Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA German and Russian Studies

UCAS code: RR27

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA German and Russian Studies

The German and Russian cultures have influenced each other for several centuries, through peaceful cultural exchange, migration and mobility, and war and conflict.

Studying this joint programme will provide you with intense training in both the written and spoken aspects of each language, as well as introducing you to an extraordinary range of literature, film and theatre from Europe and beyond, studied in its historical, political and social context.

Why Edinburgh

We are unique in Scotland in offering students a full academic year abroad within the four-year honours programme, regardless of whether you spend the year studying or working. You will spend this year in at least two countries:

  • one where German is spoken
  • one where Russian is spoken

Our language programmes are also extremely flexible. In Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subjects.

Year 1

German

If you have not studied German before, you will take German 1A, an intensive language course.

If your entry qualification for German is a Scottish Higher, A level, or equivalent, you will take German 1B. This course covers language as well as literature and culture from 1770 to the present day.

As part of German 1B, you will interview a German native speaker working in Edinburgh or Glasgow. This will give you the opportunity to:

  • practise professional communication
  • discover the value of languages in the workplace
  • gain insights into possible career options

Russian

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

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

Both of these courses include a unit on Russian culture.

Option courses

You'll complete your studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh. These include - but aren’t limited to - courses in business, politics, social policy, informatics and economics, and in history (including art and architectural history), classics, archaeology, philosophy, linguistics, and divinity.

Year 2

German

In Year 2 you will develop your oral language skills further. You will also practise translation, grammar, and writing different types of texts in German.

You will continue to study German-language literature and culture, choosing at least two courses from a range of options. These are likely to include:

  • Researching Disability in German Literature and Society
  • Culture, Modernity and the City in the Weimar Republic
  • Reading Antisemitism in Modern German Literature
  • The Contemporary Short Story in German
  • Sexualities on the German Screen (title to be confirmed)
  • Migration in German-Language Discourse

Russian

In Year 2 you will build on the spoken and written language skills you developed in Year 1. You will also choose one of the following courses:

  • Transnational Russian Culture
  • 19th century Russian literature
  • 20th century Russian literature

Option courses

As in Year 1, you will also choose from a range of option courses offered by the University.

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

Current options include, but are not limited to, courses in:

  • Cultural Responses to War
  • Migration, Exile, Diaspora
  • Crime and Detection in Literature
  • Gender and Culture
  • The Coming-of-Age Narrative
  • Introduction to European Cinema
  • Dynamics of Language and Power
  • Languages Beyond University

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, you'll spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your 30 weeks between a country in which German is spoken and one in which Russian is spoken.

You will spend at least eight weeks in each country, either studying or completing a work/teaching placement.

Among our current placements are universities in:

  • Berlin, Augsburg, Hamburg
  • Heidelberg, St Petersburg, Moscow
  • Petrozavodsk, Kazan, Liden
  • Tübingen, Freiburg, Leipzig, Mainz and Vienna

We also currently offer placements in Denz Russian Language Schools in St Petersburg, Moscow and Riga.

Whether studying or working, our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefited their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of German-language and Russophone cultures.

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. For example, you'll take e-learning courses which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your Year 4 language 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 your advanced skills in both languages.

You will also choose specialist German and Russian Studies courses on topics such as film and literature, history, language and politics.

Dissertation

You will complete a dissertation or a long essay in either German or Russian Studies.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on 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 structure (2021/22)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area, where we have excellent:

  • computing and audiovisual resources
  • support services
  • social spaces

Events and activities

You can join student societies for German and Russian, and contribute creative writing in both languages to our online magazine, Babble.

We contribute actively to the local cultural scene. You will be able to attend film screenings, performances and talks organised by members of staff for the wider public. We also host the Princess Dashkova Russian Centre.

The city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled with cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries and collections. These include outstanding German and Russian holdings in the National Library of Scotland.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, you'll spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your 30 weeks between a country in which German is spoken and one in which Russian is spoken.

You will spend at least eight weeks in each country, either studying or completing a work/teaching placement.

This is your chance to immerse yourself in German-language and Russophone culture. It will allow you to develop broader life experience and skills that you can use after university.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Language teaching involves developing professional speaking and writing skills, as well as an introduction to professional translation techniques.

Experienced lecturers and language instructors will teach through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • computer-assisted learning

You will often work in independent learning groups with the guidance of experienced staff, and will have the opportunity to discuss the latest research of world-leading scholars.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of:

  • exams
  • coursework
  • class participation

Studying languages and humanities to degree level, especially when you spend a year abroad, gives you a set of skills and life experiences highly prized by employers.

Our employment statistics for language graduates are impressive. Our graduates can be found in every sector, especially those that require disciplined and imaginative thinking.

With a qualification in German and Russian, you will understand two languages of international communication. More people speak German than any other language in Europe, while Russian is the eighth most widely spoken.

Many of our former students are working in roles where language skills are of special value, such as:

  • education
  • translating
  • interpreting
  • business
  • travel and tourism

This includes for multinational companies, political institutions, and international charities.

Further study

There are also opportunities to continue studying at postgraduate level. Year 4 will help you to develop the research skills needed if you choose this path.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA-AABB by end of S5 or AAAA-AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 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: German at B. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: German or Russian at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: German or Russian at 5. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

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

Entry requirements by country

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 German and Russian Studies

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 of 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