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History (teaching degree)

What are the differences compared to history as a school subject?

In the beginning you will find that the range of historical issues covered and the approaches taken to historical phenomena in the degree programme are considerably more diverse that at school. You will discover that the modern discipline of history has moved on from simply looking at the history of countries and leaders and – while still considering these areas – now focuses more on the history of societies, economics, mentalities and, in particular, culture. You will be required to read research literature and source texts in different languages (see below), another aspect that is likely to be new to you.

Furthermore, although you will be used to working with primary sources from school, you will explore them much more thoroughly at university.

Unlike Bachelor's and Master's students, as a student of a teaching degree programme (Lehramt) you will not specialise in a particular period of history. This is due to the fact that a broad range of historical periods are included in school curricula (ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary history).

However, you may choose to specialise in specific topics within different periods of history through the courses that you choose. You may also focus on an area that particularly interests you in the written assignment for admission to the first State Examination at the end of the degree programme.

With regard to the part of the degree programme devoted to history, the differences between the teaching degree programme and the Bachelor's degree programme are more to do with quantity than content. The modules, content and study plan are similar for a large part of the programme and the differences in content only become more apparent in the finer details. This is especially true for the teaching degree programme for Gymnasium when compared with the Bachelor's degree programme. In the teaching degree programmes for Realschule, Grundschule and Mittelschule the main difference is in the number of courses that must be taken and the amount of credits that must be acquired. You should also bear in mind that another key part of the teaching degree programme is devoted to teaching methods and education science.

Can I study the subject without previous knowledge?

You should be able to understand and investigate source texts and academic literature from a critical perspective. For this reason knowledge of modern and ancient languages is a considerable advantage. In accordance with the examination regulations (FPO), students of the teaching degree programme for Gymnasium must be proficient in two languages including Latin. If you do not have good proficiency in Latin at the beginning of the degree programme you can take the course 'Latein I' (Latin I) before starting the basic seminar in ancient and medieval history. You must provide proof of good proficiency in Latin before taking the advanced seminar (Section 3 FPO). Students of teaching degree programmes for other types of schools do not require any knowledge of Latin (although it is an advantage) but must provide proof of proficiency in either two foreign languages at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or in Latin and in one foreign language at level A2 of the CEFR (Section 48 (1)(1) LPO I).

Otherwise there are no specific requirements for the degree programme.

Differences between different types of school

In general the same lectures, seminars and other courses in history are open to students of teaching degree programmes for all types of schools and there are no differences in the requirements for different types of students taking the same courses. The only difference is in the number of courses that must be completed and the number of credits that must be obtained, which is due differences in the standard duration of studies (see above). For information on different requirements regarding proficiency in foreign languages, please see 'Can I study the subject without previous knowledge?'.

Particular features

There are many excursions (usually one per semester) to different European countries that you have the opportunity to take part in, although they are not a compulsory part of the degree programme. Recent destinations include Spain, France, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Italy and Turkey.

Furthermore, the Department of History has partnerships with many European universities which means you have the chance to study abroad as part of the Erasmus programme. Teaching placements are a compulsory part of the degree programme. However, the Department also helps to organise voluntary placements in other locations (such as archives or museums) for interested students where possible.

As part of a specially designed compulsory module (for Gymnasium and Realschule) that covers all periods of history studied in the degree programme, students attend a block course at the end of the semester where they work in a team and present their results.

Degree programme start date and application deadlines

The FAU website provides an overview of the current application deadlines as well as information on the selection process and how to apply.

Start date of degree programme: Winter Term

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Please note: Despite careful checks, we cannot rule out errors or omissions. For this reason, all prospective students are advised to seek detailed information from FAU's Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) before commencing their studies.

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Degree type: State Examination
Type of study: Teaching Degree
Location: Erlangen, Nuremberg
Standard duration of study: 9/7 (GYM/Other)
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: German
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology