In this varied and challenging degree, you’ll learn two languages and deepen your understanding of the modern world by exploring the history and culture of the nations that speak them.
Arabic is one of the world’s major languages, and you’ll build your proficiency alongside an understanding of the cultural, religious and historical contexts that have shaped the Middle East and North Africa region. Russia boasts a fascinating cultural and political history, and Russian is an important language for science and technology.
You’ll have the opportunity to spend two years abroad, studying for a year in a Russian-speaking country and another year in an Arabic-speaking country, gaining first-hand experience.
Core and optional modules will give you a firm grounding in both Arabic and Russian while you study topics that suit your interests. If you’ve never studied Arabic before, this degree will allow you to learn it from beginner level. If you have A-level Russian or equivalent, this degree will build on your knowledge and skills.
This course is a five-year degree.
The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. Our additional library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.
You’ll also have access to the Language Zone – the University language resource centre – with books, DVDs, magazines, audio/ video resources and language learning software. To practise your speaking skills, you can participate in language groups with other students or a language exchange with a native speaker.
Take a look around our libraries:
In this five-year course you’ll spend your first year studying core and optional modules that develop your language skills in Arabic and Russian, and introduce you to Russian, Middle Eastern and North African politics, history and culture. You’ll also study a module which is designed to draw your subjects together. A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but you’ll take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects.
All of this will prepare you for your time abroad, where you’ll take language classes and immerse yourself in the local culture. You’ll spend a year studying in a Russian-speaking country, and study for a year in an Arabic-speaking country, at an institute such as the Arabic Language Institute in Fes (ALIF).
In year four you’ll return to Leeds to study advanced language classes and choose optional modules on topics such as Russian literature, contemporary Arab media, translation skills and the history of the Middle East and North Africa region.
In your final year you’ll refine your language skills, and alongside optional modules, you’ll apply your knowledge and skills to an independent research project, translation or documentary on a topic of your choosing.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Beginning Arabic 1||20|
|Beginning Arabic 2||20|
|Studying the Middle East: Culture, History, Politics and Religion||20|
|Core Russian Language 1||20|
|What is Russia? An Introduction to Russian Studies||20|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Introduction to Audio-Visual Culture||20|
|Language: Structure and Sound||20|
|Intercultural Competence: Theory and Application||20|
|Politics, Culture and Society||20|
|Worlds of Literature||20|
|Discourse, Culture and Identity||20|
Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Arabic Year Abroad||120|
|Russian Year Abroad||120|
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Arabic Year Abroad||120|
|Russian Year Abroad||120|
Year 4 compulsory modules
|Advanced Arabic Grammar and Translation||20|
|Essential Skills in Practical Arabic||20|
|Core Russian Language 2||20|
Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Arab Media, Politics and Society||20|
|Cultures of the Arab Middle East and North Africa||20|
|Towards the Future: Skills in Context||20|
|Linguists into Schools||20|
|Global Environmental Humanities||20|
|Digital Communications Across Cultures||20|
|Applied Russian Language 2||20|
|The Structures of Russian||20|
|Gender and Sexuality in Russia||20|
Year 5 compulsory modules
|Advanced Skills in Arabic Language||20|
|Core Russian Language 3||20|
Year 5 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Islam and Modernity||20|
|Performing Islam: Piety and Environment in Dialogue||20|
|Advanced Media Arabic: Translation Skills in Text Typology||20|
|Representing the Holocaust: Transgression and the Taboo||20|
|Final Year Project: Dissertation||40|
|Final Year Project: Extended Translation||40|
|Material Cultures and Cultures of Consumption||20|
|Adventures of the Imagination: Crime and the Fantastic Across Continents||20|
|Minoritised Languages, Dialects and Cultures from Past to Present||20|
|Russian Advanced Translation||20|
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
Our tutors are experts in their fields, and their teaching is informed by their own research.
We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials or occasionally workshops. You’ll also build your language skills in practical classes, and as you progress, some modules may be taught in your target languages.
Independent study is central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You’ll be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a final year project on a topic of your own choice.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We also use different types of assessment. Usually we use a mixture of exams and essays, but you may also be assessed on oral presentations or group work in some modules. Support will be on hand throughout your time at Leeds – for example, you’ll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique, structuring an essay and public speaking if you need them.
A-level: ABB including B in Russian
Other course specific tests:
When an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level including Russian and grade A in the EPQ.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
We will consider this qualification in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
M1, M1, M2 including Russian
34 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 5 in Russian at Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 including H3 in Russian
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
BB in Advanced Highers including Russian and AABBB in Highers, or B in Russian in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers
The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.
European Baccalaureate: 75% including 8.0 in Russian.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level including B in Russian and pass Access to Leeds.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £22,250 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
Read our guidance about applying.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
This course is taught by
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions
In this degree you’ll gain proficiency in two major world languages, and study abroad. As you progress you’ll develop a range of skills across disciplines that employers are looking for.
You’ll have highly developed research skills, and you’ll be able to communicate effectively, whether speaking or in writing. Through your experience studying abroad you’ll have an understanding of cultural diversity, allowing you to work effectively with people whose backgrounds differ from yours.
Your knowledge and skills will open up a broad range of career choices and opportunities to connect with people across Russia and the Middle East and North Africa region. Our graduates have pursued careers in diverse fields such as translation and interpreting, education, journalism, business, law and civil and diplomatic services.
Postgraduate study in languages at Leeds or elsewhere provides an opportunity to continue to learn and prepare for a PhD and a career in academia.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.
Study abroad and work placements
This five-year course involves a year abroad both in year two and year three.
You’ll study at an institute such as the Arabic Language Institute in Fes (ALIF), Morocco, or Jordan Language Academy, and you’ll also spend a year studying Russian language and culture in a Russian-speaking country.