The last comprehensive study of the motives for studying German in Australia was conducted in the late 1980s. The main objective of this thesis is not only to fill the gap of recent data but at the same time to analyse the new data in the context of relevant theories of language learning motivation. The data analysis focuses on students’ demographic backgrounds, their motivation to learn German, and on their expectations towards course content. Where possible, the new data is compared with former studies in order to investigate what changes have occurred over the last two decades. It will be shown that these changes are primarily a reflection of changes to higher education policies. Overall, the thesis establishes a theoretically informed and data-based platform for curriculum development which will assist German Studies programs in designing their courses for the future.