Our programmes

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German at Leeds welcomes applications from well-qualified candidates for postgraduate study (MA by Research and PhD)

We offer supervision in a range of areas, with a particular focus on German-language literature, film, history, culture, society, and politics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Our particular strengths include gender, queer studies, theatre, border studies, transnationalism, comparative memory, Holocaust Studies, the First World War and its aftermath, crime fiction, Science Fiction and utopian fiction and film, contemporary film, contemporary fiction, world literatures and world cinemas, and literary networks and cultural industries. In particular, we welcome applications with an interdisciplinary focus, reflecting the research currently being done in the department.

The White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities has recently been established across the three universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield, with £19m of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. We welcome applications for Ph.D scholarships through the White Rose College. Study abroad and employability and impact are key components of the package of training and support offered across the College and across the three universities. Our internal deadline for applications is 8 January 2018.

Your first action should be to get in touch with us (Ingo Cornils - If you know who you would like to supervise you, please mention this. You may also contact any of the tutors directly to discuss your project before deciding whether Leeds is right for you. For details of supervision expertise, see individual staff profiles or our research page.

Funding opportunities 

For details of funding schemes available, see the Postgraduate scholarships page

For information on how to apply, entry requirements, fees and scholarships please visit the Research postgraduate admissions page

Research postgraduates

German at Leeds offers research supervision for the MA by Research and for PhD in the following areas:

· 20th-century German history
· Authorship and Identity
· Border cultures and border theory
· Confronting traumatic pasts in Germany
· Contemporary German cinema in its political, aesthetic and industrial context
· Contemporary German-speaking theatre and drama with particular focus on    representations of migration
· Cultural Memory and Memory Culture
· Gender and queer identities in German literature
· Gender and Peace History in the commemorations of WW1 and the German    Revolution 1918
· Gender relations and Cultural representation in German History
· German Jewish History
· German literature in the 20th and 21st century (eg Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass,    Hermann Hesse, W.G. Sebald, Uwe Timm, Christa Wolf)
· German national identity after 1945
· The German Student Movement (‘1968’)
· Holocaust Studies
· Language and music
· Literature and ageing
· Literature of the GDR
· Literary translation
· Memory of the Nazi past and Holocaust
· Narrative theory
· 'Postmigration' and transnational experience
· Post-Wall and New German Cinema
· The Red Army Faction
· Transnationalism
· Utopian Thought / German Science Fiction
· Weimar Cinema
· West Germany in 50s/60s
· Women’s groups and the First World War
· Zukunftsbewältigung

Further information about staff research expertise can be found on our staff pages

Further information about our funded research projects and publications can be found on our research page

A community of scholars

German at Leeds has a vibrant and expanding postgraduate community made up of MRes and PhD students, several of whom are co-supervised in different subjects, researching aspects of the post-1945 and post-unification eras. Current projects include projects on transnational German literatures, German cinema and cultures of memory.

We have also been particularly successful in recent years in attracting postgraduate research scholarships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Postgraduate students are integrated into the School's research and teaching activities and benefit from the facilities of the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (LHRI) and Graduate School and training in research methods and teaching effectiveness organised by the University's Staff Development Unit.

Recent postgraduate successes

Dr Adam Roberts (2017)

Adam's research examines the use and depictions of masks as tools of identity exploration and construction in the works of Hermann Hesse. The project explores the ongoing development of Hesse's employment of masks in his work (both his fiction and his art), demonstrating how masks develop from tools of disguise in Hesse's early works to tools of expression and identity construction in his later works. Adam is particularly interested in masks and their literary portrayals throughout western history. Therefore, he also looks at where Hesse's engagement with masks and identity rests within the context of other literary and philosophical occupations with masks. Adam was supervised by Dr Ingo Cornils and Professor Stuart Taberner.

Dr Rachel Green (2017)

Rachel's thesis title was 'Heimat, fremde Heimat: Renegotiating and Deterritorialising Heimat in New Austrian Film', and explored the way that the semantics of traditional conservative Heimat film are re-used by new Austrian film makers to explore issues of migration, feminism and the rise of neo-Fascism in the 1990s. Rachel was supervised by Dr Chris Homewood and Professor Paul Cooke.  

Daniela Wegrostek (2017)

Daniela's Masters by Research was entitled 'Does ‘cosmopolitan memory’, as defined by Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider, when discussing the globalised nature of Holocaust memory, fully encapsulate the localised nature of Holocaust memory?'. She took the National Holocaust Centre in the UK and the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation as case studies, and was supervised by Professor Stuart Taberner and Dr Stephan Petzold. 

