you end up working in.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.