Contact Information

Russian Language and Literature belongs to the Department of Modern Languages.

P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40 B)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki


The discipline of Russian Language and Literature is divided into Russian as a foreign language and mother tongue options. The foreign language option is meant for students with Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue, while the mother tongue option is meant for Russian-speakers or people who have otherwise acquired native Russian skills. In either option, students can specialise in either linguistics or literary research.

Prior Russian language skills are also needed at the beginning of studies in the foreign language option. The aim of the studies is to provide the students with versatile oral and written skills in Russian.  In addition, the studies focus on the structure, development and research of Russian. Moreover, the studies acquaint the students with Russian literature and culture and their research. The intermediate studies include a three-and-a-half month language training period in a Russian university.

After their studies, the students in the foreign language option may find employment as Russian language teachers or in duties in business, industry, culture or public administration sectors, which require knowledge of Russian language and culture. The field of work of experts in Russia is expansive: Russian is Europe’s most spoken language and in a unifying Europe Finland has a key role as a Russia expert. Contact between Finland and Russia is close, so there has always been more demand for experts in Russian language and culture in Finland than elsewhere. Increased immigration and tourism have increased this demand further.

The Russian as a mother tongue option develops the students’ oral and written skills and acquaints them with the structure and development of the Russian language, Russian literature and culture and their research.

Students graduating from the mother tongue option may find employment in various teaching duties or duties in trade, industry, culture or public administration which require profound competence in Russian language and literature.