This one-year programme, which had been taught at the University of Strathclyde since the 1960s, moved to Glasgow in September 2004 as part of the Synergy programme of cooperation between the two institutions. The course is the only one of its kind in the UK. It provides an intensive programme in Russian language for graduates in other subjects who would find a thorough knowledge of Russian an asset in their chosen field. In the past the course has been of particular interest to graduates in area studies, history, social and natural sciences, management science, marketing and other related subjects. Those who have completed the course have gone into teaching, commerce, financial services, government, translating, postgraduate study and other occupations.
Although specifically designed for those who have no knowledge of the language, those who already know some Russian are not precluded. In one academic year of intensive study students are expected to reach Pass Degree level in Russian language.
The programme lasts for 9 months and involves approximately 15 hours of instruction per week. It aims to provide a thorough grounding in the structure of the language. Equal emphasis is given to both written and oral skills so that, by the end of the course, students will be able to communicate with a high degree of accuracy in a number of registers. Most teaching is done by native speakers of Russian while certain aspects (grammar, translation into English) are taught by native-English speakers. Regular use is made of audio and video materials.
By the end of the course students:
· will be equipped with a knowledge of Russian equivalent to that
achieved on the language side of a university pass degree in Russian;
· will be able to communicate with a high degree of accuracy in the
spoken and written mode in a number of registers ranging from language
used in everyday situations to discussion of abstract topics.
Assessment is based on students' performance in the final examinations.
Students' progress throughout the year will be subject to continuous
monitoring and assessment, and reference will be made to course
assessment in appropriate circumstances.
The criteria used for assessment are: accuracy, appropriate range of
grammatical structures and vocabulary, appropriacy of register and oral
The summative assessment comprises:
1. A three-hour written examination (worth 50% of the overall mark)
comprising of an Essay in Russian, a Translation from English into
Russian and a Translation from Russian into English, all three
components being equally weighted;
2. An Oral Examination (worth 30% of the overall mark): a session with
the external examiner, consisting of a general discussion on a range of
3. Course work submitted throughout the year, including class tests
(worth 20% of the overall mark).
Written and oral sections are equally important and to qualify for the award of
a diploma a student must pass both.
In order to pass the Diploma students must obtain an overall mark of 10/22 in
both the written and the oral parts of the final examination. Candidates must
show knowledge of a sufficient range of grammatical structures and an
effective practical vocabulary, the ability to write comprehensibly and with a
sufficient degree of accuracy in Russian essay and in translation into Russian,
the ability to translate most of the Russian text into natural English. In oral
work they must demonstrate the ability to understand the majority of what is
said and to respond effectively. Work is not deemed to be of 'pass' quality
where there is knowledge of less than 50% of grammatical structures and
vocabulary studied and there is insufficient evidence of accuracy across the
range of tasks. Oral work characterised by difficulty in comprehension and
little or no communicative ability will not be considered to be of a 'pass'
Students who obtain an overall mark of 14/22 or above in both the written and
the oral parts of the final examination will be awarded the Diploma with
Distinction. For this award candidates must show a high degree of accuracy in
utilising grammatical structures and vocabulary, allied to avoidance of English
constructions in essay in Russian and in translation from English into Russian,
fluent and appropriate English translations into English. In oral work they must
demonstrate the ability to understand the examiner fully and to respond
accurately and with little hesitation or repetition.
Recommended for purchase/booklist
Students are expected to buy the course textbook The New Penguin Russian
Course by Nicholas J Brown and a dictionary, eg The Oxford Russian
Dictionary (OUP 2000) (or at least The Oxford Concise Russian Dictionary).
Supporting materials will be made available by the Slavonic Studies Section,
for which there may be a small charge.