School of Modern Languages


German Studies


German Studies at Newcastle is a welcoming community and friendly department. We offer research and teaching expertise about the rich, inspiring and challenging legacies of the German speaking world by engaging with linguistics, history, culture, and aesthetics.

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In the German section of the School of Modern Languages at Newcastle, …

… we are passionate about all aspects of
         German, Austrian, and Swiss cultures.

… we are dedicated to providing
         cutting-edge language pedagogy.

… we put research-inspired teaching 
         at the heart of our degree programmes.

… we are committed to a culture of critical thinking that
         questions received opinions, ideologies, and intellectual comfort zones.

… we reflect on the importance of cultural differences
         and facilitate encounters across real and imagined borders.


Studying German at Newcastle

We think that communication, intercultural understanding and aesthetic sensibility are indispensable human faculties for addressing the ethical challenges of the future.

Degrees in German or with a German component are in high demand in a wide range of professions. They offer enriching cultural and intellectual experiences and enable you to pursue interesting and promising careers.

At Newcastle University, we are committed to continuing a proud history of more than a century of teaching German language and culture and more than sixty years of a fully-fledged academic curriculum in German Studies. For more information on studying with us, please click on the expandable buttons below.

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Our research interests cover all aspects of German culture, literature and language from medieval to modern times.

German Studies at Newcastle is a department that's unusual for the historic depth and wide range of topics offered within "Germanistik". 

Newcastle University has the advantage of one of the largest linguistics communities in the United Kingdom, with a special focus on comparative morphology.

Our research in modern German culture encompasses:

  • literature studies
  • philosophy
  • theory
  • cultural history
  • gender
  • memory politics and trauma


The following members of staff work within the German Studies section in the School of Modern Languages.

StaffList: German Studies

Dr Elizabeth Andersen
Visiting Fellow

Okke Baumbach

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5991

Dr Carol Fehringer
Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5635

Dr Helen Ferstenberg
Lecturer in German

Telephone: 0191 208 8957

Dr Teresa Ludden
Senior Lecturer in German Studies

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5053

Professor Bernhard Malkmus
Professor of German Studies

Telephone: (0191) 208 7539

Professor Beate Muller
Prof of German Stud. & Cultural History

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7512

Dr Hilary Potter
Lecturer in German


Andrea Wilczynski
Head of School

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3909


Our extra-curricular activities give you the opportunity to sample German language and culture outside the classroom.

The DAAD Lektor organises a wide range of activities such as:

  • a regular Filmabend
  • an annual Weihnachtsfeier
  • monthly get-togethers of staff and students over a beer at the German Stammtisch

Past students have even produced their own film about German-British cultural encounters in a film workshop.

And, as you might expect in a town steeped in football culture, there are also football tournaments with pupils from local schools and students from other universities.

Newcastle's independent Tyneside Cinema frequently shows films from German-speaking countries.

We regularly publish a newsletter about our activities.

North East German Network

The North East German Network (NEGN) is part of the wider Think German Network initiative being developed across the UK.

The aim of the network is:

  • to support the teaching and learning of the German language
  • to facilitate contacts between institutions interested in German culture
  • to promote the collaboration of academic and business partners 

Get in touch with the network through facebooktwitter or mail to

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University and the Modern Languages, School of  at Newcastle University gratefully acknowledge the generous support provided by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in setting up the NEGN.


German language teaching at Newcastle has existed since the foundation of the first academic institutions in the city in the 19th century. In 1959, the Chair of German Studies in Newcastle was instituted.

Over the years, more than 90 professors, lecturers and lektors have worked in the German Studies department.

In 2009, we celebrated 50 years since the first Chair of German Studies was introduced at Newcastle University. Take a look at:

Some of our alumni submitted accounts of life in the school 50 years ago. Hear from:

Chairs of German Studies

2006, Henrike Lähnemann

Read Henrike's Inaugural Lecture, 2006 (PDF: 153KB) and accompanying Inaugural Presentation, 2006 (PDF: 4.5MB).

1998, Colin Riordan

1974, Alan Menhennet

1959, Duncan Mennie

Read Duncan's Inaugural Lecture, 1959 (PDF: 880KB) and Memories and Anecdotes (PDF: 500KB) from his time at the School.

Celebrating 50 years of German Studies at Newcastle University.