Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA Russian Studies and Scandinavian Studies

UCAS code: RR76

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Russian Studies and Scandinavian Studies

After a period of political, social and economic transformation, Russia is playing an increasingly important role in global politics and, as the world’s largest country, has its fifth most widely spoken language. While the Scandinavian countries are smaller, their languages, history, politics and culture have long had a considerable impact beyond the Nordic region.

This programme enables you to study Russian and one (or more) of either Swedish, Danish or Norwegian in the context of the countries in which they're spoken. As well as intensive language tuition, learning how to read, write and speak the languages to a high standard - including in translation - you will also study cultural topics such as literature and film.

A highlight of this programme is the Year Abroad. You will spend Year 3 studying, teaching or working in two countries: one in Scandinavia; and one in which Russian is spoken.

Another attractive characteristic of this programme is its flexibility. This means that in Years 1 and 2, you will choose option courses drawn from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subjects.

Year 1

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 Russian Studies 1B which provides an advanced Russian language component. Both of these courses include a unit on Russian culture.

You will take an intensive beginners' language course in either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish, developing your spoken and written language skills, and studying aspects of literature and culture.

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

Year 2

In Year 2 you will build on the language skills you developed in Year 1, both in Russian and in your chosen Scandinavian language.

You will take a course on 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature and further courses in Scandinavian literature and languages. You can opt, for example, to develop your skills in understanding all three Scandinavian languages.

As in Year 1, you will also choose from a wide range of other 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.

Year 3

You'll spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your 30 weeks between a country in which Russian is spoken and either Sweden, Norway, or Denmark. You will spend at least eight weeks in each country, either studying or completing a work/teaching placement.

Whether studying or working, our graduates have told us how much the year abroad has benefitted their broader life experience and skills, as well as their understanding of Scandinavian and Russophone languages and 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.

Year 4

In Year 4, you'll refine your advanced language skills.

You'll also take specialist option courses taught by research-active experts. There's a wide range to choose from, usually on topics such as literature, history, politics, language and culture.

You will also complete a dissertation or long essay in either Russian or a Scandinavian language.

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 (2019/20)

Our facilities

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

Scotland has excellent links with the Nordic nations, and Edinburgh hosts the Northern Scholars programme which fosters co-operation between scholars of the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries and Scotland, largely through events such as public lectures, workshops, and the involvement of visiting guests in teaching and learning activities.

Edinburgh's European cinema scene is particularly strong and includes an annual Russian Film Week. 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, and events with Russian award-winning writers.

The University has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. There’s lots going on in our subject areas, from our Russian play to our student-run Russian Society and Scandinavian Society. Our online magazine for European languages, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Russian.

Study abroad

You will spend Year 3 abroad, dividing your time between a country where Russian is spoken and either Norway, Sweden or Denmark.

You will spend at least eight weeks in each country. This is your chance to immerse yourself in Scandinavian and Russophone 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. We teach languages in small groups, with most of our materials 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 (2019/20)

Russia plays a significant role in global politics and, as the world’s largest country, has its fifth most widely spoken language.

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

  • Business
  • Journalism
  • Culture
  • Defence
  • Publishing
  • Translation
  • Law
  • Policy analysis
  • Civil Service
  • Teaching

As there are relatively few graduates from UK universities specialising in the Scandinavian languages, there are excellent opportunities for those who do learn Danish, Norwegian or Swedish, particularly since speakers of one language are widely understood in all Scandinavian countries.

Our alumni are to be found in every kind of career, especially those that place a premium on well-honed communication skills, thinking that is both disciplined and imaginative, and where the skills and experiences developed during your year abroad are highly valued.

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

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: AAAA-AAAB. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 43 points with 776 at HL - 37 points with 666 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: a Modern European Language other than English at B. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: Russian at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Russian or one of the Scandinavian languages at 5. SL: 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

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 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 componens.

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

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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 Scandinavian Studies

Additional costs

For your compulsory residence abroad in Year 3, we give you a wide range of options. Your costs will depend on where you decide to go and how you spend your time.

Universities outside the EU may charge you a fee for courses, but we will reimburse you for this provided the course has been approved. You will be informed about the cost implications 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