Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA Russian Studies and Social Policy

UCAS code: RL74

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Russian Studies and Social Policy

Russia plays an important role in global cultural and political contexts. It is the world's largest country with the eighth most widely spoken language.

This programme enables you to study Russian alongside issues such as the distribution of welfare and wellbeing within societies and the policies which influence that distribution.

Russian

Our Year 1 Russian courses are streamed according to how much of the language you already know, so it does not matter if you are a complete beginner.

Intensive language tuition, including a year spent studying in Russia, will teach you how to read, write and speak the language to a high standard, including in translation.

You will also learn about Russian literature and culture and its political and historical contexts.

Social Policy

In Social Policy, your focus will be on:

  • social and economic change

  • what causes it

  • its consequences for society

Reflecting how policies are developed, you will learn about both the policy-making process in the UK (including devolution in Scotland and elsewhere) along with the influence of international bodies such as the European Union and OECD.

Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh will enable you to engage with confidence in many of the political debates of our time.

Our programme will equip you with the knowledge to understand how policies affect society and the economy, but it will also enable you to critically assess:

  • how policies are made

  • what actors and processes influence the policymaking process

We work closely with:

  • governments

  • NGOs

  • third sector and interest representation groups

  • international organisations and other external actors

International comparative analyses are one of our main strengths, and we place a strong emphasis on providing our students with empirical research skills, so that they can become critical researchers themselves.

Year 1

Russian

If you have no previous knowledge of Russian you will take Russian Studies 1A, an intensive beginners Russian course.

If you have studied the language before, you will take the Russian Studies 1B course which provides advanced Russian language study.

Both of these courses include a unit on Russian culture.

Social Policy

You will take Social Policy and Society, which revolves around three main themes:

  • social needs

  • social problems

  • social rights

It also explores how different debates about welfare have been influenced by these themes.

You will also study Politics of the Welfare State, which examines social policy as a political issue in the UK. It introduces you to the politics of the area that constitutes one of the largest sets of government expenditure.

Option courses

You will also choose from a wide range of option courses offered by the University of Edinburgh.

Summer language course

After completing Year 1 you have the opportunity to take a summer language course in St Petersburg, Moscow or Riga.

Year 2

Russian

You will continue to study Russian language, and will choose one of the following three courses:

  • Transnational Russian Culture

  • 19th century Russian literature

  • 20th century Russian literature

Social Policy

You will take a course in European Social Policy, which compares different approaches to social policy in various European countries.

You will also take a course in Evidence, Politics and Policy, which will enable you to critically assess how evidence is used or misused by different actors and in the media to influence public opinion.

Option courses

As in Year 1, you'll also choose option courses from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh.

These include a great selection in European languages and cultures, allowing you to study literature, film and theatre in themed and comparative contexts.

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 in a Russian-speaking country studying at a university or language centre.

Among our current placements are universities in:

  • St Petersburg

  • Moscow

  • Petrozavodsk

  • Kazan

  • Liden

We also have placements in Denz Russian Language Schools in St Petersburg, Moscow or Riga.

During your year abroad, we'll aim to ensure your experience is as beneficial as possible to your final year, as well as to your wider language learning, cultural awareness and skills development.

You'll complete prescribed work in both Social Policy and Russian, for example taking an e-learning language course which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your final year Russian courses.

If international travel is not possible, you will be offered an alternative means of engaging with your subjects, enabling you to meet your learning outcomes and preparing you for your final year.

Year 4

You will develop advanced language skills in spoken and written Russian and choose from a range of specialist courses.

You will also take Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy and complete your dissertation.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area.

The University has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including many in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and School of Social and Political Science.

Events and activities

There's plenty to see and do throughout the year, including at our own Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, an internationally recognised research and public engagement centre which runs:

  • conferences

  • lectures

  • film festivals

  • events with Russian award-winning writers

There's lots going on in our subject areas, including:

  • the Russian Play

  • Russian Society

  • Model United Nations

  • Edinburgh Political Union

Our online magazine for European languages, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in Russian.

Russian and Politics in Edinburgh city

Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Parliament and home of the Scottish Government.

It is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections, including significant Russian holdings in the National Library of Scotland and Main University Library.

Edinburgh's European cinema scene is particularly strong and includes an annual Russian Film Week.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you'll spend Year 3 abroad (a minimum of 30 weeks), in a Russian-speaking country.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in Russian-language culture, and to develop your broader life experience and skills towards life after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught by experienced tutors including world-leading research academics.

Russian is taught in small groups and much of our teaching material is tailor made for student requirements.

You will receive timely feedback on your work and will be offered individual as well as group consultations.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of coursework and exams.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2021/22)

Opportunities for Russian-speaking graduates, both at home and abroad, are many, varied and steadily expanding.

They include:

  • international relations
  • law
  • policy analysis
  • civil service
  • business
  • journalism
  • culture
  • defence
  • publishing
  • translation
  • teaching

Our graduates will have the intellectual strength and flexibility that so many employers prize in high-level humanities graduates.

Your year abroad will be of particular benefit in developing the key skills you'll need to thrive after graduation.

Having developed enhanced research skills during your time with us, especially in Year 4, you may also choose to continue studying at postgraduate level.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB-ABBB by end of S5 or AAAA-AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAB - ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 665 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: a language other than English at B and English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: a language other than English at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: a language other than English at 5 and English at 5.

Additional requirements

Language requirement

For degrees that have a subject requirement of a language other than English, students may not use their own native language to meet this requirement. In these instances, English or an alternative language other than native will be acceptable.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Russian Studies and Social Policy

Additional costs

If international travel restrictions allow, you will spend Year 3 abroad. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go, and how you spend your time.

Universities may charge you a fee for courses, but we will reimburse you for this, as long as the course has been approved. You will be informed about costs as you plan your year abroad, during Year 2.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding