Philosophy, Literary and Linguistic Studies B.A.


Key Info

Basic Information

Bachelor of Arts
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
6 semesters
ECTS Credits:
180Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.


Admission Requirements

  • Abitur or equivalent HZB Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), subject specific university entrance qualification, or an equally recognized university entrance qualification (HZB)

  • Proficiency in German --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    You must provide documentation of your language skills for the language of instruction at the time of enrollment. The exam regulations stipulate the relevant requirements.

Admission to First Semester


Admission to Higher Semesters


Enrollment Requirements

  • SelfAssessment --- Mehr Informationen ---


    RWTH Aachen self assessments are online advising processes for deciding what to study. Participation in one (rarely two) of these self assessments is mandatory. You can find which self assessment you need to take for this subject in the course of study description under "Prerequisites". You will need to show proof of participation in a subject specific self assessment in order to enroll (not to apply). You can print out the participation certificate yourself.

Language Requirements

  • See Course of Study Description

Dates and Deadlines


Whether a poem, novel, newspaper article, instructions, or a political speech – every text has an intention, a particular style, and a cultural, political, and biographical background. Philology's task is to systematically investigate these interrelationships – in particular in terms of content and form.

Literary studies regards a text as a form of communication and art and critically examines its genre, style, era, reception, impact, and author. Questions addressed include, for example: What influence did the text have on the discourse of its time - and vice versa? How does it affect us today? Why are some narrators convincing, while others are not?

Linguists primarily focuses on the elements of language: the sounds, word and sentence structures, and the meaning of linguistic units. It also investigates, using, for example, empirical methods, how language is acquired and adapted for certain purposes, addressing questions such as: What is language? How do we acquire language, and what happens in our brain when we actively use it?

Philosophy, especially as philosophy of the cultural world, explores all kinds of artifacts. It complements philological research with logic; onthology; ethics; theories of science, cognition, and argumentation; rounded out by cultural studies perspectives that illuminate, for example, what zeitgeist a text reflects.

Because philology's scientific approach concerns all languages equally, at RWTH, two philologies and philosophy are combined into one interdisciplinary course of study.

Students develop their individual skill profile by choosing two of three components offered:

  • English and American Studies
  • German and General Literary Studies
  • Philosophy

The core curriculum is concerned with the basics of philosophy and gives students an intensive look at two languages and their literature. Linguistics is dealt with exclusively in the context of English Studies. In the specialization, one of the two selected components is studied in greater depth.

A special feature of the curriculum is its connection to learning units from other disciplines. This offers students the opportunity to experience the wide range of diverse perspectives available at RWTH Aachen University.


Degree Content

Semester Course Content
1st to 4rd semester

Components A

Core Curriculum

Components B

Core Curriculum

Interdisciplinary Section

Two Perspectives From Other Subject Areas

Supplementary Section


Foreign Language


6-week Study Abroad

5th to 6th semester

Components A

Specialization Section

Bachelor's Thesis

Interdisciplinary Studies

RWTH's typical combination of theory and practice is evident in the course of study's orientation towards application. Starting in the first semester both Components A and B are supplemented with interdisciplinary studies. This makes it possible for students to more confidently and methodologically work in certain areas of language use and language research later on. One or two so-called perspectives are selected from the following neighboring disiciplines:

  • Computer Science
  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences
  • History
  • Theology

Language Skills and Stay Abroad

At the end of their third semester students must provide documentation of language skills at a C1 level for the English Studies component. An at least six-week long stay abroad gives students important language experiences immersed in local everyday life as well as intercultural skills.

A pre-planned mobility window during the fourth semester helps students to avoid delays in their study progress. It is also possible to get credit for a suitable stay abroad before their studies begins, for example volunteer work, internship, attendance at a foreign university, or employment.

Supplementary Section and Internship

Soft skills such as presentation and languages skills – including in other languages – supplement the studies with career-relevant skills.

A five-week long mandatory internships allows students to develop professional prospects during their studies. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a special Career and Practice Service to support and accompanying students during their internship and in finding a career.

