Russian Studies MA

London, Bloomsbury

Explore Russian culture from different perspectives while learning Russian or improving your language skills. The Russian MA is a degree that enables you to specialise in your choice of modules, while gaining expertise sought after by a range of employers. Taught at the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) – one of the largest UK centres for the study of the region – you’ll learn from renowned scholars in this field.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Russian culture is explored from a variety of perspectives. You can specialise in literature and culture, social sciences or history, or combine modules into an interdisciplinary programme. You are encouraged to develop your research skills, and can choose to learn Russian, or improve your command of Russian, through a language course.

Further details on structure and modules can be found in the Programme Handbook.

Who this course is for

Our programme is designed for students who have little or no prior experience of the study of Russia as well as those who have undertaken Russian studies at BA level, who wish to develop their knowledge and understanding of Russia from a multidisciplinary perspective. Those with a first degree in humanities, languages or social sciences are particularly encouraged to apply.

What this course will give you

SSEES is one the largest national centres in the UK for the study of central, Eastern and south-east Europe and Russia.

Our location on the edge of Bloomsbury offers you access to the British Library, British Museum, University of London Library and other similar research centres, which are all close by.

Our unique specialist library and central London location provide an ideal environment for research, while our close contacts with employers, policymakers, embassies and alumni afford you excellent opportunities for networking and career development.

The foundation of your career

Russia is the largest country in the world with a rich and varied history, and SSEES is the ideal place in which to study it. Students who have successfully completed the programme have progressed to further academic research on the region, or have obtained employment in such organisations as the European Parliament and the Ministry of Defence. Others have secured roles in business, think tanks, NGOs, or similar, both in Britain and abroad. Internship opportunities and excellent links with other universities in the region as well as range of topical events and research seminars complement your studies.


With their specialist knowledge and language skills, SSEES Master's graduates can be found in business, finance, the media, international agencies, charities, diplomacy, international security organisations, the law, and academia.

Some graduates advise the Russian, Polish, American, and other governments, and the European Commission.


Our London location and links with cultural institutions, such as Pushkin House; think-tanks such as Chatham House and proximity to Embassies of the region, mean we attract a wide range of external and influential speakers at our events.

The SSEES Employers Evening hosts a range of employers with relevant job opportunities for SSEES students, enabling networking with key organisations to help further your career.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and private study. The third term is devoted to revision sessions and the dissertation project. 

A 15-credit module is equivalent to 150 hours of study and a 30-credit module equivalent to 300 hours. This includes contact time, private study and the undertaking of coursework assignments.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, film viewings, tutorials and specialist language courses. You will be assessed through unseen examinations, long essays, coursework and the research dissertation.

For a full-time postgraduate course, we recommend around 20-25 hours of independent study per week. Contact hours may vary depending on module choices, but full-time students will have approximately 8-10 contact hours each week during term time, spent in lectures and seminars.

For a part-time postgraduate course, contact hours would usually be 4-6 hours per week across 2-3 days and we recommend around 10-12 hours of independent study per week.

Those undertaking language modules may have additional contact hours. There is minimal teaching during Term 3, as students focus on the dissertation and assessments.


Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

You will take a compulsory methodology module and a choice of optional modules in aspects of Russian literature and culture, social sciences or history, and a dissertation, including a compulsory dissertation preparation programme.

Subject to approval, optional modules up to the value of 30 credits may be taken from another SSEES MA programme or from another MA programme within UCL (examples include Anthropology, History, European Studies, Comparative Literature etc.).

Further details on structure and modules can be found in the Programme Handbook.

The MA Russian Studies can be taken part-time, across two years. Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

In Year 1, you will take a compulsory methodology modules, designed to work as a postgraduate-level foundation and to provide you with the specific skills to research and write essays and for the dissertation. You will also choose optional modules in aspects of Russian language, literature and culture, social sciences or history,

In Year 2, you will take optional modules to develop your broader understanding and develop key concepts learnt in Year 1. You will also continue to formulate and develop your dissertation outline and structure with support from your supervisor. You will then spend the summer of Year 2 researching and writing your 12,000 word dissertation on a topic to be determined in discussion with your supervisor

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Russian Studies.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Languages and Culture

The SSEES Graduate Open Series provides a focused session on each of our subject areas. Our virtual event series promises an invaluable experience for prospective master’s students as they explore a diverse range of postgraduate master’s and PhD opportunities. Guided by our accomplished academics and passionate student ambassadors, this series is designed to deliver comprehensive insights into the school and its programme offering.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, or conference registration fees and associated travel costs.

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library as hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

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.

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 Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Russian Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Russian Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic background and training meets the demands of a challenging programme
  • where you would like to go subsequently 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.