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The Subject

Studying Russian will open up a window into a fascinating and enchanting nation, which takes great pride in its culture.  

Why choose Russian?

Because it is one of the world’s most important languages. About 153 million people speak Russian as their native tongue, Russian is the third most widely spoken European language after English and Spanish, and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. More science materials are printed in Russian than in any other language except English.

Russian AS or A level combines well with courses in other languages, English, Business, Politics, Economics, Computing or Philosophy. It is also particularly valuable for scientists who seek to enhance their employability. Knowledge of Russian may also provide you with entry qualifications to a degree course in Slavonic Studies, Linguistics or Interpreting.

In general, the skills that you acquire during a Russian A level course (communication, the ability to form independent judgements, to write a well-organised essay) will be useful to you whatever you go on to do. With broadening economic, political and cultural contacts between Russia and other countries, knowledge of Russian language can greatly extend your employment potential and improve your prospects of success.

The Course

As a student of Russian AS or A level, you wil be studying the Russian language, and also literature and topics in that language. You will undertake a good deal of grammar work, which is taken largely from contemporary sources, especially from Russian media – magazines, newspapers, TV programmes. You will be encouraged to link the learning of language with learning about the culture, society and Russian way of life.

The AS level qualification is the first half of the A level course, and involves the study of two exam units: Spoken Expression and Response in Russian (30%) and Understanding and Written Response in Russian (70%).

The full A level qualification is made up of the two AS units and two others, taken in the second year: Understanding and spoken response in Russian (35%) and Research, Understanding and Written Response in Russian (65%). The latter draws upon the student’s study of a literary text, film or cultural topic area. Students may take all four units as a 100% end-of-course examination. Or they may take the AS units at the end of year one and the A2 units at the end of the second year. For native speakers of Russian, a one-year A level course is available.  

Preferred Board: Edexcel

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