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Russian and Politics

LR27 BA (Hons) 4 years


***A New Russian Programme will be starting in September 2017***

***The following description is for September 2016 starters only***


This four-year degree programme offers the exciting prospect of combining two contrasting, but often complementary, areas of interest. You will follow the core modules in Russian designed to help you develop your skills in writing and speaking that language as well as core modules in politics. In addition, you will normally spend a year abroad in a country where the language is spoken.

Studying modern languages is about more than vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation: you will also immerse yourself in culture, spend time working or studying abroad and learn to understand the subtleties of communication.

You will also spend a year abroad in the third year of your degree. This gives you an exceptional opportunity to develop your language skills among native speakers. If you are studying two languages you can divide your time between two countries, or spend a full nine months in one country, and three months over the summer vacation in the other. You have three main options for how to spend the year abroad: teaching English as a foreign language assistant; attending university abroad on an Erasmus exchange; or in the professional world, either on a work placement, with the School’s support, or independently, with the School’s approval. 

Why study Russian and Politics at Queen Mary?

Russian is taught in one of the leading language departments in the UK and aim for excellence in both teaching and research.  This means that you will learn from people who are at the forefront of their field.

We pride ourselves on the facilities we offer. Our advisers are on hand to help you take advantage of multilingual word-processing and to point you towards websites useful for language study. Our custom designed Language Centre provides state-of-the-art language teaching and learning facilities. We also subscribe to many foreign newspapers and journals.

The College Library has extensive audio-visual facilities, a large collection of videos and DVDs and is equipped for viewing satellite TV. You will also be able to enjoy lively language clubs and societies which organise film showings, outings, drama productions and regular social meetings which give you the chance to practise your language as well as have fun).

The School of Politics and International Relations is rated very highly for the quality of their research. Our staff have diverse research interests, and this is reflected in the choice of modules available to students.

There are huge benefits to studying politics in London, with national political institutions, party headquarters, high-profile international organisations and think-tanks all based here. At Queen Mary, we exploit our location to the full, inviting a range of high-profile and inspiring speakers to the campus. There’s also a student-run politics society who organise debates and events of their own.


New Programme starting September 2017

Final structure TBC

 Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introduction to Politics
  • Russian I
  • Russian Foundations

Plus either

  • Comparative Government and Politics, or
  • Introduction to International Relations

Years 2 and 4

Politics options include:

  • British Politics
  • Global Governance
  • International Politics of the Developing World
  • International Relations: Theories and Concepts
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Theories of the State, Economy and Society
  • War and Security in World Politics
  • Case Studies in Ethnic Conflict: Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Electoral Behaviour
  • Theories of the Self
  • European Integration and the European Union as a Political System
  • Select Topics in British Government 1
  • Select Topics in British Government 2
  • The Politics of Economic Ideas
  • French Politics
  • Theory and Practice in Environmental Politics
  • The Politics of the Post-Colonial Middle East
  • European Politics: National Identity and Ethnicity
  • Analysing Public Policy
  • European Politics: National Identity and Ethnicity
  • Liberalism, Past and Present

Core language modules:

  • Russian II and Russian III

Russian options include:

  • Russian Novel: Self and Society
  • Short Stories and Important People: The Nineteenth Century
    Russian Syntax
  •  Russian Play
  • The Russian Avant-Garde
  • Modern Russian Literature I: Revolution
  •  Advanced Oral Competence in Russian
  • Essay in Russian
  • Liaison Interpreting (Russian-English-Russian)
  • Russian Novel: Dysfunctional Families
  • Russian Film: Memory and History
  • Russian Literature since 1917: Short Fiction
  • Modern Russian Literature II: Beyond the Monolith
  • Writing in Russian

Year 3

Year abroad: Written Assignment

Entry requirements

Entry requirements may vary for native Russian speakers, and for those who have no previous knowledge of Russian.

General information

You may study a language without having studied it before (except for French) provided that you have a proven ability in a foreign language. You may only study one language from scratch. Applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a grade B in GCSE English language or equivalent, or will be required to have IELTS 7 (with grade 7 in writing). If you study Russian from beginners level you will undertake a preliminary year of Russian language.


Typical tariff or grades required: 320 UCAS points from 3 A-levels with a minimum B in a language.

Excluded subjects: General Studies and Critical Thinking.

International Baccalaureate:

Subjects and grades: Overall 34 points with 5,5,5 in HL subjects that include a language.

Vocational and other qualifications:

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Please visit our further information page below.

Further information on our entry requirements

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications

Learning and teaching

We teach through a combination of lectures (larger groups) and tutorials, or by weekly two-hour seminars, while language work generally takes place in smaller groups. (You will receive a minimum of two hours tuition per week for each module.) We give our students individual attention and every student has an Adviser who can help with academic or personal problems. All the language programmes include writing-intensive modules that will help you strengthen your thinking, research and essay-writing skills.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2 - 3 hours of independent study.  Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations. 

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments.  However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability. 

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area.  This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Assessment methods vary from module to module, and include a mixture of exams and coursework, coursework only, oral exams, final-year dissertations and a range of more innovative methods, such as independent projects and creative journals.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as interpreting and teaching, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into areas such as marketing and journalism.

The national 2011 destination survey confirmed that 86.7% of the School’s graduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation with 73.1% already working/studying at graduate level. Queen Mary graduates have a strong earning power, as reported in the Sunday Times University Rankings .

The broad range of skills gained through our programmes, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:

Global Technical Support RepresentationBloomberg
Assistant Tour ManagerSony
Trainee ManagerMajestic Wine
Training Centre Co-ordinatorESI International
Fundraising AdministratorMildmay International
International Product AnalystMeta-Pack
Marketing ExecutiveMano
Graduate Account ExecutiveHall & Partners
Publishing AssistantMedikidz
JournalistSelf Employed
InterpreterSelf Employed
English as a Foreign Language TeacherBritish Council

Throughout their time at Queen Mary, students have access to a careers programme to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This programme includes workshops on job hunting and job applications as well as employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.

Recent careers events include a workshop for returning 4th year students “What a Difference a Year Abroad Makes”, a speed meet event with alumni working in a variety of roles – “Make Languages Work for You” and a panel discussion on “Working in Government and Politics”.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study, through, for example, our QM Projects work experience scheme, QM Temps job agency, Experience Works events and QMSU Provide volunteering services. Over 800 vacancies are available to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages.


Tom Symmons

BA Film Studies and History

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“The critical skills and depth of knowledge I acquired during my BA Film Studies and History provided me a solid foundation for my postgraduate studies. My doctoral research thesis on the New Hollywood of the late-1960s and 1970s is now nearing completion and I intend to pursue a career in academia.

The joint honours degree course is structured to allow plenty of flexibility, and the modules on offer are diverse and well formulated; the interdisciplinary course 'Critical Approaches to Film: Alfred Hitchcock', was a particular favourite. It is also led by academics who are both leaders in their respective fields of research, and take a great deal of pride and interest in providing the best educational experience for their students.”


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