German and History at Aberdeen brings together two top-rated subjects, which set the in-depth study of a modern European language and culture in the context of a broad and fascinating study of European and world history. You will study at a university that is ranked top in Scotland for the impact of its historical research. The language and transferable skills you will gain will open up a wide spectrum of careers including international opportunities.

This programme is studied on campus.

You will gain a solid grounding in the German language whatever your level, in a programme with the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.

You will also develop a broad understanding of culture in the German-speaking world, with courses in social, historical and cultural aspects of these countries and encounter the world of German artistic expression in the form of literature, film and art, together with a deeper understanding of Germany’s complex history.

History research at Aberdeen is rated top in Scotland for its impact and 2nd in the UK, in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework and with student satisfaction of 95%.

You will be surrounded by 500 years of national, international and local history, enthused and inspired by teachers who are leaders in their fields, with expertise as diverse as medieval Scandinavia, early-modern Poland and modern East Asia and be enthralled by our wonderful collections of historic treasures from all over the world.

As an integral part of your 4-year programme, you will spend half of year three developing your German skills as a teaching assistant or visiting student in Germany or Austria.

Your highly-developed transferable skills in research, critical analysis and communication will open opportunities in many fields including international business and other organisations, politics, education, journalism, NGOs and the heritage sectors.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Modern German Culture 3 (GM2043) - 15 Credit Points

The meaning of life? Knowledge of good and evil? What are the limits of human understanding? Of scientific inquiry? Goethe's Faust knows of no questions that are too big to tackle. In the course, students will encounter some of the greatest literary figures of European thought and literature, and follow them on their perilous journey.

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Modern German Culture 4 (GM2543) - 15 Credit Points

This course consists of the study of selected aspects of modern German culture and involves the close analysis of German texts. The latter are normally 20th-century texts.

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Optional Courses

  • German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040) and German Language (Advanced Introductory) 2 (GM2540) or German Language 3 (GM2042) and German Language 4 (GM2542)
  • Select a further 60 credit points from available level 2 courses in History.
German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040) - 15 Credit Points

The course consists of language classes leading to advanced communicative competence in German and it will include the analysis of contemporary texts drawn from a variety of contexts. This course may be taken only by students who have completed the German for Beginners courses.

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German Language (Advanced Introductory) 2 (GM2540) - 15 Credit Points

The intention of the course is to extend and reinforce further students' command of German grammar, vocabulary and syntactic structures, and to introduce various styles of written and spoken German. The course builds on the work done in GM2040 and is intended only for continuing beginners.

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German Language 3 (GM2042) - 15 Credit Points

This level two language course will build on and extend students' fluency and written skills in German.

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German Language 4 (GM2542) - 15 Credit Points

Building on work done in GM 2042, the course will develop further language skills.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

German Junior Honours Language Study (GM3069) - 15 Credit Points

This junior honours language course will build on and extend students' written skills and fluency in German.

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Level 3 German Language Study (Mode B) (GM3525)
Thinking History (HI356J) - 30 Credit Points

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

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Optional Courses

  • Select 15 further credits of Level 3 German courses to be taken in the first half session.
  • Select 30 further credit points from Level 3 History courses to be taken in the first half session.

Note that the second half session will be spent in German speaking country.

Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

German Language Study for Senior Honours (GM4099) - 30 Credit Points

Building on the skills gained during the Junior Honours language course and before, this module expands and refines German language expertise in writing, reading, speaking and listening, to an advanced level, for their final exit written and oral exam in German.

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Optional Courses

  • Select 30 credit points from History Special Subject courses (listed below).
  • One of the options below.

Option 1:

  • Dissertation in History (HI4516)
  • Select a further 15 credit points from level 3 courses in German.
  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 courses in German.

Option 2:

  • Dissertation in German (GM4052)
  • History in Practice II (HI4518)
  • Select further 15 credit points from level 3 courses in German.
  • Select further 15 credit points from level 4 courses in German.
Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516) - 30 Credit Points

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout.

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German Dissertation (Joint Honours) (GM4052) - 15 Credit Points

Students engage in their first larger project of independent research.

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History in Practice II (HI4518) - 30 Credit Points

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

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Special Subject: Irish Troubles (HI4001) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the events known collectively as the “Irish Troubles”. That is, the origins, development and partial conclusion of non-violent and violent opposition to the continuation of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the mid-1960s until the present day.

