Russian and Slavonic Studies


At a glance

      • Study as a complete beginner, or from GCSE, and reach degree standard by the end of your course
      • Immerse yourself in the life-changing opportunities of a year abroad, supported by our specialist team
      • 97% of our research was classed as being of international quality in terms of ‘originality, significance and rigour’*

* Research Excellence Framework, 2014

Russian and Slavonic Studies

What is Russian and Slavonic Studies?

Russian is one of the world’s major languages, spoken by 280 million people, used widely in the other countries of the former Soviet Union as well as in Russia itself. In the 21st century Russia has re-emerged as a powerful player on the global political and economic stage. It is a vast, diverse nation, open and welcoming to foreign visitors, offering tremendous experiences and opportunities that remain undiscovered by most in the West. Expertise in the Russian language, especially when combined with a deep understanding of Russia’s history, culture and society, has never been more vital for careers in sectors including government, diplomacy, international business and non-governmental organisations. 

Russian and Slavonic studies at Nottingham encompasses an exceptionally broad programme of study across two main language areas, Russian and Serbian/Croatian, with options also to learn Slovene as a second or third Slavonic language. Russian can be studied from beginners’ level and post GCSE/AS, as well as post-A level. We teach Serbian/Croatian from beginners’ level to degree level. Our modules on Russian society, culture and language span the medieval period to the 21st century, and our students can choose to specialise in topics in history, cinema, literature and cultural studies. Students can also opt to take modules in South-East European cultures and histories.

Russian studies can be taken as a single honours subject or as a joint honours subject with another modern language, and as a joint honours subject with history; it is also available in the degree Economics with Russian. Serbian/Croatian can be studied as a joint honours subject alongside Russian, and students on Russian Studies single honours degree who opt to study Serbian/Croatian from year one or two have the exciting opportunity to graduate in Russian with Serbian/Croatian.

Both Russian and Serbian/Croatian are offered within Modern Languages Studies, Modern European Studies, Modern Languages with Translation and Modern Languages with Business. History and East European Cultural Studies is a three-year joint honours course with no compulsory language study, focusing on the histories, literatures and cultures of the region. 


How will I study?

Depending on your choice of course, you will combine time working on your language or languages with the study of aspects of Russian and East European societies and cultures. Language classes cover reading, writing, speaking and listening, with an interactive approach to learning and consolidating grammar. Many of your classes will be with native speakers of the relevant language, and oral classes are kept very small to give every student the opportunity to practise their speaking skills and build confidence.

Modules on topics in history, cultural studies, film and literature are taught in lectures and smaller group seminars, supported by our virtual learning environment. As well as learning about the specific topics in hand you will also benefit from training in the key skills needed for undergraduate study, such as research and essay writing.  


Assessment is through coursework and exams. The first year is a qualifying year; only the grades from your second and final years count towards your degree.



More than 90 per cent of our students graduate with 2:1 or first-class degrees. Recent graduates' first jobs have been with the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, Ernst & Young, Boots plc, Allen & Overy legal services, Oxford University Press, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Civil Service. Others go into journalism and teaching. Our students are also well placed to undertake postgraduate study.

In 2016, 94.2% of undergraduates in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,336 with the highest being £31,000.* 

Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers
(Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2017, High Fliers Research).


Study abroad

The third year of all our language courses is spent studying in Russia, with opportunities to study in Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia if you are taking another Slavonic language. See our Year Abroad web pages for more information on the variety of opportunities we offer. 

The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures has excellent links with Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Russia. All students, except those taking the three-year course History and East European Cultural Studies, spend their third year abroad. Options include university study placements: at Moscow City Pedagogical University, St Tikhon’s Orthodox University (Moscow), St Petersburg State University, Kazan Federal University and Vladimir State University (Russia), as well as specially-designed courses at partner language schools in Petrozavodsk and Rostov-on-Don. For students learning Serbian/Croatian and Slovene we benefit from university exchanges with the University of Rijeka (Croatia), the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the University of Belgrade (Serbia).

A unique feature of the Nottingham programme is its two-week intensive language courses in Russia and Serbia during the first year, which are offered to all students studying Russian or Serbian/Croatian. More information can be found on our Year Abroad pages.

All students also have the opportunity to spend an extra semester abroad through the University-wide U21 scheme. Further information can be found on our study abroad web pages.

Nottingham has the highest number of any UK university on outward mobility under Erasmus.*

* Erasmus student and staff numbers by institution, Erasmus+ 2014.


Application and interview

Offers are usually made without interview. Students with non-standard entry requirements, including mature students, may be invited to an interview.


Open days

UCAS visit days for students offered a place are normally held from late January to March. You are welcome to visit at other times – please contact us or for dates of our open days visit  
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Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

The University of Nottingham

University Park


NG7 2RD 
Call us:
+44 (0)115 951 5559
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The University of Nottingham
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