DAAD-Information Centre Singapore
German is the medium of
instruction for the majority of degree courses offered
by German universities. Consequently, fluency in the
German language is indispensable, and prospective students
will need to submit proof of their German proficiency
Applicants for full degree courses conducted exclusively
in German must
pass a language proficiency test known as the "Deutsche
Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang" (DSH), before they can matriculate themselves. This
is to prove that these applicants are sufficiently proficient
in the German language, so they can easily and without
difficulty follow the lectures and seminars conducted
The DSH exam is held twice annually at universities
all over Germany, shortly before the start of the lecture
period in October and April. It can only be retaken
once. It will take someone with no previous knowledge
of the language roughly 10 - 12 months of intensive
courses to reach the required level of proficiency (approximately
1000 hours of German lessons). Many universities offer
special DSH-preparatory courses for advanced learners
of German as a Foreign Language.
Whereas the DSH can only be taken in Germany, it is
possible to gain proof of the compulsory language proficiency
here in Singapore as well. This involves taking a standardized
called "Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache", better
known by its abbreviation TestDaF (for more information
please go to http://www.testdaf.de).
is offered in collaboration between the Goethe-Institut
Singapore and the NUS Centre for Language Studies and
is carried out twice a year, in April and November (application
deadline roughly four weeks prior to test).
score the highest level (Niveaustufe 5) in all four
parts are automatically exempted from taking the DSH.
So are those with respective Goethe-Institut advanced
language certificates (Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung,
Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom, Großes Deutsches
Sprachdiplom) or the “Deutsches Sprachdiplom der
Kultusministerkonferenz – Zweite Stufe”.
International degree programmes taught either exclusively
or partly in English, seldom require applicants to pass
the DSH (exceptions apply). In fact, many programmes
conducted fully in English do not require any previous
knowledge of German at all, however, the respective
universities will in most cases offer either compulsory
or optional German language classes to successful applicants.
So don’t despair if you are not fluent in German,
yet! However, excellent English language skills are
a must, and good TOEFL or IELTS test results need to
be submitted with the application forms.
Even though a small percentage of German universities
insist that applicants from Singapore submit a TOEFL
or IELTS result slip, the majority will readily exempt
Singaporeans from this requirement due to the fact that
the Singapore education system uses English as the medium
of instruction on all levels, from kindergarten all
the way up to university.
The level of German required for those international
degree programmes using both English and German as medium
of instruction, depends on the individual degree course.
In some cases, no previous knowledge of German is required,
in other cases a basic foundation of about 240 hours
of German language instruction may be called for and
in other cases again, the minimum level required is
the Zertifikat Deutsch (ZD) which requires about 400
to 600 hours of German.
The language requirements for shorter study stays (eg
an exchange programme or summer school) are not subject
to any particular requirements. However, a basic knowledge
of the German language is always helpful, even though
it might not necessarily be required. Neither is a knowledge
of German generally prescribed for those undertaking
doctoral or research work in Germany.
While proficiency in German may not be an admission
requirement for many of the international degree courses
nowadays offered by German universities, a basic working
knowledge of the language is strongly recommended nevertheless.
still in Singapore, you may want to consider joining
one of the excellent German language classes at the
Goethe-Institut, which offers weekly three-hour classes
on all levels, from beginners to advanced. To find out
more detailed information on types of courses, term
dates, pricing etc. go to http://www.goethe.de/singapur.
To find out more about the 16 Goethe-Institutes within
Germany, please go to http://www.goethe.de
Many universities and commercial language schools also
offer German courses for prospective students.
By the way: The subject ‘German as a Foreign Language’ can also be pursued at the following institutions in
Singapore: MOELC, National Junior College, Nanyang Polytechnic,
Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, NUS and
NTU. And did you know that Kinokuniya has a large selection
of German books?
Some more interesting facts about the German language:
With approximately 100 million
native speakers primarily in Germany, Austria and
Switzerland, German is the most widely spoken first
language in Europe
is the second-most commonly used scientific language;
18 % of the world’s books are published in
German. It is also the most commonly used language
on the internet after English
is part of the Indo-Germanic language family and
thus has common roots with English – that’s
why German words such as ‘Finger’, ‘Arm’,
‘Hand’, ‘Haus’, ‘Maus’
etc sound so familiar!
is an important trading partner for Singapore. Some
600 German companies are present in Singapore, many
of which sponsor language courses for their staff.
for more detailed information regarding ‘learning
uni-deutsch.de − German for Academic and Professional Purposes
- uni-deutsch.de is the online professional German language training program for academic and professional purposes consisting of the two modules „Studienvorbereitung“ and „Fachsprachen“
What does uni-deutsch.de offer?
- preparation targeted towards established university entrance level examinations (e.g.:TestDaF)
- authentic materials for everyday life in the university, research, and technical science areas
- exercises for all communication skills as well as learning and working strategies
- a wealth of learning resources, such as an electronic dictionary, online grammer references, an electronic tutor, grammar animations and other learning tools
Who can use uni-deutsch.de?
- all intermediate and advanced level learners in order to prepare for the university entrance level examinations
- all non-native speakers who want to improve their general and technical language knowledge
- all non-native scientists who wish to prepare for a research stay in Germany
International Degree Programmes database
More than thousand of internationally recognized courses in a wide range of disciplines, all taught exclusively or partly in English, are just a click away!
This website helps you find the answers to all your questions about studying and doing research in Germany.
How do German students rate their alma mater? Which universities would German professors recommend? Customize your personal ranking by selecting from the available criteria.
German Embassy Singapore
Learn more about German-Singaporean relations, and make sure you know everything about student visa requirements and application procedures.
Learn German and experience German culture with the official German cultural institute.
German Alumni Singapore
Did you study, work or do research in Germany?
Join the German Alumni Singapore and find many useful contacts in a rapidly growing network.
Singapore Students' Association of Germany
Get in touch with students from Singapore currently studying in Germany! Profit from their first-hand experiences, get useful information and friendly support.