Durham University was ranked 3rd nationally in the 2024 Good University Guide for Russian.
Research in Russian Studies at Durham’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures spans the period from the 17th century to the present day. Our areas of specialist expertise include:
In addition to providing a broad-ranging introduction to Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet culture and cultural history, our programme allows students to explore their individual interests and undertake a substantial independent research project in the final year.
Find out how to apply, all course details and structure, entry requirements and more.
When I came to Durham, I knew no Russian at all! I think the Russian ab initio course is excellent because it pushes you to learn quickly. Now, I can have a conversation in Russian, something I never imagined I’d be able to do.
Our language courses are taught by highly experienced language teachers (Mrs Branka Grundy, Mrs Olga Zabotkina and Dr Ekaterina Chown). In the first year, students who have no prior experience of studying Russian take an intensive ab initio course which continues in the second year. Students holding an A-level or equivalent qualification in Russian are enrolled on a parallel intermediate course.
All students normally spend three to four months of their third year abroad in a Russian-speaking country at one of our partner institutions in the Baltic States, Georgia, or Kyrgyzstan. Our final-year language modules develop advanced proficiency, including translation and interpreting skills and the use of Russian in professional and business contexts.
I have really enjoyed the challenge of studying an ab initio language at Durham. Choosing Russian specifically has given me the opportunity to study in Estonia, a country I may never otherwise have visited, and to experience a new artistic and historical culture.
Students have opportunities to participate in regular extracurricular events (including concerts and theatrical productions) and benefit from engagement with students from our partner universities. Our students have contributed articles to the University of California, Berkeley’s undergraduate journal Troika, Cambridge Asia Forum, and Durham Eastern European Review (https://durhameasterneuropeanreview.com), a student-led online academic journal. Others have received awards for their translations and community work.
Please find a list of language and culture related internet resources on Russia and beyond here
Enquiries about degree programmes or internships should be addressed to Dr Viktoria Ivleva, Director of Russian Studies.
Find out more about module information, our members of staff responsible for Russian studies, other language courses, employability, study abroad and scholarships.