Dr Corinne Painter (2016) 

Corinne's doctoral research on Jewish feminist, activist and pacifist Clementine Kraemer was supervised by Dr Ingrid Sharp and Professor Stuart Taberner. She started with as an undergraduate in Leeds in 2005 and returned to Leeds for an MA by Research. Her MAR thesis was titled "What does a Fourteen Year Span of Die Blaetter des juedischen Frauenbundes tell us about the Relationship between the Jewish Question and the Women's Question?". Her PhD research further explored the relationship between Jewish and feminist activism in the early twentieth century.

Dr Luke Postlethwaite (2015)

Dr Postlethwaite's interdisciplinary PhD was entitled 'Beyond the Baustelle: Redefining Berlin's contemporary cinematic brand as that of a global media city'. Luke's PhD was supervised by Professor Paul Cooke and Dr Chris Homewood, and situated between German and Film Studies. It explores the reputation being developed for Berlin by the city's contemporary cinema. In particular, Luke is interested in how the activities of the city's film industry are transforming post-unification Berlin's image from a location in transition to that of a global media city, as well as the extent to which such a view is also supported by the narratives of films set in the city.  His research was generously supported by the Joseph Wright Scholarship.  

Dr Elizabeth Ward (2015)

Dr Ward's PhD was entitled 'A Past Misremembered? Depictions of Jewish Persecution under National Socialism in East German Cinema' and supervised by Professor Paul Cooke and Professor Stuart Taberner. It examined the portrayal of Jewish persecution during the Third Reich in East German cinema. Drawing on films from 1946 to 1988, Dr Ward combined production context analysis with close readings of individual films to explore the how East German cinematic explorations of the past cast a new light on how National Socialism was remembered and instrumentalised within the GDR. Her research was generously funded by the AHRC.

Dr Anja Henebury (2013)

Dr Henebury's PhD was entitled ‘Engagement and authenticity: Poetics and politics in the late works of Martin Walser and Gunter Grass’. It examined the ethics informing these authors’ renewed engagement with the Nazi past, as well as analysing how these ethics translate into their poetics. The thesis was commended by her examiners for research excellence. It was supervised by Professor Stuart Taberner and Dr Jane Wilkinson.

Dr Richard Boffey (2013)

Dr Boffey's PhD was supervised by Dr Jane Wilkinson.  Entitled 'Fixpunkte des ‘antitotalitären Konsenses’? The Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen memorials, Germany’s ‘double past’, and cultural memory in the Berlin Republic', Richard's research sheds light on the ways in which Germany's 'double' National Socialist and communist past has been represented and contested since 1998, taking the Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen memorials as case studies.

Dr Karina Berger (2012)

Dr Berger's PhD, 'The representation of the expulsion of ethnic Germans in German literature from the 1950s to the present', was was supervised by Professor Stuart Taberner and Professor Paul Cooke. Her research formed part of the highly successful three-year AHRC-funded project "Discourses of 'German Wartime Suffering' From 1945 to The Present", led by Professor Taberner. Dr Berger's research was published in 2015 by Peter Lang as 'Heimat, Loss and Identity. Flight and Expulsion in German Literature from the 1950s to the Present.

Dr Kirsten Rathjen [Harder] (2011)

Dr Rathjen's PhD thesis examines fiction of acclaimed German author Martin Mosebach. Kirsten's PhD (written in German) is entitled: 'Vom Sinn und Unsinn aller Allegorie: das Versteckspiel mit dem Leser im Romanwerk Martin Mosebachs' [On the meaning and non-meaning of allegory: playing hide-and-seek with the reader in Martin Mosebach's novels], and has since been published by Königshausen & Neumann. Kirsten was supervised by Professor Stuart Taberner.

Dr Jenny McKay (2011)

Dr McKay's thesis, 'Der Stoff ist der Autor selbst' : engineering authors in contemporary German writing', examined how east German writers reflect upon their role as author in contemporary Germany, a question explored  through close readings of selected literary texts. These readings of texts by  Christa Wolf, Christoph Hein, Kerstin Hensel, Ingo Schulze, Jana Simon and Jakob Hein were contextualised with reference to political, sociological, and economic discourses. This work offers a commentary on the way in which contemporary east German authors understand and instrumentalise their role as author, asking in particular how/if they engage with the legacy of the GDR authorial role. Jenny was supervised by Professor Paul Cooke.

Taught postgraduate

You can pursue your study of German language and culture by taking one of the following taught MA programmes:

For information on individual programmes, how to apply, fees and scholarships please follow the links or visit the Taught Postgraduate admissions page

If English is not your native language and you are new to studying in the UK higher education system, you may like to consider taking a pre-sessional course in the Language Centre during the summer before starting your MA programme.