The Masters of Arts Program in Intercultural German Studies offered in the Department of Linguistics and Languages is intended to train M.A. students of Intercultural German Studies in order to provide them with an adequate academic background in the study of German literature, culture and language as well according them high quality training for jobs where competence in German Studies is required.


In a world where international relations are vital, and where Kenya is expected to play a prominent role, one cannot overemphasize the need for German, being one of the most widely used languages in international business. The main aim of the envisaged program is to produce graduates who equipped with skills necessary on job market in the area of diplomacy, cultural exchange, translation and international relations. In addition, the students will get sufficient training to enable pursue academic careers in the area of German Studies.


The program is thematically diverse and offers training opportunities in all key areas of German Studies. Obtaining a Masters degree in German Studies will make the graduate “Germany experts” especially in the area of diplomacy and economic cooperation since Germany is now the leading economy in Europe. Linguistically, German is the most widely spoken language in the European Union. As is the case with other international languages, there is abundant literature written in German in the field of natural sciences, engineering, humanities, and philosophy. Graduates from the M.A, will thus be able to assess the literature. Finally, graduates from the Masters program in German Studies are needed as tutorial fellows and teaching assistants at various universities in Sub-Sahara Africa. That is precisely why the M.A. program has a strong international outlook with stakeholders in Africa and Germany. 


The M.A. program in Intercultural German Studies at the University of Nairobi covers various thematic areas including Linguistics, Literature, Translation Studies, German Cultural Studies (Landeskunde) and the didactics of German as a Foreign Language and these enable the graduates to attain competencies in various fields important for their professional careers.

Schedule of Intakes

The Department admits new students at the beginning of every academic calendar year (which is usually September)

Application Information

You will be required to enter some basic information, including your email address and to choose a password. We will then send you an email to the address you entered, so that we can validate your account. When you have clicked on the validation link (sent to you in the email), you will be able to log in to the application system using the "Login" box below

For instructions on how to apply click here

To apply online here

Mode of Delivery

  • Face-to-Face Mode

This is through lectures and tutorials using notes, electronic presentations, instruction manuals, group discussions, practical laboratory demonstrations and fieldwork.

  • Open, Distance Learning and e-Learning

In case of delivery through ODeL, special arrangements shall be made for the practical laboratory, field work and computing sessions. Where not feasible alternative arrangements will be made to do them on campus. 

  • Blended Learning

This is a hybrid of face to face with Open, Distance Learning and e-learning.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the students should be able:

  1. Critically reflect on important theories and research models in Intercultural German Studies
  2. Demonstrate ability in academic writing in the German language
  3. Carry out academic research in any area of Intercultural German Studies
  4. Demonstrate practical skills in their area of expertise

Contact of Support Persons

Email: dept-linguistics@uonbi.ac.ke  


Website: linguistics.uonbi.ac.ke

Physical location: Education Building 3rd Floor, Main Campus

Notable Alumni

Minimum Admission Requirements

The following shall be eligible for registration for the degree of Master of Arts in Intercultural German Studies.

  1. A holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minimum of Upper Second Class Honours of the University of Nairobi with German as one of the subjects.
  2. A holder of a degree of equivalent qualification from any other University recognized by the Senate to be of comparable academic status.

Attachment Opportunities

  • Internships offer German Studies students the opportunity to apply their German language skills in practice while gaining valuable work experience in public institutions or private businesses.

Career Prospects

  • Education
  • Research Assistant
  • Tourism, travel consultant, tour guide in U.S./Europe
  • Museum staff
  • Travel writer / Journalist
  • Librarian
  • International customer service
  • Sports journalism / communications / publicity
  • Art publicity
  • Non-Profits/NGOs
  • Environmental work
  • Support staff in local German company
  • Professional sports management/administration
  • Sports/Talent Agent
  • Music business/negotiation
  • Study Abroad Advisor
  • Fashion PR
  • Diplomacy/Consulate staff
  • International negotiator
  • Translation
  • Interpreting
  • Arts journalism / publicity / marketing / correspondence
TUITION                                        27,000.00  
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                                          1,000.00  
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                                          6,500.00  
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                                          7,000.00  
CAUTION - (ONCE)                                          5,000.00  
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                                           5,000.00  
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                                          2,000.00  
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                                          2,250.00  
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                                          1,000.00  
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                                          1,000.00  
THESIS EXAMINATION                                        30,000.00  
     Semester totals 
Sem1  2 units                                       85,750.00
   3 units                                    113,750.00
   4 units                                    141,750.00
     Semester totals 
Sem2 ,3,5 or 6  1 unit                                       30,250.00
   2 units                                       58,250.00
   3 units                                       86,250.00
   4 units                                    114,250.00
     Semester totals 
Sem4, 7, or 10  1 unit                                       52,750.00
   2 units                                       80,750.00
   3 units                                    108,750.00
   4 units                                    136,750.00
Project =4units    
Project in sems 4 or 7                                     166,750.00
Other sems                                     144,250.00
Sem1  4 units                                    141,750.00
Sem2  4 units                                    114,250.00
Sem3  4 units                                    114,250.00
Sem4  PROJECT                                    166,750.00
Totals                     537,000.00


