Studying

In the Master's Programme in Russian Studies, Russia is placed into the global context. Through Russia, we can look at global developments and challenges. Our aim is to give you tools to understand diverse social, political, and cultural phenomena and processes, and to identify their importance for Russia and the world at large.

The curriculum of the programme is designed to be multidisciplinary, and it is closely linked with the world-class research conducted at the Aleksanteri Institute and its international network. Aleksanteri Institute is Europe’s largest research institute dedicated to the Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies. It is comprised of an active, international community that hosts a Visiting Fellow Programme, the annual Aleksanteri Conference and other research seminars and workshops, and also accommodates warm, friendly, social gatherings.

There will be an increasing need in the future for expertise in culture, politics, and society in a variety of fields across national and international areas. As a graduate from Russian Studies, you can find employment in the public sector, academic environments, education, journalism, business, and non-governmental organizations. You will delve into a breadth and depth of social and cultural phenomena, identifying their significance for Russia, and for the world at large.

In our curriculum, you can find multi- and inter-disciplinary courses focusing on Russia in a global context. In addition to these academic courses, you can find project courses focusing on strengthening your professional skills such as critical thinking, knowledge production, and project work. As a student, you benefit from Aleksanteri Institute’s international network, reap the rewards of abundant research opportunities, while also taking advantage of a global network of experts in the field. You have an option to learn the Russian language and make short-term excursions and internships.

The scope of the Master’s Programme in Russian Studies is 120 credits (ECTS) containing the following studies:

  • Obligatory study units (75 credits) (discipline-specific advanced studies)
  • Optional study units (15 credits)
  • Master's thesis 30 credits

At the beginning of your studies, you will be assisted by your supervisor to draw a personal study plan and design your own individual study track. The degree shall be completed in two academic years. The programme is run in English.

Having a strong basis in the humanities and social sciences, the Master's Programme in Russian Studies focus on global themes such as security and power; environment and climate; inequality and resilience; culture and identity, with specific focus on Russia enabling you to understand global challenges that Russia faces, and Russia’s responses to them.

Read more about structure and content.

In the curriculum of the Master's Programme in Russian Studies , you can find multi- and inter-disciplinary courses focusing on Russia in a global context, including global themes such as:

  • Security and power
  • Environment and climate
  • Inequality and resilience
  • Culture and identity

In addition to these academic courses, you can find project courses focusing on strengthening your professional skills such as critical thinking, knowledge production, and project work. As a student, you benefit from Aleksanteri Institute’s international network, reap the rewards of abundant research opportunities, while also taking advantage of a global network of experts in the field. You have an option to learn the Russian language and make short-term excursions and internships.

Your teachers will be scholars from the Aleksanteri Institute and other units of University of Helsinki. They have solid teaching experience and broad research credentials, and use innovative pedagogic approaches to area studies aiming at developing your critical thinking and analytical skills in a global environment.

Read more about the courses.

In your Master’s studies, you focus mainly on discipline-specific advanced studies. During this stage, you deepen your knowledge of your chosen field through both studies and writing your Master’s thesis. The process of writing your Master's thesis also develops the basic skills required for conducting research.

The Master's of Arts degree provides general eligibility for postgraduate studies and a solid foundation for doctoral studies.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in research, you can apply to continue your studies as a postgraduate student in one of the Doctoral Programmes at the University of Helsinki after completing your degree. Successful completion of postgraduate studies will provide you with an opportunity to consider an international career in the academic world.

If you are interested in postgraduate studies, read more about the doctoral programmes at the University of Helsinki.

Anna Belokur

Anna Belokur studies in the Master’s Programme in Russian Studies. The once professional circus performer finds the University of Helsinki a place with many op­por­tun­it­ies to meet people, have ex­per­i­en­ces, and gain know­ledge. What else does she think about her studies?

Read the full interview with Anna Belokur.

Peter Taggart

Peter Taggart, a second-year Russian Studies student, discusses what persuaded him to move to Helsinki, the pros and challenges of the programme and life in Finland, and what differs from his studies abroad.

Read the full interview with Peter Taggart.

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, more than 250 student organisations operate within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) ranging from faculty and subject organisations to political and societal organisations, and from choirs and orchestras to sports and game clubs. Their activities include anniversary celebrations, academic dinner parties, cultural events, get-togethers and excursions.

As a student and member of the Student Union (HYY), you are entitled to many benefits and services. For example, affordable student housing, basic healthcare services, sports facilities and student-priced meals. You also get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country.  

Read more about the life and benefits as a student at the University of Helsinki.

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