Our degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development – a balance that is highly sought after by employers in today's intellectual and professional industries. The degrees are flexible, allowing you to specialise as you progress, culminating in a final-year dissertation (in-depth research into a topic of your choice).
Within our Department of Modern Languages, Russian Studies is a small team of dedicated and experienced teaching and research staff (including native-speakers). This friendly community allows staff and students to work together to create an intellectually stimulating and enjoyable environment in which you can achieve your full potential. Beginners study in Russia for four weeks in Year 1 to rapidly progress their language skills. All students spend a year abroad.
In addition, you will join the highly regarded Department of Political Science and International Studies which has long-established strengths in all areas of the discipline. As well as benefiting from world-leading expertise you can join activities that are designed to complement and enrich your studies. Activities include student conferences; Research Assistance Scheme (students are paired with staff to assist in specific research tasks); simulation exercises using real cases; and research visits to local and national places of interest.
Read more about the great reasons to study modern languages at university.
Why study this course
- Outstanding staff: Our staff produce high quality research which directly influences their teaching. In 2014, 98% of Modern Languages and 95% of International Relations students agreed that staff are good at explaining things, with 92% and 95% confirming that they found the course intellectually stimulating. This helps our students develop to their full academic potential – this year 82% and 95% of students on these courses graduated with first or upper-second class degrees.
- Excellent employability development: Amongst our 2013 cohort, 87% of our Modern Languages and 90% of our International Relations graduates were in work or further study 6 months after graduation in a diverse range of areas.Visit the employability page for more information.
- Travel opportunities: Many students remember their Year Abroad as the most exciting and formative part of their degree. Their Russian language skills truly matured and they gained a real in-depth understanding of the culture and society of this fascinating country.
- Diverse curriculum. You will benefit from an exceptionally broad and flexible choice of topics to study. Visit the modules section below for examples.
- Excellent student experience: Join one of our language or POLSIS student societies, or even our student magazine The UoB Linguist. Develop your language skills outside your teaching, make new friends who share your passion for languages and attend diverse extra-curricular events. The Russian and Eastern European Society (REES) is a society popular amongst student on this programme. It is open to anyone interested in, studying or native to the area. It hosts various events where members can meet, socialise and learn more about the Russian and East European culture. These include regular film nights throughout the year, featuring both classic and contemporary films; nights out in Birmingham; quizzes; and other events where members have the opportunity to learn Russian or practise existing skills with other members across a range of years and abilities.
Read more about our strengths.
Joint honours open day talk
[Video above - Dr Craig Blunt delivers an undergraduate open day talk about studying Joint Honours at the University]
Please be aware that the following information is intended to provide prospective students with an indicative guide of the modules offered by the School. However, our research is constantly exploring new areas and directions of study, therefore some modules may be dropped and new ones offered in their place.
Russian: In the first and second years, students are divided into groups according to whether they are beginners or have an A level (or equivalent) in Russian. Students with AS level Russian are placed in the advanced group and given extra tutorial support to catch up, while students with GCSE Russian will normally be placed in the beginners group.
At the end of the first year, beginners travel to the city of Petrozavodsk in Russia for an intensive four week language programme, for which many of the costs are covered by the University.
In addition, students choose from a variety of Russian Studies modules including:
International Relations: You receive a thorough grounding in the study of international relations, with particular emphasis on the major approaches to the discipline and core issues such as conflict, war, peace, security, international and regional organisations, and international law. You also take a number of complementary courses in the Department of Political Science and International Studies, and options offered elsewhere.
Russian: In addition to language classes, you will choose from a variety of Russian Studies modules including:
You may also have the option of studying Beginner’s Polish.
International Relations: The second-year core course further develops your understanding of the discipline, introducing many new perspectives on international relations. As such, it is designed to develop your knowledge and theoretical understanding of this dynamic and changing field. In the second year you can also take a number of related courses within the Department of Political Science and International Studies.
You can choose to spend your year abroad in various locations including Moscow, St Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Petrozavodsk, Tver and Volgograd, spending either two semesters in one place or splitting them between two different places, for instance a semester in Moscow and a semester in Tver. There may also be the opportunity to spend a semester in Krakow, Poland.
Russian: In addition to core modules, you can choose from a variety of modules including:
You also write an extended essay or dissertation on a Russian Studies topic of your choosing. In addition, modules in Ukrainian and Polish languages may be offered.
International Relations: In the final year you may take a range of options. These include subjects such as Power in Britain, Twentieth Century Political Thought, Political Economy of the EU, Contemporary US Foreign and Security Policy, International Ethics, European Security, Critical Security Studies and Advanced Modern Asia.
Fees and funding
Typical offer: AAB
Required subjects and grades: No A level in Russian required but evidence of language learning ability required such as a grade A in a Modern Language at GCSE.
International baccalaureate update
Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.
Applicants should normally be able to demonstrate some previous experience in learning a modern language.
We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
Key Information Set (KIS)
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