  1. The program shall consist of a 2-year full time study by coursework, examination and research project.  The first year of study shall be devoted to coursework only, while the second year will be devoted to coursework and examination (first semester) and to the research project (second semester).
  2. In the first year of study each candidate shall be required to take eight (8) compulsory courses.
  3. In the first semester of the second year, four different fields of study are offered to the students, each of them consisting of two units.  Each candidate will be required to choose two fields only.
  4. At the end of the first year of study, the students will be expected to spend a maximum of five (5) months in an affiliated university in Germany and carry out research under a German professor towards the final Master’s thesis/project,
  5. Topics of research for the research project are to be identified in consultation with supervisors during the first semester of the second year.

Course Units

CGS 6101 – Aspects of German Literary History from the Reformation to Modernism ‘Moderne’

The impact of Reformation on German literature through to the defeat of Absolutism by Enlightenment (‘Aufklärung’); Kant: ‘Was ist Aufklärung?’ and the philosophers of Enlightenment; Lessing and Gottsched´s Theories of literature in the formative years of Enlightenment; the effect of the French Revolution on the development of Literature in Germany; the development of Literature in the era of German idealism (encompassing from ‘Sturm und Drang’ through to ‘Klassik’); the different facets of Realism in the German literary history, beginning with ‘bürgerlicher Realismus’ (1850)  and ending with ‘Trümmerliteratur’; German Literature at the turn of the century (1900) – Fin de Siecle and Expressionism; Literature between the two World Wars, especially literary trends in the Weimar republic and in National Socialism; Brechts Theories of Drama, ‘Episches Theater’; The end of modernity and the literature after the second World War (‘Nachkriegsliteratur’) up to 1950.

CGS 6102 – Theories in German Literature and their Application

Grounded on the set of key concepts and intellectual and philosophical assumptions that have accompanied German literature through the epochs; their effects on the production, reception and perception of German literature, in Germany and abroad; comparing the theories in their specific German context with those outside; ranging from the modernist theories of Hermeneutics, (Post-)Structuralism, to the postmodernist theories of Deconstruction, Theories of Intertextuality, the ‘Cultural Turn’ in German Studies, Leo Kreutzer´s concept of “Doppeltblicken”, Interculturalism etc.

CGS 6103: Advanced study of the structure of the German Language

Recent theories for the analysis of the linguistic structure of Modern German in relation to core elements of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics pragmatics and text linguistics as the main components of linguistic structure. Language and signs: what is language, what is linguistics? How do linguists analyze language? German Phonetics and phonology: contrast, naturalness, derivation vs. representation; segmental and prosodic structure. Graphemes and Orthography: basic concepts; inventories using minimal pair analysis; Phoneme-grapheme-phoneme principles. Morphology: description and analysis of various aspects of German morphology; word formation and inflection. German syntax: traditional syntax analysis, complements, dependence and valence; the structure and interpretation of noun phrases including nominal modification and relative clauses; syntactic problems; Semantic theories and their application in the study of German; Elements of word meaning; Semantic relations; theories of pragmatics; the speech act theory; text communication, characteristics of texts.

CGS 6104 – Linguistic Theories and Their Applicability in German

Important linguistic theories from: Humboldt, Frege, Paul, de Saussure, Bloomfield, Bühler Wittgenstein, Trubetzkoy, Chomsky, Austin, Grice, Tomasello, the Prague School; American structuralism; The Relativity Principle, Words and Lexicon; The prototype model; Generative Grammar; Various syntactic models; Sociolinguistics – from the theory to a discipline; Functional Grammar; Cognitive approaches; Unification and Construction Grammar; Contrastive linguistics, Computational linguistics; Error analysis; Discourse analysis.

CGS 6105: Advanced Translation in German I: Theories and Approaches

Current trends and theories in Translation Studies; Translation as a form of Applied Linguistics; Translating texts from and into German; Translation as a process of communication (meaning, referent and symbol in the semiotic triangle); the role of the translator in the translation process; hermeneutics and the process of language reception, the process of language production; the Cultural Turn in Translation Studies; text categories and their role in translation; aspects of machine translation; the Skopos theory; the Leipzig School; The Resistance Strategy; Literary Translation; Translation and postcolonialism aspects of semantics and pragmatics and their role in translation; Translation in the context of Multilingualism

CGS 6106 Principles and Methods of the Didactics of German as a Foreign Language

Research in the methods and principles of teaching and learning German as a Foreign Language; Research in lesson planning; Research in the teaching of German for professional purposes: the didactics of German as a second language; Multilingualism and the teaching of German as a Foreign Language; Tertiärsprachendidaktik; Error analysis (Fehlerlinguistik); Action research in the teaching of German as a Foreign Language; Research on German as a technical language (Fachsprachenlinguistik); Blended learning

CGS 6107 – New Approaches to Social and Cultural Studies in German Speaking Countries

The shift from the cognitive approach to the communicative and inter-cultural approaches, 'Cultural Turn'; Critical analyses of perceptions of 'foreign' and 'own', Critical Analysis and Comparison of Cultural norms (traditions, customs, morals, attitudes, etc); Strategies of understanding the 'other'; Inter-cultural Learning; Inter-cultural Competence; Inter-cultural Communication, Cultural Symbols; Memory Spaces; Social Media, Social Change, Migration and Social Integration.

