The Russian Studies MA draws on the unique area studies expertise at the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) to offer a choice of modules unparalleled in depth and breadth, ranging from Russia's medieval history to its contemporary politics, from 19th-century literature to 21st-century film.
Russian culture is explored from a variety of perspectives. Students specialise in literature and culture, social sciences or history, or combine modules into an interdisciplinary programme. They are encouraged to develop their research skills, and many choose to learn Russian, or improve their command of Russian, through a language course.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of one of a choice of three core modules (30 credits), a choice of a Russian language module (30 credits) and/or optional modules (to a total of 90 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).
This is a multidisciplinary programme. Nevertheless, students are required to gain a thorough methodological and theoretical grounding in disciplinary study and hence must choose between one of the following three modules:
90 credits from a range of options, which may include:
All MA students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, film viewings, tutorials and specialist language courses. Assessment is carried out through unseen examinations, long essays, coursework and the research dissertation.
Detailed module information
AHRC Scholarships may be available.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
With their specialist knowledge and language skills, SSEES Master's graduates can be found in business, finance, the media, international agencies, charities, diplomacy, international security organisations, the law, and academia.
Some graduates advise the Russian, Polish, American, and other governments, and the European Commission.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Russia is one of the most exciting and important countries in the world, and SSEES is the ideal place in which to study it. Students who have successfully completed the programme have progressed to further academic research on the region, or have obtained employment in such organisations as the European Parliament and the Ministry of Defence, as well as roles in business, think tanks, NGOs, or similar, both in Britain and abroad. Networking is facilitated by two major collaborations led by SSEES: CEELBAS and the International Master's (IMESS). Scholarships, internship opportunities and excellent links with other universities in the region provide further benefits.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
SSEES is a world-leading specialist institution, and the largest national centre in the UK, for the study of central, Eastern and south-east Europe and Russia.
Located in Bloomsbury, SSEES offers an ideal location for scholars. The British Library, British Museum, University of London Library and other similar research centres are all close by.
The SSEES Library is unequalled in Britain for the depth and breadth of its collections, the majority of which are on open access in the SSEES building.
The MLitt in Russian Studies is a one-year taught programme run by the Department of Russian in the School of Modern Languages. The programme combines guided and independent study of some of the most notable Russian writers and ideas from the nineteenth century to the present day.
The taught portion of the course consists of five compulsory modules involving literary theory, research skills, and Russian literature and culture. Classes are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and fortnightly tutorials, with class sizes ranging from individual one-to-one teaching up to 20 students. Modules are assessed through coursework; there are no final exams for this programme.
You will spend the summer months focusing on researching and writing a final dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
Upon completion of the Master´s Programme in Russian Studies, you will have acquired in-depth knowledge of Russia’s past and present and developed Russia-related expertise for use in your future career. You will be able to recognize changes in your field of expertise, adjust your skills to these changes, and update your knowledge and skills independently.
Your expertise will give you a solid background in critical thinking and provide you with the readiness to face challenges in diverse professional environments. For instance, you can continue on to a career in government and education, or find employment in the media, the business world or in the service of non-governmental organisations.
Your studies will be conducted by the scholars of Aleksanteri Institute and other units of university of Helsinki, who have solid teaching experience and broad research credentials. Aleksanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki is the largest and best-known research institute for Russian studies in Europe. Based on the scholars’ experience in innovative approaches to area studies, the programme focuses on developing critical thinking and analytical skills in a global environment of increasing digitalization and complex social change.
The Master´s Programme in Russian Studies at the University of Helsinki promotes an understanding of Russia as a vital member of global and local communities and an important and powerful player today. There will be a continuing need in the future for expertise in Russian culture, politics, and society in a variety of fields in national and international arenas.
As a student of Russian Studies, you will learn to write essays and learning diaries and practice problem-solving learning. Your education will include attending lectures, participation in group work and workshops/seminars, and examinations.
In the Master’s studies programme, you will
This is an advanced and progressive programme that presents you with a unique opportunity to understand historical and contemporary developments in the economy, politics, culture, and society of Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
You will take four core courses and one optional course, as well as complete a dissertation as a piece of independent research. You will select a specialist pathway, which includes a specialist core courses and a language. (Choices vary depending on pathway).
