Undergraduate study | Russian

Learn the Russian language while exploring its social, cultural and political contexts, including through literature and film, as part of a single or joint honours degree.

Why study Russian in Edinburgh?

Spoken by millions of people in Europe, Central Asia and beyond, Russian is the language of some of the most iconic literary and cultural works in history. Study it with us and you’ll learn the language while exploring its social, cultural and political contexts, including through literature and film.

The oldest Russian department in Scotland (the first lectures were given in 1919, with a degree course introduced in 1949), we are part of a School passionate about languages, literatures and cultures, so you’ll benefit from a wide range of courses, great resources and friendly staff. Our University is ranked fourth in the UK, and 19th in the world, for Modern Languages in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

The University hosts the Princess Dashkova Russian Centre - an internationally recognised research and public engagement centre which runs a series of academic and cultural events, including conferences, lectures, film festivals, and events with Russian award-winning writers. From the annual Russian play to a range of student societies for Russian speakers and cultural enthusiasts, our close-knit community has lots going on.

You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh in a world-leading festival city bursting with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections, including outstanding Russian-language holdings in both the Main University Library and National Library of Scotland. We have good links with Russian-speaking community organisations in Scotland and beyond.

Edinburgh stood out to me for its friendly and intimate community in Russian Studies. I also found the idea of a broader approach interesting and have taken an option in Persian.

Thomas NoneleyMA (Hons) Russian Studies and English Literature student

Your learning at a glance

  • Whether you're a complete beginner or have studied the language before, you can take Russian as a single honours subject, or jointly with one of a wide range of other subjects, including other languages.
  • You’ll complete a four-year MA degree, with your third year spent in full, or in part, in a Russian-speaking country.
  • You’ll engage with a broad range of subjects in your first two years, and specialise thereafter. Our courses are taught by research-active staff who will pass on the same passion and world-class expertise that gained us excellent results in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • You’ll study both the language and culture of Russia, including history, literature and cinema.
  • You’ll be based in Edinburgh’s historic centre, close to the Main University Library and the National Library of Scotland, with access to fantastic language learning facilities and resources.

Going on a year abroad looks great on your CV. Most of the graduate schemes based abroad require a minimum of a year’s experience living in a foreign country. Such skills as adaptability and great communication are always a plus, and chatting about your year abroad will definitely help you stand out amongst other applicants.

Aleksandra MilewiczMA (Hons) Russian Studies and English Literature graduate


What and how you’ll study

Degree combinations, teaching methods, and a year-by-year guide to your learning.

Where might Russian take you?

Career opportunities for Russian Studies graduates.

Find out more and apply

If you’d like to study on any of our undergraduate programmes, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. There’s lots of information about the application process on the University of Edinburgh website, including detailed entrance requirements and fees.

Go to the University of Edinburgh web page on how to apply for undergraduate study

Visit us

Our undergraduate Open Days are a great chance to find out about student life in Edinburgh from the people who know it best: our students and staff. Our next Open Days will be for students wishing to start their undergraduate degree in 2021. The Open Days scheduled for 26th September and 10th October 2020 are currently still planned to go ahead. The University is also working to develop an online alternative for prospective students thinking about starting university in 2021.

Keep up to date with Open Day information on the University of Edinburgh website 

Student representation

Find out more about class representatives and student representation in Russian (secured)