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Department of Russian

First in the UK for Teaching Quality and Experience (Times University Guide 2017)

Russia today is increasingly influential on the world stage in terms of its politics, economics, art and culture. It is a nation with a rich artistic and intellectual heritage that includes great writers such as Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, and notable thinkers like Herzen and Berdiaev. Knowledge of the mother tongue of over 150 million people, and the better understanding of history, people and culture which this ensures, have never been of greater importance to governments, businesses and private citizens.

The Department of Russian is a flourishing community with an intake of around 60 undergraduates each year. It is ranked ranked fourth in the UK by the Times Good University Guide 2017, and first in the UK for Teaching Quality and Experience (Times University Guide 2017). Our School of Modern Languages has been ranked 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2018.

With sixpermanent members of staff the Department has a proven track record of excellence in teaching and combines this with internationally recognised research in a range of fields including literature and thought from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. We are extremely proud of the calibre of our graduates who are sought out each year by a wide range of employers, including the civil service, financial institutions and NGOs, or who go on to further study.

The majority of our graduates begin their study of Russian here with no prior knowledge of the language, although students who already have a suitable pre-university qualification in Russian (A-Level, Scottish Higher, etc.) follow a separate course for the first two years, specifically tailored to their needs. We aim to combine modern 'communicative' methods with sound grammatical accuracy and a high level of oral aptitude, supplemented by the teaching of a wide range of modules dedicated to modern literature, intellectual history and contemporary Russian culture and society.

If you have read any of Charles Dickens's novels in Russian and would like to participate in a research project, please visit this website:

Annunciation Cathedral, Kremlin, Moscow (c) Daniel Oi, 2008

Contact details

Dr Emily Finer
Head of Department of Russian
School of Modern Languages
University of St Andrews
St Andrews KY16 9PH
Scotland, UK

Telephone: +44 1334 463648