Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

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

Russia plays an important role in global cultural and political contexts. It is the world's largest country with the eighth 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 allows 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.

Intensive language tuition enables you how to read, write and speak the languages to a high standard, including in translation. You will also study literature and culture.

A highlight of this programme is the Year Abroad. You will spend Year 3 studying, teaching or working in two countries:

  • one in Scandinavia

  • 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.

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 wide range of disciplines in addition to your core subjects of Russian Studies and Scandinavian Studies.

As well as broadening your education and skill set, this may enable you to change the focus of your programme in your honours years (Years 3 and 4).

Year 1

Russian

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 the Russian Studies 1B course which provides advanced Russian language study.

Both of these courses include a unit on Russian culture.

Scandinavian Studies

You will take an intensive beginners' language course in either:

  • Danish

  • Norwegian

  • Swedish

Each course develops your spoken and written language skills, and studies aspects of literature and culture.

Over the course of Years 1 and 2, you'll be also encouraged to take one, or both, of two courses in Scandinavian Civilisation. These provide an overview of important trends in the history, society, culture and politics of the Scandinavian and wider Nordic world, from the earliest times to the present.

Option courses

You'll complete your Year 1 studies with option courses chosen from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh.

As well as Scandinavian Civilisation, these include - but are not limited to - courses in:

  • business

  • politics

  • social policy

  • informatics

  • economics

  • history (including art and architectural history)

  • classics

  • archaeology

  • philosophy

  • linguistics

  • divinity

Summer language course

After completing Year 1 you have the opportunity to take a summer language course in St Petersburg, Moscow or Riga.

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.

Russian

You will choose between courses in:

  • Transnational Russian Culture

  • 19th century Russian literature

  • 20th century Russian literature

Scandinavian Studies

You will choose between courses in:

  • Scandinavian literature

  • understanding the relations between all three Scandinavian languages

Option courses

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

If international travel restrictions allow, 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 benefited 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.

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

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

  • 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 (2021/22)

Our facilities

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

The University has excellent computing and audiovisual resources, support services and social spaces, including in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.

Events and activities

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

  • events with Russian award-winning writers

Scotland has excellent links with the Nordic nations. 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

  • the involvement of visiting guests in teaching and learning activities

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.

Russian in Edinburgh city

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city filled 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.

Study abroad

If international travel restrictions allow, 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.

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

  • the skills and experiences developed during your year abroad

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-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: 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.

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 Russian Studies and Scandinavian 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 about 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