Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MA Russian Studies and Philosophy

UCAS code: RV75

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Literatures, Languages and Cultures

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Russian Studies and Philosophy

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.

Studying Russian and philosophy, which has been at the core of Western intellectual life for at least 2,500 years, helps us understand the world in which we live now, as well as shedding light on the past.

Russian

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, including a year spent studying in Russia, will teach you how to read, write and speak the language to a high standard, including in translation.

The University of Edinburgh has been giving lectures in Russian Studies since 1919, with a degree course introduced in 1949.

Philosophy

Studying philosophy, you'll explore and analyse how philosophers past and present have understood the world, and the arts of:

  • argument

  • critical enquiry

  • reasoning

  • clarity of expression

These are essential tools in a variety of careers.

We also have a strong historic connection to philosophy, counting Adam Ferguson and Sir William Hamilton among our former students.

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.

Philosophy

You will study:

  • Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment

  • Morality and Value

  • Logic 1

These courses introduce you to key topics in:

  • the history of philosophy

  • morality and ethics

  • the nature of argument

Option courses

You can choose to take Philosophy of Science 1, which looks at the basic assumptions of science, or to choose an option course from a wide range offered by the University of Edinburgh.

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

Russian

You will continue to study Russian language, and will choose one of the following three courses:

  • Transnational Russian Culture

  • 19th century Russian literature

  • 20th century Russian literature

Philosophy

You will take two compulsory courses in philosophy:

  • Mind, Matter and Language

  • Knowledge and Reality

Option courses

You will also choose one or more 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, and/or language analysis.

Year 3

If international travel restrictions allow, 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

  • Liden

We also have placements in Denz Russian Language Schools in St Petersburg, Moscow or Riga.

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.

You'll complete prescribed work in both philosophy and Russian, for example taking an e-learning language course which will count as part of your Year 3 mark and prepare you for your final year Russian 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

You will develop advanced language skills in spoken and written Russian and choose from a range of specialist courses in both Russian and philosophy.

You will also complete your dissertation.

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 and neighbouring School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences.

Our linguistics and phonetics equipment - for use experimentally and in fieldwork - is among the best in the world.

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

There's lots going on in our subject areas, from our Russian play to student-run societies for Russian and philosophy.

Our online magazine for European languages, Babble, is the place to publish your creative writing in 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'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 (2021/22)

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

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

Your year abroad will be of particular benefit in developing the key skills you'll need to thrive after graduation.

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: 36 points with 665 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

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 Philosophy

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