Welcome to Russian!

We are delighted you are joining us. Here you can find all the information you will need to settle in and prepare for a new and exciting chapter of your life. You can find more information about arriving at Leeds in the Arrival section of the For Students website. There is also a page designed for new students in the Languages, Cultures and Societies welcome page.

Induction Week

During Induction Week you will:

  • meet members of staff in Russian;
  • have the opportunity to volunteer as a student rep;
  • be able to sign up to various groups and societies at Leeds University Union;
  • meet other students of Russian (virtually) to grow your social network in the first few days;
  • interact with students and staff through live online sessions so you get used to the online way of working.

Although you will be attending sessions as part of an induction week, we would like to emphasise that the process of welcoming you to the university and to Russian at Leeds, and getting you off to the best possible start as a Leeds student, is something we take seriously and we do not cram everything into just one week. Induction begins from the moment your place is confirmed and continues well into the first semester and indeed the first year, when you will be settling into life as a student in our School and the University.

Before Induction Week you will:

  • receive a welcome e-mail from the School;
  • get a full induction timetable of what is happening, and when.

Registration, IT access and Minerva

Minerva is the University’s Virtual Learning Environment full of useful info and links for your modules. To access it you will need to register and get a University username.

Studying at Leeds

Independent Learning

Studying Russian at Leeds will enable you – year by year – to develop into a competent independent scholar. Don’t worry: this does not mean that you are on your own! You will be supported by members of staff who are specialists in their fields. Through (interactive) lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, group and project work, you will explore different aspects of Russian culture, history, society, literature, linguistics and language. This collaborative process will guide and support you in your own, individual and independent approach to study. Whatever path you choose you will be encouraged to produce original work through your own reflection, preparation, and research.

In your Final Year, you will produce a substantial piece of independent research – your Final-Year Project (FYP) – which allows you to explore a question or subject of your choice. The FYP is a great opportunity to develop an area of personal interest – and, who knows, could even inspire you to undertake further study at Master’s level.


All the information you will need about the modules you are studying can be found in Minerva, so once you have registered and you have your login details, start to explore!

Learning and Assessment: what to expect

All modules in Russian have clear learning outcomes and our teaching is designed to enable you to achieve these outcomes. The way that we measure your success – against published assessment criteria – means that module design and assessment are logical, pedagogically sound, and clear. You can find the learning outcomes and criteria in the module documentation available via the Minerva Virtual Learning Environment.

Your work will be assessed by a variety of traditional and innovative methods. These methods include traditional assignments like invigilated exams, oral exams, essays and commentaries as well as more innovative tasks, such as business presentations and project reports, that reflect “real-world” scenarios and train industry-relevant skills. You will be well prepared for all types of assessment and will receive helpful formative feedback that will help you refine your skills and knowledge ready for your final (or summative) assessment.

Research-Inspired Learning and Teaching

Staff in Russian at Leeds have a wide variety of research interests and, besides being disseminated in books and articles and at international conferences, their work feeds directly into the modules that they teach. We have language specialists who have written textbooks and created specialist language learning software that you will use directly in class. In addition, our non-language modules are informed by the research of members of staff working on aspects of Russian history, literature, film and linguistics. We bring the latest knowledge and insights from our research into our teaching, meaning that all our modules are fresh and up-to-date. Some of our modules (e.g. What is Russia at Level 1) are team-taught and draw on the expertise of members of staff with different research interests. This means that you get to enjoy different approaches, perspectives, and styles, whilst being exposed to a wide variety of material – and right from the start of your degree you are introduced to a number of areas of Russia(n)-related research that you can develop further at Levels 2 and 3.

Discovery Modules

As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you can choose something different to your main subject as a Discovery Module. Find out more about the Discovery Themes on the Broadening pages of the Leeds for Life website.

Extra-Curricular Activities

As a student of Russian at Leeds you can benefit from a number of exciting and rewarding extra-curricular activities. Among other things, you will have the opportunity to:

  • join our subject-level society, SlavSoc, which runs several informal social events each year – you can even volunteer to be on the committee!
  • attend subject-level research seminars, many of which are organised around topics and themes covered on our modules;
  • take part in tandem learning classes with native speakers of Russian;
  • attend our weekly or fortnightly informal “U Samovara” gatherings – this is a great opportunity for you to ask students in Levels 2 and 3 questions about the Year Abroad and get the latest tips and advice for your trip to Russia.

The Year Abroad

Okay, so we’ve saved the best till last! In your second (or on some programmes third) year you will spend a full academic year (September—June) in Russia. Leeds students typically study at the Institute of Russian Language and Culture (IRLC) at Moscow State University and classes are typically from 10:00 until 15:00, four days a week. This means that you will have ample time to explore Moscow and become familiar with one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world. While on your Year Abroad you will be expected to carry out a piece of independent research – your Year Abroad Project – that will develop both your language and research skills. Your project can be on any topic relating to contemporary Russia and is a great way of combining business with pleasure. You will receive information about the Year Abroad throughout your first year from our Residence Abroad team. For most students the Year Abroad is the highlight of the degree programme, so make the most of it!