School of Modern Languages


German Studies

NEW: Happy 60th Birthday German @ Newcastle!

Help us celebrate by creating an online portrait of the German Section

We are inviting creative portraits of the German section that feature the academic and social life of students of German at Newcastle. What have you enjoyed most about German-related activities at NU? What makes the German section special? In what ways have you benefitted from academic life at the school of Modern Languages?

The jury will consider individual or joint submissions in any user-friendly format that can be uploaded online. This includes, but is not limited to audio podcasts, texts, visual artworks, or video clips. Recorded submissions should not be longer than two minutes; texts should be no longer than 400 written words. They should be in English but also feature the German language in a prominent way.

The best submissions will be considered for inclusion on the webpage and the very best submissions will be awarded prizes (a first prize of £100 and second and third prizes of £50 each). These prizes will be awarded during a ceremony on the occasion of the 60th anniversary, by the German Consul to Scotland and Northern England on 27 March 2019.

Submissions should be sent to Professor Bernhard Malkmus ( by 28 February 2019.


German Studies at Newcastle is a friendly department, unusual in the wide choice it offers within a Modern Languages degree.

We put research-inspired teaching at the heart of our degree programmes. Our lecturers are experts in their respective fields.

They're passionate about all aspects of German culture, literature and language. 

Undergraduate study

Our modules focus on themes that develop a deeper understanding of German culture, including:

  • contemporary German culture
  • literature
  • history
  • film
  • historical and theoretical linguistics

We teach some optional modules exclusively in German. All modules actively practise German by:

  • reading German books
  • having seminar discussions in German
  • writing German essays

The year abroad gives students an opportunity to explore and experience life in a German-speaking country.

This is true whether you're on a work placement in industry, working as an assistant teacher, or as an exchange student.

We have exchange links with numerous universities across Germany and Austria.

For more about German Studies at Newcastle, see our Newsletters.

Full list of undergraduate degrees.

Postgraduate study

If you enjoy translating and interpreting, you can enrol in our Professional Translation for European Languages MA.

We also offer Master's degrees in linguistics, language acquisition and film, and research degrees (Mlitt, Mphil, PhD) in all areas of our expertise.

Full list of postgraduate degrees.

Our modules focus on cultivating a deeper understanding of German culture.

Extra-curricular Activities

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.


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
Teaching Fellow in German

Telephone: 0191 208 8957

Dr Teresa Ludden
Lecturer in German

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5053

Professor Bernhard Malkmus
Professor of German Studies, Head of German

Telephone: (0191) 208 3496

Dr Beate Muller
Reader in Modern German Studies

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7512

Andrea Wilczynski
Head of School

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3909


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.