Russian MA (Hons) 2021 entry
The MA (Hons) in Russian teaches you to use Russian with sound grammatical accuracy and a high level of oral aptitude. In addition to language teaching, you will gain a deeper and more diverse understanding and appreciation of Russian-language cultures, histories and societies through modules dedicated to literature, film, cultural history, and contemporary society.
Russian at St Andrews uses a specially designed language teaching programme that caters both for students who have already studied Russian as a main subject at school and for absolute beginners. Upon completing the degree, you will have an excellent command of the Russian language and be familiar with the Russian-speaking world.
During your degree, you have the opportunity to spend time studying abroad in Russia. Time in Russia is not compulsory, but is strongly recommended as the best way to master the language and to better know the country. On a four-year degree, students can spend one semester in one of a variety of locations in Russia. The MA (Hons) in Russian is also available as a five-year course with an integrated year abroad when students spend time studying in Russia between their second and third years. Find out more about the Russian integrated year abroad.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 June 2025
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- Standard entry grades: AAAB
- Minimum entry grades: AABB
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB
- Standard entry grades: AAB
- Minimum entry grades: ABB
- Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language, you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.How to apply
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
No prior knowledge of Russian is necessary. Modules are not designed for native speakers.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
The School of Modern Languages has a long-standing reputation for innovative research in an exceptionally broad variety of interests including world literature, cinema, cultural history and theory, gender and identity studies.
The School of Modern Languages was ranked top in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2021.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% of St Andrews final-year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
In the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework (REF), the School of Modern Languages was ranked first in Scotland on the quality of publications, with over 70% of research work rated as world-leading and internationally excellent.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
Find out more about studying Russian at St Andrews.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), you will take the required modules in Russian along with modules in at least one additional subject.
A single Honours student will take one Russian module per semester during the first two years, and four Russian modules per semester during third and fourth years (known as Honours).
Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.
Two different types of module are offered in first year: intensive foundation courses for beginners, and advanced language and literature courses for those with higher entrance qualifications. For all modules, speaking in Russian is practised in small groups with a native speaker.
Students who are beginners are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:
- Elementary Russian Language 1: provides the most basic elements of Russian – the alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.
- Elementary Russian Language 2: provides training in Russian grammar sufficient for reading Russian texts (books, newspapers, etc) with the aid of a dictionary.
Students who have an SQA Higher or GCE A-level in Russian will take the following compulsory modules in first year:
- Advanced Elementary Russian Language and Literature 1: reinforces and builds on the knowledge of grammar and vocabulary acquired at school, and studies texts in Russian.
- Advanced Elementary Russian Language and Literature 2: covers elements of grammar, translation, text analysis, study of literature, and includes oral tuition classes with a native language instructor.
The distinction between beginners and non-beginners is maintained in year two, with separate sets of modules depending on your previous experience.
Students who are ex-beginners are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year:
- Intermediate Russian Language 1: reinforces Russian grammar and syntax. Students will translate passages between Russian and English which engage with key historical and cultural events.
- Intermediate Russian Language 2: continues to build on the grammar and syntax taught in Intermediate Russian 1, and develops comprehension skills in response to contemporary audio-visual and online material.
Students who have an SQA Higher or GCE A-level in Russian will take the following compulsory modules in second year:
- Advanced Intermediate Russian Language 1: reinforces Russian grammar and syntax at a higher level. Students will translate passages between Russian and English which engage with key historical and cultural events.
- Advanced Intermediate Russian Language 2: continues to build on the advanced grammar and syntax taught in Advanced Intermediate Russian 1.
For all modules, spoken Russian is practised in small groups with a native speaker.
If you take Russian at St Andrews in your third and fourth years, you will choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate literary, historical and cultural studies into language learning.
Students of all language levels take the same core modules in Russian language, including advanced oral, writing and communication skills.
Optional specialist modules that have been offered in previous years include (but are not limited to):
- Gender in Russian Literature and Culture
- Issues in Russian Cultural Memory
- Russian Children’s Literature (1900 – 2015)
- Russian Crime Fiction
- Russian Modernist Fiction: 1900-1940
- Soviet Culture under Stalin
- The City in Soviet and Russian Cinema
- The Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel
- Theatre and Performance in Twentieth-Century Russia
- Utopia/Dystopia in Russian Literature and Culture
- Voices of the Russian Enlightenment.
In fourth year, students have the option of undertaking a dissertation of up to 10,000 words in length, written in English, on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take Russian as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.
Modern language degrees
You can also take Russian as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree with two modern languages and one additional subject.
“I have always had a deep interest in Russian history and culture. I applied as a Single Honours History student, but picked up Russian and have never looked back! The Russian Department is small, so it has a friendly and relaxed feel. We can speak to tutors about anything and they are always happy to help. Having the opportunity to study in Russia for a year was the best experience of my life.”
Thomas (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)