Certificate course in Russian for Social Scientists CEES5046

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides an intermediate knowledge of Russian and focuses on grammar, oral and information retrieval skills, subject-related vocabulary and Russian realia.

It is designed as an intermediate level pre-course for social science researchers working on Russia and the CIS in the fields of history, sociology, politics or economy.


1. Classroom teaching at Glasgow (3 hr x 15 weeks =45 hr)

2. On-line live communication with teacher (1 hr x 15 weeks = 15 hr)

3. Interactive activities, exercises and tests placed on the course Moodle site (2 hr x 15 weeks = 30 hr). Most of these exercises provide an automated feedback.

4. intensive teaching block at the partner institution abroad in semester 2

  (8 hr x 7 weeks = 56)

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Basic knowledge of Russian grammar and vocabulary, elementary reading and speaking skills.

Recommended Entry Requirements

As above plus elementary knowledge of Russian society, Russian history and culture.

Excluded Courses







1. Semester 1: one-hour classroom-based written examination consisting of grammar and reading comprehension exercises.

20 % of the final assessment.


2. 2. Semester 2: one-hour written examination (approved by UoG staff) at the overseas partner institution consisting of grammar exercises and a 150-word essay component. Re-sit or alternative assessment for a student unable to undertake a placement abroad will be set by UoG.

20 % of the final assessment.


3. Semester 2: oral examination

20% of the final assessment


4. Semester 2: 2,000-word essay in Russia on a social science topic determined by the student in consultation with the course tutor). 

40 % of the final assessment.





In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.

Course Aims

This course provides students with blended (class room and distance) intermediate Russian language tuition over two semesters of study with a designated learning time abroad at the partner teaching institution. The course is taught to enable students to acquire sufficient linguistic knowledge and translating skills to be able to read social scientific texts in the original language and to use these in their study of social science disciplines.

The aims are to develop further subject-related vocabulary, grammar, oral and information retrieval skills, and to offer a wider knowledge of Russian realia.

The aims of this course are:


• to provide a deepened understanding of the structure of the Russian language

  to help students acquire and develop intermediate-level reading and translation skills in Russian for the purpose of accessing and using information from a variety of social science texts

• to help students acquire and develop  intermediate-level oral and listening skills in Russian for the purposes of conducting social science research

• to deepen knowledge and interest in Russian culture and society through use of texts and other learning resources specific to the area expertise of the student

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding:

Demonstrate an advanced theoretical knowledge of the principles of Russian grammar, specifically of the key grammatical terms for parts of speech;

Apply that theoretical knowledge practically in written and oral exercises;

Analyse and produce Russian-language texts in the area of social sciences, with due regard to the principles of Russian word formation;

Demonstrate their knowledge of the linguistic and cultural factors affecting the process of translation from and into Russian, with specific regard to texts dealing with the social sciences

Apply knowledge of Russian realia and society derived from familiarity with its media, literature and from direct contact with native speakers.


Skills and Other Attributes:

Subject-specific/practical skills

Read and translate advanced social scientific texts in Russian with and without a dictionary;

Establish contact and communicate with the native speakers on topics related to the social sciences;

Demonstrate their understanding of fairly advanced social scientific texts by answering appropriately on them in Russian;

Apply effectively and appropriately their Russian language skills in a variety of contexts, both written and spoken.


Intellectual skills

Retrieve information on various social science-related subjects from Russian media, including internet;

Recognise, classify and produce the correct grammatical forms in Russian;

Explain the grammatical relationship between the component parts of Russian sentences


Transferable/key skills

Discuss a number of subjects related to modern Russia and CIS-related topics in the social sciences;

Demonstrate appropriate inter-cultural skills in both written and spoken communication



Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Attendance at course and successful completion of assessment tasks.