Goal of the 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 the 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.


Tu­ition fees

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.

In­form­a­tion on the lan­guages of in­struc­tion

The Master´s Programme in Russian Studies is in English

Pro­gramme con­tents

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

Pro­gramme struc­ture

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.

Ca­reer pro­spects

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´ databank offers unique materials for seminar work and master’s theses.

Re­search fo­cus

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

Post­gradu­ate stud­ies

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.

Program taught in:
University of Helsinki

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Last updated August 2, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 2019
2 years
13,000 EUR
Tuition fee per year (non-EU/EEA students)
Request Info
The next application period for the Master's Programmes opens on December 3rd, 2018, and ends on January 11th, 2019
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Start Date
Aug 2019
End Date
Application deadline
Request Info
The next application period for the Master's Programmes opens on December 3rd, 2018, and ends on January 11th, 2019

Aug 2019

Application deadline
Request Info
The next application period for the Master's Programmes opens on December 3rd, 2018, and ends on January 11th, 2019
End Date