Russian is an important world language, spoken by some 150 million people, and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Russian culture is especially rich and fascinating.
With the opening of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the world has become smaller. The most important parts of Russia industrially and strategically – East Siberia and the south-east Russian Far East, the regions closest to Aotearoa New Zealand – have opened up for independent trade, business, and cultural contacts with Russia's eastern and southern neighbours. For the first time, direct business contacts have become possible between Aotearoa and Russia. This new situation is a favourable development for the future of Russian studies in Aotearoa.
Many of the best western experts in Russian affairs started as Russian language and literature students; it is they who largely define western policies towards Russia in America, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. It is time our geopolitical region produced its own experts on Russia.
- UC is the only Aotearoa university that offers a full major in Russian.
- In addition to the full suite of Russian language courses, we offer courses in Russian history covering its full extent from the middle ages to the present day as well as modules on Russian literature, film, and culture.
- Many of our non-language courses can be credited to other majors (eg, European and European Union Studies).
- UC takes part in a vibrant exchange arrangement with the School of Translation and Interpretation at Moscow State University (MSU), which allows senior students from UC's Russian programme to spend a semester studying at the oldest and largest university in Russia. In exchange, senior students from MSU spend a semester at UC.
No previous knowledge of Russian is required for the introductory Russian language course RUSS 130 Elementary Russian Language A.
UC offers a major and a minor in Russian as part of the Bachelor of Arts.
To complete a major in Russian within the Bachelor of Arts, you will need to take the following courses throughout the degree:
- Three 200-level RUSS courses
Courses from European and European Union Studies can also be credited towards the major, with approval from the Programme Coordinator.
It is highly recommended that students complete some Russian language courses during their major study. The 100-level language courses are for absolute beginners or those with very little previous experience in Russian language. Students with a high level of Russian language proficiency may be given direct entry to 200-level language courses.
RUSS 330 and RUSS 331 are advanced language courses required for all Russian major students.
For the Russian minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, you will need to take these courses throughout your chosen degree:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level RUSS courses, with at least 45 points at 200-level or above
Courses from European and European Union Studies can also be credited towards the minor, with approval from the Programme Coordinator.
Those who study Russian will find themselves well-equipped for positions in diplomatic service, international affairs, human rights, development work, public service, communication, publishing, travel and tourism, as well as teaching.
With the opening of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, those Aotearoa students who acquire knowledge of Russian might find themselves in demand for translating, interpreting, and for consultancies in business, health, and legal matters (especially as many Russians do not speak English).
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Russian.
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