Our MA programme is designed to respond to the growing strategic importance of Russia and the former Soviet Union and meet the emerging demand for area-focused academic training. The programme focuses on the unique and challenging political and social environment of the region and students gain valuable analytical and research skills.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
Normally an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
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.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
This degree offers you a structured, focused programme as well as flexibility to pursue individual interests. Study of Russian and post-Soviet politics is supplemented by a wide range of options on other regions of the former Soviet Union and broad thematic issues such as corruption and governance, ethno-political conflict, nationalism, sexual identity and security. You are also encouraged to learn Russian, Ukrainian or Estonian language.
You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (45 or 60 credits), optional modules (60 or 75 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Russian and Post-Soviet Politics.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
You will take one core module in Russian Politics (30 credits) and either a 15- or 30-credit core module on another aspect of Russian or post-Soviet politics.
- Russian Politics
- Plus at least one chosen from:
- Baltic Politics and Society (not running 2021/22)
- Corruption and Governance Causes, Consequences and Control (not running 2021/22)
- Informal Practices in Post-Communist Societies
- Making of Modern Ukraine
- Post-Soviet Politics
- Russian Foreign Policy
Optional modules include
Up to 75 credits of options, which may include:
- Advanced Quantitative Methods
- Comparative Analysis in Social and Political Research
- Understanding Transitional Justice
- Governance and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
- Introduction to Discourse Analysis (not running 2021/22)
- Politics of South-East Europe
- Qualitative Methods
- Quantitative Methods
- Security, Identity, Polarity
- Sexuality and Society in Russia and Eastern Europe (not running 2021/22)
- Understanding and Analysing Data
- Undermining Democracy: Political Manipulation in Comparative Perspective
- SSEES language module in Russian, Ukrainian or Estonian at beginner's level or at intermediate or advanced level as appropriate
Up to 30 credits from other SSEES MA modules or other approved UCL departments.
- Further information about these modules is available on the department website.
You will undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, laboratory sessions, workshops, presentations, self-study and specialist language classes. You are assessed by a variety of methods, including unseen examinations, long essays, coursework and a dissertation.
Each 15-credit module is equivalent to 150 hours of study and a 30 credit module equivalent to 300 hours of study. Contact hours may vary depending on module choices, but full-time students will approximately have 8-10 hours of contact hours each week during term time.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Detailed module information
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
SSEES Master's graduates with expertise in the politics and societies of Russia and the post-Soviet states have achieved success in both public and private sectors. Career destinations include NGOs, think tanks, risk and business consultancies, diplomacy, government and international organisations, journalism and the media; often – but not always - in roles dealing directly with Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
The programme allows you to develop a blend of specialist area knowledge, analytical expertise and language skills tailored to their individual interests and requirements. The programme – together with regular workshops and events such as the weekly Post-Soviet Press Group discussion forum - provides opportunities to develop understanding of current developments in Russia and the post-Soviet region alongside deeper theoretical and historical insights into their politics and societies. This skill set leaves you well placed to meet the requirements of employers and policy-makers, or to move on to further study.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) is one of the largest UK centres for the study of Russia and the post-Soviet region.
The school has superb research facilities and can point to expertise in a range of disciplines, including language training. Our SSEES Library, in particular, is unequalled in Britain in the scope and size of its specialist collections.
Our central London location, regular workshops and events, and close links with employers and alumni afford excellent opportunities for networking and career development.
What our students and staff say
"The UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies is easily the country's biggest specialist centre dealing with the politics and societies of Central and Eastern Europe. The underlying concern in all my research is the extent to which East-Central European democracies have come to resemble models familiar from the West – and, contrarily, whether the fluid, populist politics of East-Central Europe may be a harbinger of things to come in established democracies such as the UK."
Dr Sean HanleySSEES
UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies
"SSEES students will benefit from language-based cross-disciplinary teaching and research. Drawing on insights from sociology, international relations and sexuality studies, my current research examines migration by LGBT Russians, Poles and Brazilians to Berlin and London, analysing their reasons for migrating and different strategies for negotiating and renegotiating their identities. "
Dr Richard MoleSSEES
UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies
"UCL is an energetic place that is clearly on an upward trajectory, bustling with original thinkers doing cutting-edge work and incredibly talented students from all over the world. Definitely the place to study and do research at the beginning of the 21st century."
Professor Jan Kubik
UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is designed for those of you who seek to develop expertise in Russian and eastern European politics and society, and draw on the latest insights from political and social science.
- All applicants
- 31 May 2021
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Russian and Post-Soviet Politics at graduate level
- why you want to study Russian and Post-Soviet Politics at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen progamme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.