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Programme

Upon completion of the Master´s Programme in Russian Studies, you will have acquired in-depth knowledge of Russia’s past and present and developed Russia-related expertise for use in your future career. You will be able to recognise changes in your field of expertise, adjust your skills to these changes, and update your knowledge and skills independently.

Your expertise will give you a solid background in critical thinking and provide you with the readiness to face challenges in diverse professional environments. For instance, you can continue on to a career in government and education, or find employment in the media, the business world or in the service of non-governmental organisations.

Your studies will be conducted by the scholars of Aleksanteri Institute and other units of university of Helsinki, who have solid teaching experience and broad research credentials. Aleksanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki is the largest and best-known research institute for Russian studies in Europe. Based on the scholars’ experience in innovative approaches to area studies, the programme focuses on developing critical thinking and analytical skills in a global environment of increasing digitalization and complex social change.

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area and pursue their studies in English, are liable to pay tuition fees. You can check from FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Find out more about the Be 1* of the Best Scholarship Programme.

The Master´s Programme in Russian Studies is in English

The Master´s Programme in Russian Studies at the University of Helsinki promotes an understanding of Russia as a vital member of global and local communities and an important and powerful player today. There will be a continuing need in the future for expertise in Russian culture, politics, and society in a variety of fields in national and international arenas.

As a student of Russian Studies, you will learn to write essays and learning diaries and practice problem-solving learning. Your education will include attending lectures, participation in group work and workshops/seminars, and examinations.

In the Master’s studies programme, you will

  • Have the opportunity to acquire expertise in Russia for use in many fields that require knowledge of Russia, its culture and institutions
  • Have the opportunity to study basic Russian language courses if you have no prior skills in Russian
  • Have the opportunity to make short excursion(s)
  • Have the opportunity to participate in on-going research projects and create new ones
  • Strengthen your understanding of theory, and work on your academic writing skills
  • Participate in the Master’s thesis seminar, during which you will write your Master’s thesis and learn about career opportunities with Russia experts from different scientific fields

The scope of the Master of Arts degree is 120 credits (ECTS).

The degree contains the following studies:

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

The program, with full-time studies, is designed to lead to an MA degree in two years.

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.

You complete their studies systematically. At the beginning of your Master’s studies, you prepare your first personal study plan (PSP) with support especially from the academic staff.

Your Master’s studies culminate in writing a Master’s thesis, an independent scientific study. You will practice thesis writing during the thesis seminar.

The aim of the Master’s thesis is to develop the basic skills required for conducting research. The most important of these include the ability to seek information independently, analyse and assess existing information critically, and produce and apply information systematically. In addition, writing your Master’s thesis develops your project management skills and your mastery of an extensive body of knowledge.

After completing your Master’s thesis, you will

  • Have the ability to define and discuss your chosen research problem,
  • Have mastered the theories and research methods required in your work,
  • Have demonstrated familiarity with the topic of your thesis and the relevant literature,
  • Be able to communicate scientifically and analyse material, and
  • Be ready to work in a systematic manner and be able to understand large concepts.

Russian Studies will prepare you for different careers in the public sector, education, journalism, business and non-governmental organisations:

  • Depending on your studies, you can find employment in government, the media, and different national and international organisations;
  • You can also continue your studies as a postgraduate student after completing your Master’s degree.  Successful completion of postgraduate studies will also give you an opportunity to consider an international career in the academic world.
  • 375 humanists – Professor Tomi Huttunen

During your studies, you can engage in international activities in many ways at both foreign universities and your home university. The Russian Studies programme gives you a good opportunity for international interaction due to the strong international approach of the teaching staff. Your professional orientation, at both the national and international levels, will be developed together with expertise in Russian and Eastern European Studies.

In addition to other sources the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies´ data bank offers unique materials for seminar work and master’s theses.

The Russian Studies programme has disciplinary expertise in the different fields of humanities and social sciences.The programme approaches Russia in global context  through phenomena, processes and concepts from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary points of view.

