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Master of Arts in Russian

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


University of Canterbury


The Master of Arts (MA) degree consists of taught coursework, which may include internship opportunities, and independent research in a wide variety of Arts subjects. It provides the opportunity to critically examine current practices in the field, while also demonstrating understanding of the principles of research.

Those interested in a research-focused programme of study in their subject may consider the Master of Arts (Thesis). The Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis) is composed of a substantial body of original research in a wide variety of Arts subjects. It provides the opportunity to contribute to new knowledge in the field and build on academic skills.

The Master of Arts degree consists of a total 180 points, made up from a 30-point compulsory course in introductory research methods, at least 60 points in a single subject, a maximum of 30 points from an internship or other relevant subject, and a 60-point dissertation.

The Master of Arts (Thesis) degree consists of a 120-point thesis in a chosen subject. Students can begin their studies on the first day of any month.

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 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 New Zealand and Russia. This new situation is a favourable development for the future of Russian studies in New Zealand.

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.

Further study

Doctor of Philosophy

Career opportunities

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 New Zealand 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).

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Entry criteria

Coursework: Students must have qualified for an Aotearoa New Zealand bachelor's degree (or other qualifications of an equivalent standard). You must also satisfy the prerequisites for a major subject. Prerequisites vary between departments, but normally good grades in 300-level courses in the subject is required. If you do not meet the prerequisites in your chosen subject, you may be able to complete a qualifying course, or substitute relevant professional practice or other work experience that satisfies your ability to pursue postgraduate-level studies in that subject.

Thesis: Students must have qualified for a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree (or other qualifications of an equivalent standard) within one of the Arts subjects offered in the MA(Thesis). With approval from the Dean of Arts, you may be able to complete the MA(Thesis) in a different subject from your BA(Hons) qualification.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

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