With almost 200 million native speakers in Europe and Asia, Russian is a major international language and at the same time a gateway to one of the world’s great cultures. 

Governments, NGO's and corporations around the world recognise more than ever the need to engage with Russia and the importance of recruiting graduates with Russian language skills as diplomats, researchers, policy analysts and translators.  



Why Choose

St. Basil's Cathederal, Moscow, RussiaLearning Russian at UQ allows you to understand the place of Russia in the modern world and how the Russian state and society have evolved over centuries. You will also develop an appreciation of Russian literature, drama and film. This not only gives you insights into the Russian worldview, but also encourages you to look beyond the stereotypes and clichés that often characterise our notions of other nations.

Proficiency in Russian, especially when combined with specialist qualifications in areas such as law, economics and business, enables graduates to take advantage of the international employment opportunities that have resulted from Russia’s transition to the market economy. Many graduates have pursued careers in other countries where Russian is widely used, such as Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan: these include specialist English language teachers, charity workers and professional consultants.  

As a relatively complex language, Russian is of particular interest to anyone considering further study or a career in linguistics. 



Streams and Pathways

Students may study Russian courses as electives in their degree, or complete a major or extended major in Russian.

Introductory language courses assume no prior knowledge in Russian. Other students should consult the Discipline Coordinator for advice on planning their courses.  

A pathway that shows courses for the Russian major over 3 years is available.

View pathway

Courses available in each stream are listed on UQ's Courses and Programs site.

Unsure where to start?

Go to our online language course placement advisor and answer a short questionnaire. In most cases the system will recommend the starting course you should enrol in. For more complex cases, you will be advised how to proceed.

Language Course Placement Advisor

Looking for an elective course?

Courses on Russian culture (including film and literature) are taught in English and can be studied as electives within your degree, and some of these may count towards a Major in Russian. To find out more about the courses, please consult the Courses and Programs site.


Research Programs                                                                                     

Coursework Programs                                                                                            


What our graduates are doing

Dream career

Jenna found studying Russian so much fun that after she completed her Bachelor of Arts , she decided to go on and do Honours.  

"I chose to study Russian really out of curiosity to begin with. Studying Russian at UQ has been a great experience. The classes are fun and highly personalised, the teaching staff are awesome, and it's really interesting and rewarding to learn about a culture that few Australians are acquainted with.

Russian at UQ may be of particular interest to people studying history, film or music, or anyone who wants to be able to chat with Russians in multiplayer online games. Keep in mind that learning the grammar will be a bit of a slog for the first year or two, so it's helpful to get involved with the Russian club at UQ and make friends with native speakers if possible.

If you're interested in travel or an immersion experience, UQ regularly sends students to study in Russia over the holidays. I'm planning on studying information technology next year, and my dream career is to do technical translation."

Jenna has a Bachelor of Arts (French and Russian) from The University of Queensland. 

Get Involved

As a student at UQ, you have many opportunities to get involved and enhance your language learning experience, including in-country study, joining clubs and extracurricular conversation groups.


There are a number of school events held throughout the year such at public lectures, seminars and conferences which students are encouraged to attend. Details for these events are published on the School Events page.

Exchange opportunity with Moscow State University

An exciting exchange opportunity with Moscow State University (MGU) is available for Students of Russian. See UQ Abroad for information about the exchange program.

In 2014, Russian student Larissa went on exchange to Moscow State University in the third year of her Bachelor of International Studies degree. Read her story here.

Clubs and Societies

Joining a club or society is a great way to learn new skills and share your interests. There are over 190 affiliated clubs and societies at UQ. The Slavic Society is one such club for students with an interest in Slavic culture, and provides an opportunity to engage with native Russian speakers on campus. Visit clubs and societies for a full list, and find one that interests you. 

Conversation Groups

Conversation classes run each semester, and are a great way for you to practice your language skills. 

Details for classes are announced in tutorials each semester. You can also keep an eye on the school noticeboards for current details.