Advice for Students Graduation Contact Information

Translation of German belongs to the Department of Modern Languages.

P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40 B)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki


Bachelor’s studies in German translation start with the completion of basic studies in Germanic philology, after which students proceed to intermediate and minor subject studies in German translation. In the Master’s studies, they complete advanced studies in German translation. Students complete their basic studies in accordance with a preplanned schedule, but in intermediate and advanced studies they can to a considerable extent choose the order of completion themselves.

Bachelor’s studies focus on  spoken and written skills in German, grammar and correct language use, knowledge of text types, familiarity with the culture of German-speaking countries as well as the study of the basic theory of translation and interpreting. In the Master’s studies, students improve their professional and theoretical skills.

Studies in German translation also include language and cultural training as well as practical training. These can be completed in different ways. Working and studying in a German-speaking country facilitate and support the progress of studies and enhance professional skills.

German translation is taught in courses in which group and pair work constitutes a central form of learning and in which the development of social skills is a learning outcome. In addition to contact teaching, the studies include plenty of independent work in online environments. During their studies, students translate and evaluate a great number of different texts, compile glossaries and learn to use different translation tools.

The related assignments feature plenty of seeking information, researching the topics of the chosen texts and acquiring text analysis skills. Students also give presentations in the translation courses. In addition, they study spoken communication in an interpreting course. The studies train students to evaluate different kinds of communication needs and to translate purposefully, accurately, appropriately and professionally. In addition, the studies steer students towards analytical thinking and the development of the field.

Structure of studies

Prospective students apply to study Germanic philology. The disciplines of Germanic philology and German translation have joint basic studies. The major subject is first registered as Germanic philology. During their first term of basic studies, those who wish to apply for German translation must complete the Translation competences course, whose final examination serves as a proficiency test and a Finnish test. The major subject of those who pass the examination is changed to German translation.

The scope of the Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) is 180 credits and includes basic studies in translation studies and Finnish for translators in addition to basic studies in Germanic philology (25 cr) and intermediate studies in German translation (45 cr). In addition, the studies include compulsory studies for students at the Faculty of Arts as well as elective studies chosen by the student.

In the Master of Arts degree (MA), German translation is part of the Degree Programme in Translation Studies and Multilingual Communication, whose scope is 120 credits. These include at least 20 credits in one of the following specialities: law and administration, interpreting, and audiovisual translation. In addition, the discipline offers courses in translation technology and other specialities. If the student has not completed his or her Bachelor’s degree in a translation subject, the minimum requirements also include 25 credits of studies in Finnish for translators as well as at least 10 credits of general studies in translation studies.