Programs Abroad

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities collaborates with many institutions to offers studies and internships worldwide. Students can complete both the mandatory six-week stay abroad as well as additional internships, studies, and research. By spending time abroad they improve their language skills immersed in local life and simultaneously acquire other technical qualifications. Active language use in various fields of application is essential for study success and a later career.

RWTH students profit not only from the Faculty's exchange programs but also from the University's strategic partnerships with international universities. They can, for example, complete short stays at one of the IDEA League universities while completing a term paper. The UROP Abroad program, the only one of its kind in Germay, offers the possibility to participate in research projects at international universities during Bachelor studies. These stays abroad are partially funded by RWTH-specific funding.

All of RWTH's collaborative programs are listed on the webpages about studying abroad.



Personal Prerequisites

Those who choose the Philosophy, Literary and Linguistic Studies course of study should enjoy intensive reading, working with language, and literary research. Independent literary research is sometimes true "detective work!" Students will need persistance when learning a foreign language. Due to the interdisciplinary components, students should be interested in interdisciplinary thinking and research.

Language Prerequisites

Solid knowledge of the studied language(s) is a prerequisite. Students with foreign languages will be grouped together in language courses with the help of a placement test that takes their varying skills into consideration. In order to participate in the advanced components students must have documentation of sufficient English skills. In addition to the RWTH test, the following tests are accepted:

  • Cambridge-Certificate, CAE
  • IELTS test, at least 6.5
  • TOEFL test – at least 110

Enrollment Prerequisite

When enrolling, students must submit proof that they took the two self assessments below. This is not required at the time of application.
RWTH Subject Self Assessment Humanities, Linguistics, and Communication Studies
RWTH Subject Self Social Sciences


Decision Aids

The Philosphy, Literary and Linguistic Studies course of study at RWTH Aachen is not purely linguistic. It combines philosophy and different languages together and links them to other academic disciplines. This way our students can create a comprehensive scope of knowledge and methods and ensure broad career prospects. If you would like to completely focus on one language and its literature, you should consider the teacher training program or courses of study at other universities and make your decision based on your primary interests.


Media Library

Do you want another glance and other impressions? Use our diverse information sources! You can find our recommendations in the media library.


Career Prospects

From journalism to language technology this course of study qualifies students for all fields, in which the comprehension and composition of texts is required.

Literary scholars are well versed in analyzing complext relationships, illustrated them in various media, and discussing them appropriately based on the target group. These skills are sought in information processing, documentation, and research at many companies.

Thanks to their interdisciplinary studies graduates of RWTH are well trained in flexible, project-oriented changes between content. They work in publishing houses and journalism as facilitators and designers as well as in the cultural sector, information sciences, tourism, industry, and the management of international authorities and associations.

Thanks to its foreign language orientation, the course of study also prepares students for jobs in which a particularly in-depth knowledge of English is required.

A overview of the skills,that our graduates possess can be found under Employer Information from the Faculty's Career and Practice Center.


Master's Degree Prospects

The Master's course of study in Literary and Linguistic Studies is distinguished – as in the Bachelor's course of study – by a flexible component structure and broad interdisciplinary orientation. It offers both traditional subject-specific study and research opportunities as well as a link to other disciplines and prepares its graduates for modern, interdisciplinary research and application.

Instead of advancing their studies in this subject students can also switch to an interdisciplinary Master's course of study or to teacher training studies. However, their Bachelor's studies must be adjusted in advance in order to for them to build up the appropriate profile. We recommend seeking advice early on.


Examination Regulations

Regulations that apply for all Bachelor and Master courses of study as well as detailed information about the necessary documentation of required language skills can be found in RWTH’s Comprehensive Examination Regulation. Examination regulations are only published in German as they are legally binding.

Subject Specific Exam Regulations regulate academic goals, the course of study layout, and exam procedures. The appendix to the regulations contains the description of the modules, from which the course of study is composed.



The course of study is offered by the "Literary Studies, Linguistics, Philosophy" department in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The department represents the linguistic and cultural diversity of the present with its disciplines. All individual subjects are linked together through work with languages and cultures and their literary and non-literary forms of expression.

You can find more information about the course of study and frequently asked questions on the department website.