UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg



Russian is a global language spoken by 350 million people worldwide. Outside the Russian Federation, with its population of 140 million, it is widely spoken by the citizens of the former Soviet republics, USA, Europe, Israel, and many other countries. The Russian diaspora of London alone counts about 300 000 residents. Russian is one of the 6 languages of the United Nations. Knowledge of Russian gives you direct access to a fascinating cultural and historical tradition, helps you understand the evolution of Russian philosophical and ideological trends, and brings you closer to one of the world’s most dynamic geopolitical regions.


In the words of the British Academy (Lost for Words, 2013):

"The increase in ethnic and regional conflicts in the post-Soviet era, 

together with Russia’s role as a global economic power, has meant that 

Russian continues to be an important language for diplomacy and security"

In the words of students:

“Russian opens up an entire new universe because for so many years Russian culture existed in parallel to the West. When you are first able to talk to a Russian in his or her native language, you get insight into a different mentality, and this expands your own horizons and enriches you as a human being.”

“It was fantastic to learn Russian because it allows you to enjoy its amazing literature, to which no translation can do true justice.”

“Studying Russian and Russia was one of the most incredible adventures of my life. I fell in love with the country and its people.”