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Russian MA (Honours) 2022 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 apply 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.

How to apply Register your interest

Key information

UCAS code


Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 5 September 2022
  • End date: 30 June 2026

Entry requirements

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.

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.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about English language requirements.

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.

  • SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing science
    • Geography
    • Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.
  • GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computing Science
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology.

Other qualifications

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.

Course information

The MA (Hons) in Russian is a four-year course run by the School of Modern Languages. The course focuses on building a high level of competence in language skills and allows you to explore topics of interest within Russian-language culture and history.

The course is available to both students who are beginners in Russian and to more advanced students who have an SQA Higher or a GCE A-Level qualification in Russian. Advanced students will follow a separate language course for the first two years.

In the first two years, students of all levels will build on their Russian language skills and are offered a broad view of Russian-language literatures, histories and cultures.

Alongside Russian, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.

During your third and fourth year, you will take modules focused on communication skills and can choose to specialise in a number of areas, such as Russian literature, film or cultural history.

Graduates in modern languages from St Andrews can expect to have not only a high level of competency in language skills, but a highly developed appreciation for other cultures and peoples. Other transferable skills, including analysis, synthesis and communication skills will prepare you for a career in almost any sphere.

Students may choose to apply to spend an additional year studying in Russia. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.


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.


Teaching format

All modern language modules involve a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical language classes. Lectures provide information, stimulate thought, and suggest directions for further reading and personal study. Small language tutorials allow you to actively work together with your tutors to practice language skills, give presentations, and discuss texts and issues relevant to the course.

Sub-honours Russian modules are delivered through small language classes, with 15 to 30 students in each. Oral classes are generally held in smaller groups of no more than 15 students.

At Honours level, you will attend smaller language classes (5 to 15 students) and seminars (5 to 12 students).

When not attending lectures, tutorials and language classes, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by a research-led teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Russian. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all Russian staff on the School of Modern Languages website.

In addition to your studies in the Department of Russian, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.


All Russian modules are assessed by a combination of coursework (at least 40%) and end-of-semester examinations.

Coursework includes:

  • advanced language exercises
  • discursive essays
  • oral presentations.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand. Examinations are either entirely in written format or comprise both written and oral components.

Tutors advise you closely on the preparation of written work and give individual assessments of your performance. The Department aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.


Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Home-funded Tuition fees for Scottish applicants have yet to be set for 2022 entry.
RUK (England, Wales, Northern Ireland) and Republic of Ireland Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2022 entry.
Islands (Channel Islands, Isle of Man) Tuition fees for Islands applicants have yet to be set for 2022 entry.
EU and overseas Tuition fees for EU and overseas applicants have yet to be set for 2022 entry.

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students.

Virtual visiting days


Our online autumn visiting days will take place on:

  • Wednesday 6 October 2021
  • Wednesday 20 October 2021

Joint degrees taken with Arabic, Chinese Studies, French, German, Italian, Spanish are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'.

In taking a joint degree, you are required to take core modules in all of your subjects. Find out more about joint degrees.

Modern language degrees

It is possible to combine a degree in Russian with two modern languages. Any combination of Arabic, FrenchGerman, Italian, Persian, and Spanish is possible.

You can also take Russian as part of a Modern Languages joint Honours degree with two modern languages and one additional subject.

If you are taking:

  • Russian

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • Russian

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • Russian

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • Russian

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

If you are taking:

  • Russian

You can also take one modern language:

And one other subject:

All Russian triple degrees are also available 'With Integrated Year Abroad'.

In taking a 'triple' modern languages degree, you are required to take core modules in all of your subjects. Find out more about joint degrees.

"With" degrees

You can take Russian as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first-named subject. 

In taking a "with" degree, you are required to take core modules in all of your subjects. Find out more about joint degrees.

Your future


Russia’s political and economic significance in the world means ever-multiplying career prospects for those who can communicate in Russian.

Graduates of Russian have gone on to successful careers in:

  • accountancy
  • the armed services
  • the British Foreign Office
  • Civil Service
  • finance
  • journalism
  • law
  • management consultancy
  • translation and interpreting 
  • teaching.

Others work as educators in Russia and Eastern Europe or pursue graduate study.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

Students studying Russian can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.

Integrated year abroad

Students may choose to spend an additional year studying in Russia between their second and third year. Find out more about the integrated year abroad for this course.

Student life

The University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first-year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions, and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from, ensure a community feel amongst students from first year onwards

Students of Russian may be interested in joining the Russian Society, which is dedicated to sharing Russian culture and language in Fife. They host events including poetry nights, film screenings, coffee gatherings and international food evenings.

The School of Modern Languages is situated at the very centre of St Andrews in the Buchanan Building on Union Street. Within the Buchanan Building is the multi-media centre, a digital language lab which students will use as both a component of their module classwork and as part of individual study.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As University buildings are located throughout the town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings, parks and beaches, providing a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. Find out more about the town of St Andrews.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.


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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2948

Department of Russian website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online.

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online.