Why study German at Queen Mary?
I am a final year German Studies student at Queen Mary, University of London. Having started at Queen Mary in 2011 I now feel is the time to review why Queen Mary is such a great university to study German at. “Ich kann es nur empfehlen!”
9 June 2015
1. Small Classes
In comparison to most other universities, the class sizes for German Studies are extremely small. I have never had a class in a lecture theatre which means that classes are much more interactive - therefore you are certainly getting your value for money! In addition, the department is extremely personal and you also get more class participation i.e. much more chance to speak German in class as the size is so small.
2. Anglo-German Cultural Relations
Queen Mary is also the centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations which was founded in 2005 in order to promote the study of cultural transfers and interrelations between Britain and the German speaking world. Therefore it is possible to study an MA in Anglo-German Cultural Relations which is certainly one of a kind.
3. Extra-curricular German Events
At Queen Mary, there are many extra-curricular events which you can take part in. The Queen Mary German Society hold “Filmklub” once a week, showing screenings of popular German films (often with subtitles for those who don’t speak German who are also welcome to come along) and afterwards there is the weekly “Stammtisch”, which is where current and past students as well as lecturers meet in the local pub in order to practice speaking German in a friendly non-pressured environment. The society also holds several events throughout the year, such as visits to the Bavarian Bierhouse in Old Street, the Christmas Markets on the Southbank, and last year there was also a trip to Berlin too.
4. German in London
What is great about studying in London is that as a German student you are also able to access fantastic libraries, such as the Goethe Institut and Senate House Library as well as events and exhibitions taking place such as the Austrian and German embassy too.
The resources at Queen Mary as a language student are very good with a large variety of books and dictionaries in the library, and aural classes take place in the language lab providing access to computers if necessary. Moreover, within the department itself, there is a large breadth of module choices ranging from literature, linguistics, film, business and German culture.
6. Year Abroad Opportunities
For linguists, the year abroad is probably the most exciting though perhaps daunting part of a language degree. Nevertheless, the year abroad for German offers lots of variety, with many different partner universities, or if you prefer there is also the option to teach English with a British Council work placement. Grammar classes help to get your language up to a sufficient level before you go on your year abroad and there is lots of support from lecturers and the year abroad department too - prior, during and after the year abroad.
7. Graduate Employability
Graduate employability is high, not only due to graduating with a language which most employers now look for in a suitable candidate, but also by graduating from a University which is not only part of the University of London, but also a member of the prestigious Russell Group.
On the whole, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time studying German at Queen Mary and will be sad to leave such a welcoming, tight-knit department, yet I feel confident in saying that I have been well equipped in transferable skills which I will be able to use in further study and work after graduation.
- Lizzie Thomas is a final year German Studies student at Queen Mary. She loves nothing more than getting lost and discovering new parts of London, and drinking a proper brew!