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Special Subject: Visualising the Modern (HI4002)
Special Subject: Enlightenment Compared: Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe (HI4003) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the emergence and the variations of Enlightenment thinking in Scotland and Central Europe (with particular emphasis on the German and East Central European Enlightenment, to which the Scottish Enlightenment had strong historical links). It emphasises the varieties of the European Enlightenment, against the traditional assumption that the Enlightenment was exclusively 'located' in France.

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Special Subject: Women and Men (HI4007) - 30 Credit Points

This course will address a number of themes, including modern studies of marriage; the western medieval church and marriage law, sexuality and gender in the middle ages; attitudes to love, marriage and the family; and sex roles and gender differences. We will examine the way in which gender and ideology influence the lives of both ordinary and not-so-ordinary people in the middle ages by examining a variety of primary and secondary sources.

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Special Subject: Hitler (HI4008) - 30 Credit Points

Hitler is omnipresent in modern life. He appears everywhere in the media and he is invoked all the time in public and private discourse. Yet Adolf Hitler remains an enigma. While he tends to be reduced to a one-dimensional cardboard cutout villain outside of academia, inside academia there has been a tendency in recent years to diminish Hitler’s importance and to push Hitler to the sidelines.

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Special Subject: the Scottish Wars of Independence, 1286 - 1328 (HI4009) - 30 Credit Points

In 1286 Alexander III of Scotland was found dead at the foot of a cliff and Scotland was engulfed in a period of political instability and eventually war that was to have a profound impact on the future development of the British Isles. The course considers key stages of the ‘wars of independence’ period in chronological sequence until the final triumph of Robert I in 1328. Due consideration will be given to international perspectives in trying to understand the Anglo-Scottish struggle, notably in relation to Ireland, France, Flanders and the Papacy.

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Special Subject: the Three Kingdoms in the Seventeenth Century (HI4024)

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study German and History?

Why German

  • The highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last Scottish national Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • A vibrant international community on campus and across the region, with many German-speaking students, staff and activities to get involved in and practise your language skills.
  • German Society open to all students interested in German and the German-speaking countries, organising drama performances and other events such as Kaffee and Kuchen, a German Stammtisch, film showings, and visits by German speakers and writers.
  • German Drama Group providing a great opportunity to produce an annual play, widen your language skills and meet other German students studying in Aberdeen. Previous years included works of 20th century dramatists Dürrenmatt, Borchert and Horvath.
  • Opportunities to study the rich literature and culture of Austria and Switzerland in addition to Germany.
  • A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the popular annual May Festival which welcomes international figures, experts, authors and scientists to campus every spring, with an increasingly European flavour.
  • Your period abroad as a language assistant or visiting student - we have exchange scholarships with the Universities of Zurich, Kiel and Greifswald, and Erasmus partners including Leipzig, Cologne, Bonn, Trier and Graz in Austria.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with fabulous study facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and an extensive German collection to inspire your studies.

Why History

  • Ranked top University in Scotland for the impact of its History research, and second in the UK in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework.
  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment, and with student satisfaction of 95% – way above the national average of 86%.
  • Particular strengths in Irish and Scottish studies, Scandinavia, late medieval/early modern period, and research centres studying global empires, history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine, and Russian and Eastern European history.
  • The inspiration of our beautiful historic campus in Old Aberdeen, where King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, is a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence.
  • Major international treasures including 7,000 early printed books, the magnificent 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, large Jacobite collection, works of the Scottish Enlightenment, and fascinating local records dating from the middle ages.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes world-famous authors, broadcasters and personalities including well-known historians to campus every spring.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology, and an online catalogue giving you access to thousands of books and millions of journal articles on the web.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Please note: entry requirements are different for 2018 and 2019 entry.

Entry Requirements (2018):

SQA Highers - AABB*
A Levels - BBB*
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL*
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)*

*There is no formal requirement for entry to the German beginners' course. A pass in German at SQA Higher, GCE A Level or equivalent is necessary for entry to the German non-beginners course.

Entry Requirements (2019):

Entry requirements for 2019 will be displayed here shortly.

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) the tuition fee charged upon entry will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX