Russian and Slavonic Studies for undergraduates
Why study the language and culture of Russia, Poland or the Czech Republic? Russia remains a giant global power, a complex and fascinating community. Its language is widely spoken across eastern Europe and central Asia. Around 400 million people worldwide have Russian as their first language.
Czech and Polish belong to the Western Slavonic languages group and each are fascinating in their own right. The Czech Republic and Poland are members of the EU, and our graduates in Czech and Polish can find outlets for their specialist skills in industry, translating, teaching, government bodies and academic research both in the UK and abroad.
But Sheffield students don't just learn languages. They see how cultures evolve and how history shapes the lives of Russians, Czechs and Poles today. Join the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies and you'll develop a highly prized skill set that makes you stand out in the jobs market.
Our courses cater for various levels of proficiency: beginners, advanced learners and also near-native speakers.
Students love us!
If you're interested in a degree in Russian and Slavonic Studies, why come to Sheffield? Because we're enduringly popular. We're consistently one of the highest-ranked departments of our kind in the National Student Survey (NSS). In the NSS for 2014 95% of our students agreed staff were good at explaining things and 91% were satisfied with the quality of the course.
Great teaching – and a welcoming environment
Why are our students happy with us? They receive first-class teaching. Our academic staff are among the leaders in their field – not just in the UK but internationally. And their research feeds directly into the content of our courses. So study with us and you'll get the best teaching there is.
Do you have a Russian or Polish background?
Would you like to perfect your language skills and enrich your cultural knowledge? Find out about degree possibilities with us. Contact our admissions tutor.
We expect a lot from our students – but we give a lot back. Throughout your time with us you'll have the support of your tutors whenever you need it. We're a small department and your tutors are accessible – we're not interested in formality for its own sake. You'll enjoy a relaxed and supportive learning environment which encourages self-confidence and promotes your academic development. And with three departmental societies on the go, you'll find it easy to make friends in your first weeks and months at Sheffield.
So... is it really difficult?
Some students find the idea of studying Russian, Czech or Polish a little scary. There's little opportunity to learn these languages at school. And what about the Russian alphabet?
Slavonic languages are different! It takes that bit longer and a little more work to become proficient, but the rewards are great and support is always there for you. Don’t be put off by the Russian alphabet: our students are always surprised to find they've got it in a matter of days.
Most students arrive at Sheffield as complete beginners in these languages, and it’s gratifying for us to see how quickly they become enthusiasts – usually in the first week!
So if you like a challenge, or you're looking for a degree with a difference, we could have just the course for you.
A degree with a difference
We're often asked: what are the job prospects like for people with an 'unusual' degree like Russian and Slavonic Studies?
Graduates in subjects like Russian, Czech or Polish really do stand out. It's proof not just that you're bright – there are plenty of bright graduates around – but that you're up for a challenge. And for most students, it's a challenge that involves doing something entirely new.
The skills you develop during your degree with us make you noticeable. You're versatile, as you can
handle the very different strands of your course. You're enthusiastic and have a spirit of adventure. You have staying power and have followed through your studies from the start to the high level of professionalism and competence required of you in your final year.
You'll be in demand
Russian speakers are harder for employers to find than graduates in western European languages. Even for jobs that don't need Russian, a degree that's seen as 'difficult' or a less conventional choice can make you stand out from the crowd.
Since Poland and the Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004, this means many more job options for our graduates. So earn a good degree with us and you should find yourself in demand.
And you won't be on your own. Our superb Careers Service can help you choose a career, find work placements and target vacancies while you're a student here, and even after you've left.
Your year abroad
You'll spend your third year with us living and learning abroad, in Russia, Poland or the Czech Republic. You could get a work or volunteering placement, teaching, translating or using your skills in some other way. It's a great chance to spend time in beautiful cities like Prague and St Petersburg. It's a way to be independent and free – and to supercharge your language skills. All in all, it's a life-changing experience.
What our graduates do
Many of our former students use their language skills in translating, interpreting and teaching.
Others choose work where they don't necessarily use their languages but call on the formidable cultural awareness and analytical and communication skills that they develop with us.
These careers include global development, investment banking, journalism, and international sales and marketing.