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Russian Studies - MA

Course Description

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.

Degree information

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).

Core modules - this is a multi-disciplinary 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:
-Literary and Cultural Theory
-Historical Methods and Approaches
-Political Analysis AND Political Sociology

Optional modules - 90 credits from a range of options, which may include:
-Advanced Qualitative Methods
-Contemporary Cultural Studies: Between Post-Communism & Post-Modernism
-The Reflecting Screen: Russian and Soviet Cinema in its Cultural Context, 1896 to the Present
-The Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel
-Beyond Stereotypes: The Jews in Polish Culture
-Causes, Consequences and Control: Corruption and Governance
-Linguistic Methods
-How to Read/Interpret Texts: Introduction to Hermeneutics
-Informal Practices in Post-Communist Societies
-Russian Foreign Policy
-Russian Monarchy: Court Ritual and Political Ideas, 1498-1917
-Russian Language Module
-Introduction to Discourse Analysis

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, course work and the research dissertation.


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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Visa officer, Finnish Consulate General of Petrozavodsk, Russia
-Europe and CIS Armed Forces Analyst, IHS Jane's
-Parliamentary Assistant, The Labour Party
-Foreign Rights Assistant, The Blair Partnership
-Principal Examiner for GCE and GCSE, Pearson-Edexcel

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Visit the Russian Studies - MA page on the University College London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - 5 Awards

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom.The aim of the scheme is to assist students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the United Kingdom. The scheme allows them to benefit from postgraduate study at a university in the United Kingdom which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries.Awards are for taught Master's programmes only, subjects must be related to the economic, social and technological development of a candidate's country. UCL expects to be able to allocate five awards this academic year.Applicants must:
- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;
- Be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme;
- Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country;
- Not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable);
- Be themselves, or through families, unable to pay for the proposed programme of study in the UK;
- Be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.Value, Benefits and Duration
- The award will cover tuition fees, a maintenance allowance, economy air travel to and from the UK at the beginning and end of the scholar’s degree programme plus additional discretionary allowances.
- Awards are normally tenable for one year.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)


- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;

Application Procedure

- You must separately apply for admission to UCL for one of the eligible programmes through the standard admissions procedure.
- You must apply for the scholarship on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online following the procedures described on their website.
- In order to be considered for this scholarship at UCL, you must complete the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online: by the deadline of T23:59 (UCT) Sunday, 21 February 2016.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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