Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2019

Russian and History BA

If your interests lean strongly towards history and you have A level History (or equivalent), our Russian and History BA provides a coherent combination of modules drawing on the abundance of expertise and material we offer in these fields. Russian can be started from scratch, or taken at higher levels for those who have studied the language previously.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2019
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

History required.
(contextual offer)
BBB (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
History required.
English Language and a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) at grade B or 6, plus Mathematics at grade C or 5.

IB Diploma

A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects including History, with no score lower than 5.
(contextual offer)
32 (more about contextual offers)
(contextual offer)
A score of 15 points in three higher level subjects including History, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.

D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including History

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). History required at Advanced Higher

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades ABB. History required.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • The programme is designed both for students with little or no previous knowledge of Russian (Mode One), and for students with Russian A level or equivalent (Mode Two).

  • Russian at UCL will give you the opportunity to learn from academics who are experts in language, literature, film, history, economics, and politics. There is a range of cultural options to choose from. 

  • You will spend your third year studying in Russia. If you are starting this degree programme with no prior knowledge of Russian, your first year will also involve a month in Russia. 

  • The UCL School of Slavonic & Eastern European Studies (SSEES) is the largest national centre in the UK for the study of Central, Eastern and South-East Europe and Russia. The SSEES Library contains over 400,000 books, journals and film resources.


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Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Compulsory Russian language modules form part of years one, two and four for all students. For the other half of the degree you can choose from the wealth of history modules taught in SSEES, elsewhere at UCL and throughout the University of London, as well as from the full range of Russian literature and culture modules.

Your third year is spent in Russia. The department can offer a choice of options not only in Moscow and St Petersburg but also in other cities. Immersing yourself in the language and culture of Russia will significantly improve your language fluency and the depth of your understanding. 


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Frontiers of History
The Making of Modern Russian Culture

Mode One students will take Comprehension of Russian (Year 1A) and Use of Russian (Year 1A) to the value of 1.0 credit.

Mode Two students will take Comprehension of Russian (Year 1) and Use of Russian (Year 1) to the value of 1.0 credit.

Optional modules

Optional choices may include:

Representations of Russia
Russian Cinema: History, Politics, Society
Russian Short Prose

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Mode One students will take Comprehension of Russian (Year 2A) and Use of Russian (Year 2A) to the value of 1.0 credit.

Mode Two students will take Comprehension of Russian (Year 2) and Use of Russian (Year 2) to the value of 1.0 credit.

Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits from all Russian and History year two optional modules (subject to availability).

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Year abroad

You will spend your third year abroad in Russia. 

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Use of Russian (Year 4)

Optional modules

You will select 1.5 credits in Russian and 2.0 credits in History from a wide range of optional modules.

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Your learning

You will follow an integrated language programme including classes in written and spoken Russian. In both language and content courses, we offer lively and varied teaching methods including lectures, seminars and small classes in which the focus is on active student participation.


You will be assessed by written, oral and aural examinations, presentations, coursework essays, and a dissertation. Some elements of assessment throughout the programme count towards your final degree while others are used to monitor your progress and provide you with advice on how to improve.


Graduates will be equipped with Russian language skills and an understanding of the political, economic and cultural factors involved in Russian society. These attributes are sought after by governmental and non-governmental organisations, consultancies, as well as commercial, finance and media organisations (particularly those with cross-border practices or activities). 

Leading figures from government and business regularly stress the need for well-qualified Russianists. Our students are capable of taking on employment in a variety of fields where use of Russian is key. A degree with Russian can lead to a career in journalism, in the civil service, as well as in cross-border businesses and financial organisations. 


First destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme include:

  • Associate Analyst, GPW
  • Reporter, Insider Publishing
  • Legal Intern, Attwells LLP
  • Full-time student, MA in Translation and Professional Language Skills, University of Bath

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2014-2016 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£19,390 (2018/19)

Overseas fees for the 2019/20 academic year are expected to be available in July 2018. Undergraduate UK/EU fees are capped by the UK Government and are expected to be available in October 2018. Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

In addition to meeting the academic criteria, you are likely to enjoy and be successful at studying Russian if you have an interest in and aptitude for studying languages, a sustained interest in literary, historical and cultural studies, and are keen to take advantage of the social and linguistic opportunities on offer while living in Russia as part of your degree.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2019


We will assess your application and then decide whether to make you an offer. If you are offered a place on the programme and live in the UK, you will be invited to an applicant open day. 

The applicant open day will include talks from staff about the programme, available language options, and student life at SSEES. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, and will take a tour of UCL led by current students.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.