Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Russian Studies

Why choose Russian Studies at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked in the UK's top 5 universities and in the world's top 20 universities for modern languages in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

  • The University offers 16 languages for study at degree level and more than 140 joint language programmes. This creates a diverse and uniquely exciting and stimulating environment for language study.

  • You will benefit from facilities including the unique Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, which offers numerous academic and cultural activities to advance knowledge in the field of Russian language and Russian studies. The University‚Äôs Main Library holds a Russian collection of excellent Russian language resources, including items on literature, culture, history, and politics, and databases of periodicals and newspapers. You will be able to use the immense collection of Russian resources at the National Library of Scotland and will have access to Russian television and films.

  • 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.

  • Our teaching staff are also highly active researchers, passing on to you the same passion and world-class expertise that gained excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. In modern languages and linguistics, 70 per cent of our research was rated either world-leading or internationally excellent on the overall quality profile, following a joint submission with Celtic and Scottish Studies.

  • We welcome both beginners and students with previous knowledge of the language.

Study abroad

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 Noneley 2nd year MA (Hons) Russian Studies & English Literature
Thomas Noneley 2nd year MA (Hons) Russian Studies & English Literature

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

In addition to acquiring very good language skills, you will study Russian literature, film and media, social and cultural contexts of Russian language use, and the country's cultural and political history.

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. After completing Year 1 you have the opportunity to take a summer language course 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, literature, theatre, languages 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. Among our current placements are universities in St Petersburg, Moscow, Petrozavodsk, Kazan and Liden, and Denz Russian Language Schools 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 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?

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

Living 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 Princess Dashkova Russian Centre and 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, Kazan, Petrozavodsk and Riga.

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.

You will be taught by experienced tutors including world-leading research academics. Russian is taught in small groups and much of our teaching materials are tailor made for student requirements. You will receive timely feedback on your work and will be offered individual as well as group consultations.

From the first week of your University career, you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will provide pastoral support, in addition to that offered by the Student Support Office.

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.