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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Russian

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Canterbury


The Bachelor of Arts is a flexible degree so you can specialise or study a wide variety of topics. Over the three years of your degree, you will gain the critical thinking, creative problem solving, and communication skills that employers want. Unique practical experiences such as internships are on offer too. The Bachelor of Arts requires a minimum total of 360 points. Each major has specific course requirements, but all consist of a minimum of 135 points in a single Arts subject. Of these, at least 60 points must be at 300-level and at least 45 points at 200-level.

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 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.

Why study Russian at UC?

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).

Double degrees

It is possible to combine an Arts degree with other degrees.

Further study

The College of Arts has a wide range of options for postgraduate and graduate study with excellent research facilities. Pathways include: Bachelor of Arts with Honours; Master of Arts; Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

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).

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 50, and no communicative skills score below 42.

Undergraduate application deadline: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.

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