Study Russian & East European Languages, why & how to study
Russia and East European countries cover an extensive geographical area, offering a wide variety of educational potential.
A degree in Russian Studies, or East European Languages, such as Czech or Polish, includes the language of that country and its rich history, literature and culture.
You could study the great authors of Russian literature, the structure and history of the Russian language, Russia’s visual culture, or the history of Russia in modern times.
Degrees in East European languages, such as Czech and Polish, include modules in the history and cultures of those countries.
Undergraduate degrees in Russian & East European Languages include:
- Linguistics with Russian BA
- Bulgarian & Czech BA
- Mathematics & Russian (year abroad) MA
- Russian Studies BA
- Comparative Literatures & Cultures and Russian BA
- Russian & Beginners' Czech (with Slovak) BA
Options may include an integrated foundation year. Study abroad is common. Degrees can also be combined with other subject areas.
Most undergraduate Russian & East European Languages degrees ask for 108–160 UCAS points. Not all unis will base their offer on UCAS points, and some courses may have lower or higher requirements. The range of qualifications and grades may include:
- A Levels: A*A*A–BBB
- BTECs: DDD
- Scottish Highers: AAAAB–AAABB (Advanced Highers: AB)
- International Baccalaureate: 38–31
Good subjects to have studied include:
- An advanced or higher-level language
- Essay-based humanities subjects like history, politics or English literature
- Other subjects if required by joint honours, such as maths
- General subjects such as general studies or critical thinking may be excluded
Experience that would look good on your application:
- Find out as much as you can about the culture, history and language so you can convey your passion for the subject
- Travel or exchange visits, if possible
- Being a member of a language club or cultural society
- If you’re applying for Russian and you already speak the language, you could watch Russian-language films, or use the BBC News in Russian website
Other requirements for this subject include:
- Interview, possibly with an admissions test (Cambridge, Oxford)
Typical modules for courses in this subject include:
- Culture, cognition and society
- Linguistics: understanding language
- Communication modes
- Bulgarian language
- Czech and Slovak literature
- Elementary Russian language
- The Soviet experiment
- Understanding Russia: critical approaches
Courses are assessed in a variety of ways, depending on the module:
- Exams (written, oral and aural)
- In-class test
Studying a Russian & East European Languages degree will give you an insight into cultures that have undergone seismic changes in the past 150 years. You’ll also gain fluency in a second – or third – language.
- Ability to understand, read, write and speak in one or more foreign languages
- Cultural awareness through time spent abroad and experience of different organisational styles
- Critical and analytical thinking
- Assimilation and interpretation of information
- Communication, both written and oral
- Developing and leading presentations
- Collaborative working
- Time management
- Organisational skills
Russian & East European Languages graduates start their career with a salary of around £26,000.
With further training you could make £27,000–£31,000 per year as a translator, whether in-house or freelance. If your language skills are combined with technical or legal knowledge, it could boost your earnings.
Speaking a foreign language could also be useful in a completely different career, such as the police. Police constables can earn up to £41,000; inspectors from £52,500–£58,000.
While you may wish to land a career making direct use of your linguistic skills, there are many related opportunities you could consider:
- Conference organiser
- Diplomatic service officer
- Language analyst for GCHQ
- Logistics manager
- Management consultant
- Recruitment consultant
Examples of taught master’s and research degrees at postgraduate level include:
- Russian and East European Studies MSc/MPhil
- Slavonic Studies PhD
- Political Analysis Russia and Eastern Europe MA
- Interpreting and Translating French & Russian MA
Other subject areas that might appeal to you:
If you have questions about studying Russian & East European Languages, you can email our experts at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to hear from you!