Russian

Russia continues to assert itself as a powerful political and economic force, and Russian expertise has never been more vital in a range of professions.

Year abroad

Gain international experience with a year studying at one of our partner universities or volunteering in Russia or Central Asia.

Research-led teaching

Current staff specialisms include: literature from the 18th century to the present; Russian religious culture; Soviet social and cultural history; and Russian and Soviet cinema.

Highly ranked

Bristol is ranked 5th in the UK for Russian and Eastern European languages, and 1st for student experience in the subject (Times Good University Guide 2021).

Virtual open week 2021

Watch recordings and view resources from our September virtual open week.

Catch up now

If you would like to study Russian on its own or in combination with other languages, see Modern Languages.

Russian at Bristol

Russia’s dramatic history, fascinating culture and emerging geopolitical importance in the 21st century make it a compelling subject for study. Fluency in Russian opens Russia up to you in a unique and rewarding way.

Our department is a major centre for research in Russian, Slavonic and East European Languages and offers a lively environment for studying their history, literature and societies.

You will have frequent contact with experienced native-speaking teachers, and our students consistently praise the department's friendly, supportive atmosphere. Our department is a vibrant environment, and students and staff come together in parties hosted by Slavsoc student society and the Russian choir.

At Bristol you can either study Russian as a joint honours degree with another subject, or choose the Modern Languages course to study Russian on its own or in combination with other languages. You can also take a second Slavonic language, Czech, to intermediate level.

Bristol has a thriving cultural life, several art cinemas, concert halls and theatres, and a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Students in the department have access to a state-of-the-art multimedia centre.

There’s such a wide range of topics throughout the year that there’s always something that will interest you. The incorporation of history, politics, and culture makes the course so interesting and the department are dedicated to making the course and extra-curricular events as exciting as possible.

Maddie, BA Spanish and Russian

Career prospects

Russian graduates possess rare skills that are in demand. You will develop skills greatly valued by employers, including in organisation, communication, time management and independent learning. Many of our graduates go on to careers in which their knowledge of Russian is of direct relevance.

Recent graduates have entered careers in finance, industry, the media, publishing, law, travel, British and international civil services, teaching, translating or interpreting, and academia. Graduate destinations have included Christie's, the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, the European Parliament and GCHQ.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

Bristol’s Department of Russian offers a carefully structured, student-centred course for both complete beginners and experienced learners in Russian. Core or advanced linguistic tuition in the first year is followed by rich cultural units exploring the literature, arts, and religious and political histories of Russia, taught by specialists in the field.

In years one and two, beginners in Russian language follow a core programme with a teacher who specialises in working with novice learners. Those with A-level or equivalent proficiency are taught separately.

Our first-year programme in Russian culture will equip you with the knowledge and skills to explore aspects of Russia in more depth later. You will study important periods in Russian history alongside selected texts, images or films, and you will explore Russia through its literature, history, religious culture and political ideas.

Your third year studying or working abroad could take you to places such as Moscow, St Petersburg, Krasnodar, the Urals, Siberia or Kazakhstan, with constant contact and support from members of the department. Visit Global Opportunities to find out more.

Sample units may include:

  • Dostoevsky
  • Russian Orthodox Culture
  • Gender in 20th- and 21st-century Russia
  • Life and Death with Stalin
  • Engineers of the Human Soul.

Pursue your passions

There is a great deal of flexibility in how you study Russian, which is included as a part of many different courses.

You can study Russian alongside other disciplines such as history, politics or philosophy, by applying for one of our joint honours degrees.

If you want to specialise solely in Russian, or to study it alongside up to 2 other modern languages, you can apply to the BA Modern Languages course.

Russian

If you are interested in studying Russian as a single honours degree, or in combination with one or two other modern languages, please see the BA Modern Languages course entry. 

Russia continues to assert itself as a powerful political and economic force and Russian expertise has never been more vital in a range of professions.

At Bristol, you can learn Russian language from beginner's level or build on existing experience while exploring Russia’s dramatic history and complex culture.

Why study Russian at Bristol?

Our department is a major centre for research in Russian, Slavonic and East European Languages and offers a lively environment for studying their history, literature and societies.

You will have frequent contact with experienced native-speaking teachers and our students consistently praise the department's friendly, supportive atmosphere.

In years one and two beginners in Russian language follow a core programme with a teacher who specialises in working with novice learners. Those with A-level or equivalent experience are taught separately.

Our first-year programme in Russian culture will equip you with the knowledge and skills to explore aspects of Russia in more depth later. You will study key periods in Russian history alongside selected texts, images or films, and will explore Russia through its literature, history, religious culture and political ideas.

Your third year abroad could take you to places such as Moscow, St Petersburg, Krasnodar, the Urals, Siberia or Kazakhstan, with constant contact and support from members of the department. Visit Global Opportunities to find out more.

Bristol is an exciting place to study arts and humanities and has a thriving cultural life, several independent cinemas, concert halls and theatres and a lively, international atmosphere.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Russian will suit you if you are an enthusiastic languages student, enjoy exploring the history and culture of other countries and are eager to branch out beyond Western-European oriented language programmes. Although constructed differently from most European languages, Russian is both logical and poetic and our graduates achieve a high level of fluency.

Russian studies will suit you if you are attracted to the fierce battle of philosophical and cultural ideas that pervades Russia’s extraordinary history, literature and cinema.

If you have a pragmatic eye on Russia's critical, strategic role in the geopolitics of the coming decades, you will find that advanced fluency in Russian is a valuable skill in numerous careers.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching is mainly conducted in informal seminar groups where tutors and students quickly get to know each other and there are regular opportunities to contribute to discussions and receive feedback.

Single honours and post A-level students will study classic Russian literature, contemporary Russia through the media, or beginner's Czech, which all other students may take up in year two.

You may also select options offered by the School of Modern Languages.

There is a wide variety of methods of assessment, including coursework, examination essays, commentaries and assessed presentations.

What are my career prospects?

Russian graduates possess rare skills that are in demand. You will develop skills greatly valued by employers, including in organisation, communication, time management and independent learning. Many of our graduates go on to careers in which their knowledge of Russian is of direct relevance.

Recent graduates have entered careers in finance, industry, the media, publishing, law, travel, British and international civil services, teaching, translating or interpreting and academia. Graduate destinations have included Christie's, the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, the European Parliament and GCHQ.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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