After completing the Master of Arts degree, you can apply to complete the Doctor of Philosophy postgraduate research degree.

The University of Helsinki Faculty of Arts is Finland’s leading centre of humanistic research. The Faculty has a strong research orientation, and its research represents the top level in many fields, both in Europe and internationally.

How to apply
Below a list of the different ways to apply to this degree programme.
Faculties

Faculty of Arts

People trained in the liberal arts play an important role in all sectors of society, from the traditional humanities fields of education and administration to business and technological fields. There is always a need for people who can think clearly, analyse issues, find creative solutions, and present them persuasively.

The University of Helsinki is among the top one hundred of such institutions in the world –the only one in Finland to be rated so highly. It is also Finland’s largest and most multidisciplinary university, offering around 300 disciplines in 11 faculties. The University’s staff and over 36,000 students constitute an international academic community, which is spread over four campuses in Helsinki and several other localities around Finland. Students here complete over 5,800 degrees each year.

The University’s Faculty of Arts is a significant international community of research, education and culture. It is Finland’s oldest and largest centre of teaching and research in the humanities and the country’s most versatile faculty. At the University of Helsinki, your education in the arts integrates international scope, linguistic interaction, reasoning skills, and a broad-based education. It will form the foundation for an enduring interest in lifelong learning and in understanding your fellow human beings.

The Faculty of Arts and its departments are located in the centre of Helsinki, mainly in three blocks near the Senate Square, in the University of Helsinki Main Building, Topelia and the Forestry Building. You will find everything you need for your studies – libraries, exercise facilities, learning centres and the like – within a short walk.

The Faculty of Arts is located in the centre of Helsinki, close to the Helsinki University Library (Kaisa House) and Alexandria Learning Centre, offering you easy access to modern study facilities and library services. The National Library of Finland, with the country’s broadest and most important collections in the field of arts, is also located on the City Centre Campus.

Helsinki is a compact city, built on a peninsula and islands in the Baltic Sea. Most of the city centre is within walking distance. In recent years the city has become much more cosmopolitan – there are restaurants and cultural activities from all over the world. Students and faculty here speak English, and most people working in shops and restaurants speak at least some English. So you can interact with most people in English, though it will enrich your stay here if you learn Finnish. Tervetuloa! Welcome!

As a University of Helsinki degree student, you can participate in a student exchange or traineeship outside Finland. The University has approximately 500 high-quality partner universities throughout the world, and each year some 1,000 University students embark on a student exchange or traineeship. A stay abroad gives valuable skills and experiences:

  • You can incorporate an international dimension into your degree and obtain international expertise in your field. A well-planned student exchange provides you with diverse, unique skills!
  • You will gain a new perspective on the world, learn more about yourself and enhance your language proficiency.
  • You will get better acquainted with the culture of the target country, meet new people and be able to establish international networks in your field.

More information about studying abroad: guide.student.helsinki.fi/en/study-abroad

At the University of Helsinki we provide an accessible learning environment for all students.

If you have a disability, an illness or a learning disability, and might need some special arrangements to be able to complete your studies, please contact the faculty at the beginning of your studies or when the need arises.

You will usually agree upon the practical arrangements with your professor before the course or seminar begins. If needed, you can also consult the Head of Academic Affairs at the faculty.

Special arrangements for your studies, such as individual support for learning, might include extra time to complete assignments and exams, teaching materials given in advance or in electronic form, accessibility to classrooms and alternative ways to complete assignments and coursework.

If you would like more information about special arrangements, please contact the Student Services in the City Centre at specialneeds@helsinki.fi.

As a student at the University of Helsinki, you will have access to a wide range of services and benefits; such as housing, meals, health care, wellbeing and sports. On the New Student web pages, you will find information on necessary insurance, permits, and fees. As a member of the University of Helsinki Student union (HYY) you will have a great variety of services at your disposal and will be able to participate in various events and activities. Discounts are available for students, for example for travelling, cultural events, and several stores. Sub-organisations of HYY also organise a wide variety of social events. You will find more information on the University of Helsinki website.