Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links


Russian (TSM)

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


Click on the links below to see the available options

+ EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO

+ Non-EU Applicants

+ Mature Student - Supplementary Application Form

+ Advanced Entry Applications

Why study Russian?

Russian is the native language of nearly 150 million people and is one of Europe’s most important languages. Russia is a significant force in present-day geopolitics and a major player in the global economy, with ties both to Europe and to Asia, and beyond.

Russian writers, musicians and artists have made a considerable contribution to European culture; Russian history has helped shape Europe as we know it today: exploring Russia’s past and present helps understand the interaction between Europe’s eastern and western traditions.

Trinity is the only university in Ireland where you have the opportunity to study Russian to degree level, and Trinity is ranked 49th in the world for Modern Languages (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015).

Is this the right course for you?

You will find the Russian programme exciting and rewarding if you enjoy language study, are interested in unfamiliar cultures, have a sense of adventure and are not afraid of a challenge.

What will you study?

Most students start Russian as complete beginners, and take an intensive first year language course (with six hours of language classes per week). Special provisions are made for students with prior knowledge of Russian (native, near-native speakers, those who have passed Russian in the Leaving Certificate or have taken another entrance qualification in Russian).

In addition to language study, you will take modules covering aspects of Russian literature, Russian history and Russian culture, society and politics. In later years, you will also have the option to study a second Slavonic language (Polish, Bulgarian or Croatian).


In the first and second years, classes cover three main areas:

  • Russian language: these classes help develop fluency in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and build the foundation for more advanced language study in the third and fourth years.
  • Russian cultural and literary studies: you will be introduced to central figures and major topics in Russian literary and cultural history. You will progress from reading literary texts mainly in translation to tackling key works by Russian writers in the original Russian.
  • Central, East European and Russian area studies: in the first year, you will take a survey course addressing the geopolitical space of Central and Eastern Europe, while in the second year, the focus is exclusively on Russia, when you will follow a course of lectures in Russian on aspects of contemporary Russian society, politics and culture.

In the first and second years there are approximately ten hours of classes per week, divided between language work and literary, cultural and area studies.


In addition to advanced language study, the third and fourth years of your course offer a wider range of subject choices, allowing you to choose options that reflect your own particular interests. These include more specialised study of Russian literature and culture, history of Russia and the Soviet Union, Russian society and politics, and a second Slavonic language (Bulgarian, Croatian or Polish). If you elect to study Russian in your final year you will also research and write a dissertation on a subject of your own choice.


Assessment is by a combination of continuous assessment of your language work, language tests and essays, in addition to written and oral examinations at the end of each year. Many modules in Russian use an innovative mix of assessment methods including journals, book reviews and dossiers, as well as more traditional essay submissions.

Study abroad

We encourage students to spend a significant period of time in Russia after second or third year (2 months is the minimum period abroad, but often students will take a year out of their course to spend up to a year studying and living in Russia). Trinity has an exchange agreement with Moscow State University as well as close connections with other universities and institutes in Moscow, St. Petersburg and in a number of provincial towns. Study abroad in a Russian-speaking environment is a vital ingredient in developing mastery of your chosen language as well as in gaining a nuanced understanding of the realities of everyday life in Russia.


Career paths followed by recent graduates are often ones where Russian-language competence is directly relevant. These include: arts and media; education; business, finance and marketing; civil and public service; international organisations (UN, EU, NGOs) and diplomacy; journalism; and tourism. Alternatively, each year several graduates will opt to pursue further postgraduate study in Ireland or abroad.

Advanced knowledge of a less-studied language like Russian, as well as the transferable skills (analytical, critical thinking, written and oral presentation skills) you will acquire in your other areas of study, is generally a very attractive combination for prospective employers, even for career paths where Russian may not be directly involved in your day-to-day work.

Further information

Tel: +353 1 896 1896


Specific Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate HC3 In a language other than English
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C In a language other than English
Other EU examination systemsSee

Graduate Profile

Nicholas Browne

To be honest when filling out my CAO forms I chose Trinity for a mix of reasons. Some pretty idealistic such as the fact that my brother really enjoyed studying engineering there, while I was still doing my Leaving Cert. Additionally, I always had an interest in Russia, stemming from studying history in school. I knew Trinity was the only University to offer Russian and I knew studying there would give me the opportunity to learn about Russia and to possibly to spend an academic year there. But I didn't really know what to expect. Studying Russian at Trinity means small, often quite personalised classes. In addition to language classes, there were excellent introductions to different aspects of Russian society, together with informal Russian speaking get-togethers. I spent my third year studying in Moscow. I learnt so much when I was there, and it was one of the most interesting and exciting years of my life.

Finishing Trinity I returned to Moscow to work for an additional 18 months with a chamber of commerce attached to the European Commission. After this, my interest in Russia served to focus my career choice on the oil and gas industry. I currently work in the London office of Total, the French oil major, with an increasing focus on the Russian market.