Russia today is increasingly influential 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, along with an understanding of the history, people and culture of Russia, has never been of greater importance to governments, businesses and private citizens.

Courses in Russian at St Andrews combine modern communicative methods with sound grammatical accuracy and a high level of oral aptitude. You will also be able to choose from a wide range of modules dedicated to literature, film, cultural history and contemporary Russian society.


Undergraduate - 2020 entry

Russian MA (Hons)
Gateway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)
FE-HE Pathway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

You can take Russian MA (Hons) with another subject as part of a joint degree, Modern Language degree, or a "with" degree. 

Postgraduate - 2020 entry


Modern Languages  MLitt

Research degree

The School of Modern Languages offers a Master of Studies by Research (MSt (Res)). Find out more about the MSt (Res)


Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD opportunities.

Student life

The Department of Russian provides an intimate and friendly environment, with modules taught in small groups by a team of skilled and research-active teachers.

You can start your study of Russian with no previous experience of the language or continue your studies from school. A wide variety of degree programmes allows students to study Russian alongside one or two other languages, or subjects like International Relations, History or English.

Students may join the student-run Russian Society or Ukrainian Society, both of which offer a varied programme of cultural and social events during the academic year. The Department also hosts a series of research seminars which is open to all students and directed by the Centre for Russian Soviet Central and Eastern European Studies.

Visit St Andrews


If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day or talk and tour to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Wednesday 8 April 2020
  • Wednesday 15 April 2020

Visit us


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020

Sign up

Russian research areas

The Department of Russian has produced internationally recognised research in a range of fields including literature, culture and society from the 19th to the 21st centuries.

Careers for graduates in Russian

Russia’s political and economic significance in the world means ever-multiplying career prospects for those who can communicate in Russian. Graduates have found careers within:

  • the British Foreign Office
  • the Civil Service
  • journalism
  • law
  • teaching
  • the armed services
  • accountancy
  • management consultancy
  • education in Russia and Eastern Europe.

See recent graduate employment case studies.

Employable skills

By studying a degree in Russian, you will gain the following skills:

  • read, write, listen to and speak in the Russian language
  • effectively use reference materials
  • develop analytical, critical and specialist skills that can be used in other contexts
  • appreciation and openness towards other cultures
  • deploy skills in ICT, note taking and summarising, library research, mediation, analysis and problem solving.

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.


Find out about undergraduate funding opportunities offered by the University of St Andrews.

Undergraduate scholarships


The School of Modern Languages is offering a number of postgraduate scholarships:

  • two Santander University scholarships worth £5,000 each
  • two Forum for Modern Language Studies scholarships of £9,000 for those applying for an MLitt programme in Modern Languages.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

The School of Modern Languages offers a number of PhD scholarships and funding opportunities

Funding for PhD students


REF 2014

‌The School of Modern Languages was ranked first in Scotland for the quality of their publications, and over 70% of research work was rated as world-leading and internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

University league tables

The School of Modern Languages was ranked top in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2020.


Department of Russian
University of St Andrews
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3642

Russian website Russian research portal