Germany is widely seen as one of the best places to apply for a PhD worldwide
That's no surprise, as Germany invented the elite academic qualification in the 19th century. German PhDs cover subjects as diverse as history, linguistics, and philosophy, or chemistry, molecular biology, earth sciences, and computer science. Most lower level degree subjects can be extended to PhD level if the student desires.
How can I get a PhD in Germany?
There are two main ways to complete a PhD in Germany. Most commonly, students form a working relationship with a specific Doktorvater or Doktormutter (or "supervisor" in English). They then work on a tightly focused research task for the duration of their studies. The fruits of their research are then presented as a "Doctorate" (Doktorarbeit), which tends to resemble a medium-length book.
In some cases, "Structured" PhDs are available. These resemble taught Masters degrees, but still have a strong research element. They may also focus on work placements.
How long does it take to get a PhD in Germany?
Generally speaking, a standard research-oriented German PhD can be obtained within 4-6 years. This depends on the speed of work and personal factors such as having children. Structured PhDs can often be completed in just 3 years, but this varies from course to course.