Central and East European Studies
Many of our graduates have gone on to establish careers as lecturers and researchers at universities in the UK, Norway, Greece, Italy, and Poland or have become secondary school teachers. Our graduates have also been very successful in establishing careers with organisations such as BBC World Service, British Army, British Civil Service, British Council, Centre for Defence Information (Moscow), Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (London), Jamestown Foundation (Washington D.C), KPMG, Ministry of Defence, UK, Open Society Foundation (Bratislava), Open Society Institute (Budapest), Operation Mobilisation, Czech Republic and the Trust for Civil Society in Central & Eastern Europe (Warsaw).
Russian can offer you a friendly, stimulating and supportive community of postgraduate students.
Our research has been internationally acknowledged for its quality. Research staff in Russian are actively involved in many UK and international research partnerships and projects, including the ARHC-sponsored project on the Russian 20th-century poetry canon in the post-Soviet period.
Supervision is offered in the broad field of Russian Studies including research areas related to the study of social, political and cultural perspectives on Russian language; the study of Russian literature; media; culture; film studies; theatre studies and comparative literature.
Your research can be linked with various taught MSc programmes (Comparative Literature, Theatre and Performance Studies, and Film Studies), allowing you to extend your research range. Research can also benefit from links with the Translation Studies research group.
The flagship of our research is the unique Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, an internationally recognised hub with a focus on the Russian language in its social and cultural contexts. The Centre hosts an array of research activity including conferences, workshops, lectures and postgraduate seminars.
The University has an excellent library and computing facilities in both English and Russian. Postgraduate students can also use the National Library of Scotland.
You will also have access to Russian TV channels, a rich collection of Russian books, journals and electronic resources, and of course the Princess Dashkova Russian Centre.
Our Russian Politics & Society MSc focuses on contemporary political, economic and social policy challenges. You will gain detailed knowledge of the interconnected reform challenges that have faced Russia in recent decades, a comprehensive knowledge of Russian current events, and an understanding of a range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches to policy and academic analysis.
As part of King’s Russia Institute’s Russian Policy Studies course, we have designed our MSc in Russian Politics & Society to provide you with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to analyse a broad range of contemporary Russian policy challenges in practical and theoretical contexts. You will gain an in-depth knowledge of the interlocking social, political and economic challenges that have faced Russia in recent decades, a comprehensive knowledge of Russian current events and an understanding of a range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches to policy and academic analysis. In addition, you will pursue specialised research and study in a relevant field of your choice. Throughout, you will be aware of the comparative context and we will encourage you to use your knowledge of the Russian case to challenge existing global theoretical and policy approaches.
Our Russian Policy Studies course provides you with a thorough knowledge and understanding of:
Additionally, our MSc Russian Politics & Society course will focus on:
Our course will particularly appeal if you are a graduate of Russian/Slavonic studies, European, energy or security studies, comparative politics, or another course and have developed an interest in Russia and/or if you are looking for a career involving work in or about Russia.
You will typically have 20 hours of teaching per 20-credit taught module as well as 180 hours of self-study (some modules may involve lab work or e-learning which would require less self-guided learning). Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
For the dissertation module, you will have 16 contact hours of workshops and one-to-one or group consultation with supervisors to complement 584 hours of self-study and project work.
If you are taking the part time course, you will take at least 60 credits of required modules during your first year, and take the remaining credits and your dissertation in your second year. This can, however, be individually discussed with the student.
Russia Institute modules will be assessed by essays, other written work (including policy briefs and memoranda, scenario analyses and models), timed written exams, in-class quizzes and presentations, and class participation and attendance. Most 20-credit modules will have a volume of assessment equivalent to a 4,000 word essay, but this may be distributed over several different assessments. The dissertation module assessment will be 100 per cent on the dissertation itself (14,000 words); a 1,000-word dissertation proposal is required but not assessed. Assessment of modules from other departments/institutes may vary.
Our graduates use the skills and knowledge they develop over this course to excel in careers in diplomacy, the international civil service, non-governmental organisations, media and journalism, analytical and research or strategic roles in business, including investment. Others have continued their research to further study.