CGS 6108: Discourse Analysis

Speaker, hearer, utterance, situational context and speech act. Classification of speech acts.  Realization of speech acts. Illocutionary indicators, Felicity conditions.  Text structure and types.  Turns and speech acts.  Logical analysis of discourse.

CGS 6201:  Intercultural Communication

Theories of the nature of cultural differences; Cross-cultural interaction; theories of intercultural abilities to manage interaction effectively; Features and problems of communication in business and tourism across cultures; fundamental concepts of intercultural business communication; Kenya, Germany, Switzerland and Austria as multicultural societies; empathy and openness as preconditions of successful intercultural communication; interactional routines and the values and cultural assumptions tied to them; “critical” communicational occasions: linguistic etiquette(s) and politeness.

CGS 6202 – Main Tendencies in Contemporary German Literature

The development of the postmodern German literature and its place in global literary field; A survey of literary tendencies after 1989. Texts dealing with the historical moment of the fall of the Berlin wall and the German reunification (‘Wendeliteratur’); tendencies in contents and forms; ‘Popliteratur’ and literature as archive; new trends in feminist literature and literature by women; Migration literature in the German speaking countries; Africa in German literature. Selected texts and essays of the period will be analyzed.

CGS 6203 Research Methods and Academic Writing in German

Research questions in German Studies; developing appropriate research methods in relevant thematic areas; principles of academic writing in German; standard scholarly expressions in German academic writing (wissenschaftliche Redemittel); writing scholarly papers in German; electronic publication; text editing; hermeneutic text interpretation; the SQ3R Method;   recording, transcription, data analysis; formal, computational, qualitative and quantitative research methods ; questionnaires, interview methods, observation and field work in linguistics and statistical analysis; referencing within the text, bibliography etc.; current methods of information research: online academic libraries, catalogues, internet research methods, standards of publication and academic communication; plagiarism, ethical issues and their legal implications.

CGS 6204: Advanced Translation II: Practical Translation

The course will handle authentic texts which are to be translated from German to English and vice-versa. The texts will be from varying fields both factual and literary for example literary texts such as poems, short stories, plays as well as factual texts such as manuals, articles from newspapers and magazines, excerpts from books, formal and informal letters, reports, specialized texts such as medical reports, legal texts, certificates among others. These texts will be translated and problems encountered analyzed and discussed.

CGS 6205: A Study of Selected German Classics

A survey of the literary classics of German literary production across different eras and genres: from the Enlightenment to the present and from Novels, Drama, Poetry, Short Stories etc. This includes the selected works of G.E. Lessing (‘Miß Sara Sampson’), J.W. Goethe (‚Faust‘, ‚Die Wahlverwandtschaften‘, ‚West-östlicher-Divan‘), F. Schiller (‚Maria Stuart‘ und ‘Die Räuber), J. Eichendorff (‘Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts’), A. Chamisso (‚Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte‘), G. Büchner (‚Lenz‘), A. von Droste-Hülshoff (‚Die Judenbuche‘), H. Heine (‚Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen‘), G. Grass (‚Die Blechtrommel‘), T. Mann (‚Buddenbrooks‘) K. Mann (‚Mephisto‘), R. Musil (‚Der Mann Ohne Eigenschaften‘)

CGS 6206: German Literature Behind the Wall

Covering the period from the 1950s to the end of 1980s, the course looks at literary production after the division of Germany; the development of Literature in the DDR: socialist realism and ‘Bitterfelder Weg’, literary production towards the fall of the wall; trends in literary production in BRD, Austria and Switzerland: literary criticism of fascism, literature, politics and terror in the 60s and 70s, the turn to New Subjectivity; the crisis of language in literature; the beginning of post modernism in German literature; the end of the cold war and the end of divided Germany; Key texts of the period: Christa Wolff “Der geteilte Himmel”, Peter Schneiders “Der Mauerspringer”.

CGS 6207 Sociolinguistics in Intercultural German Studies

Concepts and issues in sociolinguistics; language in face to face interaction; language situation, variation, choice, creation, planning, change, decline and death; Languages and factors such as gender, class, age and ethnicity; multilingual communities; Language and society; bilingualism, multilingualism, diglossia and triglossia; conversational interaction; linguistic etiquette and politeness; conversational routines; Language socialization; conversational code-switching, code-mixing; Lingua francas; slang, pidgins and creoles; official languages, national languages, and international languages.

CGS 6208: German for Technical Communication (Fachkommunikation Deutsch)

Linguistic theories and principles underpinning technical German; technical vocabulary in German, Models of integrating language learning with technical skills, communication skills in a German speaking environment; social and cultural communication barriers of technical German; the role of intercultural competence in technical German.

CGS 6209: Project Paper