German and Politics at Aberdeen adds to your highly-developed skills in a modern European language and culture with in-depth exploration of national, European and global politics, putting you at the forefront of contemporary world issues. You will be taught by highly-regarded experts regularly commenting in the media on events unfolding in the world today. You will gain the perfect foundation for a wide range of careers in Europe, politics, media and many other fields and professions.

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.

In Politics, you will be right at the front of debate on current world events – including Britain’s relationship with the European Union and its neighbours on mainland Europe and movements of regionalisation within the UK.

You will explore voting behaviour, different political systems, making and implementing policy, nationalism, concepts of democracy and ever-present concerns of conflict and peace. You can also take advantage of unique options made possible by the research pedigree of our academic team with a strong track record in publishing international papers and articles.

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

The combination of language, analytical and intellectual skills you will develop and their transferability will be a great foundation for any career including opportunities in European business and organisations, NGOs, charities and international development, government service, marketing and much more.

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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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Ideas and Ideologies in Politics and International Relations (PI2009) - 30 Credit Points

Ideas and ideologies are core to teaching, learning and research in Politics and International Relations. Theoretical developments are at the forefront of academic debates within the discipline, demonstrated by the appearance of a number of new approaches as more traditional theories have struggled to account for an ever changing world. This course will introduce students to these with profound questions and struggles over identity, belonging, justice and rights underpinning these theoretical debates.

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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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Global Politics: Equality and Inequality (PI2508) - 30 Credit Points

Equality and inequality are at the forefront of many debates within contemporary Politics and International Relations. This course will examine the historical context, theoretical underpinnings, and also key concepts which continue to uphold equality and inequality on a global scale.

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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)
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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Researching Into the 21st Century (PI3069) - 30 Credit Points

Research methods and techniques are fundamental to the study of Politics and International Relations. In addition, they are highly desired by employers. This course will introduce students to a number of different research techniques which they will use throughout their studies at Honours and in particular their Honours dissertation. Moreover, they will also constitute a significant part of their graduate attributes.

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Level 3 German Language Study (Mode B) (GM3525)

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 course(s) in Politics & International Relations (to be taken in the first half session).

Note that the second half session will be spent in a 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

  • Dissertation in German (GM4052) or Dissertation (Politics) (PI4071)
  • Select 15 further credit points in German at level 3
  • Select further credit points in German at level 4 to gain a total of 75 credits in German.
  • Select further credit points from level 4 course(s) in Politics & International Relations to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline.
German Dissertation (Joint Honours) (GM4052) - 15 Credit Points

Students engage in their first larger project of independent research.

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Dissertation (Politics) (PI4071) - 30 Credit Points

This course affords students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and research skills in the broad field of Politics & International Relations to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the Dissertation supervisor. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a supervising member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather data where necessary, analyse data, and write a final analysis in the form of the Dissertation. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.

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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 Politics?

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 Politics and International Relations

  • A core curriculum with topical themes of conflict and security, representation and democracy, comparative politics and policy.
  • Special focus on the Middle-East, Latin America, North and South Asia, the Nordic Countries, Central and Eastern Europe – as well as Scotland, the UK and the EU.
  • Staff with specialist expertise in political parties and elections, democracy, energy politics, European integration and regionalism, human rights and development issues, interest groups, nationalism, conflict resolution and more.
  • A vibrant Politics & International Relations Society – voted Aberdeen ‘Society of the Year’ for the last three years, and Best Event 2013-14 for The Legacy of Nelson Mandela.
  • Opportunities to take advantage of spending your second year studying abroad, in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong or North America.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining a top-class study environment with state-of-the-art technology, and extensive reference collections for your studies.
  • A packed campus programme of events, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May festival, engaging prominent influencers, interest groups and public in debating major political issues such as Scottish independence and EU membership.
  • All the history and legacy of being part of a university developed over 500 years of national and international political turbulence, social change, and emerging democracy.

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