Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Russian Studies

Why choose Russian Studies at the University of Edinburgh?

  • The University of Edinburgh is home to the oldest Russian department in Scotland and has a vibrant community of Russian speakers who work or study in Edinburgh.

  • The University has a unique Princess Dashkova Russian Centre which offers numerous academic and cultural activities advancing knowledge in the field of Russian language and Russian studies.

  • The Russian collection housed in the Main Library contains excellent resources related to Russian language, literature, culture, history and politics including several databases of important periodicals and newspapers. In addition, you will have the opportunity to use the National Library of Scotland for its immense collection of Russian resources. You will also have access to Russian television and to a rich Russian film collection.

  • Edinburgh has one of the widest ranges of languages and joint honours programmes of any UK university. That creates an exciting and stimulating environment for language study. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, modern languages at Edinburgh was rated 4th in the UK and 17th in the world.

  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 70 per cent of our European languages and cultures research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent, in a joint submission with Celtic and Scottish Studies.

Study abroad

Courses are diverse, stimulating and challenging; the staff are friendly, enthusiastic and approachable; and you can get involved with the subject at every level. I particularly enjoyed time spent with the Russian Society!

Adrianna Jones Russian Studies student
Adrianna Jones Russian Studies student

Studying Russian at Edinburgh will give you a rich and thorough command and appreciation of Russian language, literature, and culture.

In addition to acquiring solid language skills, you will study Russian literature, film and media, Russian language culture, and the country's cultural and political history.

You will be taught by world-leading research academics.

Year 1

If you have no previous knowledge of Russian you will take Russian Studies 1A. If you have studied the language before, you will take Russian Studies 1B. Both of these courses include a unit on Russian culture. After completing Year 1 you have the opportunity to spend a month in St Petersburg, Moscow or Riga.

Year 2

You will continue to study Russian language, and will also take a course on 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature. You will have the opportunity to take additional courses on European cinema, theatre, and medieval culture.

Year 3

You will spend Year 3 in a Russian-speaking country studying at a university or on a work experience placement. You will have the opportunity to go to Russia, via Russian Language Undergraduate Studies (RLUS), or study at Liden and Denz Russian Language Centre in St Petersburg, Moscow or Riga.

Year 4

In Year 4 you will take Russian language classes - Prose and Writing in Style, developing your active Russian language skills, Translation and Text Analysis developing your reception skills, and Oral. You will also take one or more option courses, specialising in Russian literature, Russian language and society, Russian media, Russian politics and Russian architecture. Depending upon your programme, you may also have the opportunity to write a long essay in Russian or to complete a dissertation in Russian, developing your independent research and Russian writing skills.

Are there additional costs?

The normal residence requirement for European languages at Edinburgh is 30 weeks in the relevant country or countries. Students studying more than one language must complete a minimum of eight weeks in one country that is relevant to their programme.

Placements in Russia involve fees charged by Russian universities, but reimbursement of these tuition fees for our students is provided by the University.

Costs vary according to your destination. Capital cities are more expensive than provincial towns.

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, located within the University's Central Area.

You will have access to the School's state-of-the-art computer facilities, Russian television, Russian film collection, language resources and databases, as well as all of the rich holdings in the University's libraries and computer labs.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to work and study abroad between Years 1 and 2. Residence abroad is mandatory in Year 3.

If you are studying more than one language you will divide your time abroad between two countries. Previous placements in Russia have included Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan.

How will I learn?

Teaching takes place in and around the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, located at 50 George Square, within the University's Central Area. Our state-of-the-art building houses computer labs, a language resource centre, and social facilities as well as tutors’ offices and lecture theatres.

How will I be assessed?

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

The opportunities for Russian-speaking graduates, in the UK as well as in Russia and beyond, are many, varied, and steadily expanding.

A qualification in Russian Studies from Edinburgh will give you the intellectual strength and flexibility that so many employers prize in high-level humanities graduates.

Russian is also becoming an increasingly important language for international business, journalism, cultural exchanges, defence, academia, publishing, translation and law.