Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA Russian Studies

UCAS code: R700

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Russian 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.

Study Russian with us and you will learn the language in the context of Russian culture and political history, past and present, including literature, art, music and film.

Our Year 1 courses are streamed according to how much Russian you already know, so it does not matter if you are a complete beginner. Intensive language tuition, and a year spent studying in Russia, will teach you how to read, write and speak the language to a high standard, including in translation.

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 Russian.

One of the most attractive characteristics of this programme is its flexibility. This means that in Years 1 and 2, you’ll choose option courses drawn from a broad list of disciplines in addition to your core subject of Russian.

This may enable you to change the focus of your programme in your Honours years (Years 3 and 4).

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.

You’ll also study option courses chosen from a wide range offered by the University.

Year 2

You will continue to study Russian language, and will also take a course on 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature.

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

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 and Liden, and Denz Russian Language Schools in St Petersburg, Moscow or Riga.

During your year abroad, you'll complete an online Russian grammar course and write two essays on a topic chosen from a list supplied by us. This will help prepare you for your final year.

Some language centres provide internships on completion of the course. You may also be able to find your own internship, subject to departmental approval.

Year 4

You will combine advanced language courses with specialist option courses chosen from a wide range in Russian literature, Russian language and society, Russian politics and post-Soviet culture and society.

In addition, you will complete a dissertation in Russian, developing your independent research skills.

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 (2020/21)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in and around the University of Edinburgh's Central Area in a world-leading festival city. Edinburgh is bursting 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. 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 area, from our Russian play to our student-run Russian Society. Our online magazine for European languages, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in Russian.

Study abroad

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 (2020/21)

Studying the Russian language to degree level, especially when you spend a year abroad as part of your studies, gives you a set of skills and life experiences highly prized by employers.

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. Opportunities include:

  • Business
  • Journalism
  • Culture
  • Defence
  • Publishing
  • Translation
  • Law
  • Policy analysis
  • Civil service

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: 39 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: 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

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

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

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