How will my Russian degree be structured?

Russia 5Level 1 (year one)

One of the great things about studying with us is flexibility. Along with your core Russian classes, you can choose modules in other subjects, including languages such as Czech and Polish. 

Whether you take a Single Honours or Dual Honours course, you'll study a core module in modern Russian culture. Here you will examine novels, film, visual arts and the media, as well as the relationship between popular and elite culture.

If you know some Russian but have not completed an A Level or its equivalent we recommend that you try the post-A Level course for a couple of weeks to see if it is suitable for you. If not, you are welcome to follow the beginners' course.

FAQ: If I do Russian from scratch, will I be at a disadvantage?

Students with A Level Russian get, on average, exactly the same spread of marks as students who start Russian from scratch. The fact that the groups are kept separate in the first two years, and that many students make tremendous progress during the year abroad, undoubtedly contributes to this parity.

Post-A Level first year

Your A Level knowledge will be put to use in grammar, comprehension and conversation classes. By discussing real life topics and reading texts in Russian, you'll open the door to the customs, culture and history behind the language.

Conversation classes help you improve your speaking skills in a relaxed, informal environment. Led by native Russian speakers, you will hold conversations, tell stories and discuss current affairs.

Beginners' first year

Level 1 equips you with a solid grounding in Russian as used in everyday situations. You will have regular grammar classes as well as speaking and listening work with a native Russian speaker. By the end of the year you will have mastered the basics of writing, reading and conversation in Russian, and will be prepared for advanced language study at Level 2.

You will also develop your analytical skills through detailed study of a variety of media, and will learn to think critically about Russian cultural issues.

Level 2 (year two)

Level 2 courses take your skills further using a variety of materials and media in Russian. For your optional modules, you can choose to study literature, culture, linguistics or history, or you can add a second Slavonic language such as Czech or Polish.

Post-A Level second year

You'll consolidate your grammatical understanding and enlarge your active and passive vocabulary through classes in written and spoken Russian, comprehension and translation work.

Beginners' second year

You will continue to develop essential skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This will allow you to feel confident taking on the excitement and challenges of your year abroad. Translation (both from and into Russian) is also available to you as an optional module.

Year abroad (year three)

For more information about your year abroad see our year abroad page.

Russia 1Level 3 (year four)

At Level 3 the post-A Level and beginners' groups are taught together, and you will build on the language expertise gained during your year abroad. You'll study language through content modules taught in Russian, e.g. Russian Short Stories, Professional Russian and Russian Language through Film. These further develop your grammar and vocabulary, allowing for in-depth study of contemporary Russia and its relationship with the rest of the world.

Through speaking practice and translation classes you will learn to handle a variety of text types with confidence. You will also develop expertise at using your oral skills in a professional environment.

Optional modules will let you pursue areas of interest that you have developed in your first three years of study. By the end of your course you'll have had the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the areas of Russian life, history and culture that really interest you.