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, and an understanding of history, people and culture which this ensures, 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.



Russian MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

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



Russian Studies MLitt
Comparative Literature MLitt
Cultural Identity Studies 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 under the auspices of the Centre for Russian Soviet Central and Eastern European Studies to which undergraduate students are welcome.

Visit St Andrews

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


Autumn visiting days

Booking for our autumn visiting days will open in early September 2018.

  • Wednesday 26 September 2018
  • Wednesday 3 October 2018
  • Wednesday 17 October 2018
  • Wednesday 24 October 2018
  • Wednesday 31 October 2018

Sign up


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 14 November 2018

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.

Russian research centres and institutes

There are three research centres and institutes related to Russian at St Andrews.


The CISI studies the collective identities of the countries of continental Europe as well as other culture zones. The institute aims to provide a focus and a forum for high-level research into cultural identity in all its aspects.

The ICCL explores current conceptions and practices of both contemporary and comparative literature, and works towards definitions of these fit for the 21st century.

CRSCEES aims to promote Russian, post-Soviet and East European research and teaching by bringing together members of staff from various departments across the University who share interests in this field.

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 three postgraduate scholarships: two Santander University scholarships worth £5,000 each; and a Forum for Modern Language Studies scholarship of £7,500 for those applying for an MLitt programme in Modern Languages.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

The School of Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews invites applications for one fully-funded PhD scholarship (fees plus £10,000 per annum maintenance) to be awarded from the beginning of session 2016-2017.

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

Russian at St Andrews was ranked fourth in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2017 and top in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2017 for teaching quality and student experience. 


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