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About the programme
Quota 1 2019: 4.9   |   Quota 2 2019: 6.8  
: Danish  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: Week 35


This programme is offered in Danish with some non-language courses in English.

Russian and Balkan Studies deals with the Eastern European countries and their social conditions, language, culture and history, and you learn either Russian or Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. You do not need to be proficient in an Eastern European language before you begin Russian and Balkan Studies. You begin with an introductory language course, which is called propaedeutic, where you build up the linguistic skills which you will require during the rest of your degree programme. You will study the region as a disciplinary whole: gaining expertise in culture, society, politics and history and acquiring important skills contributing towards future employability.

Studying on the Russian and Balkan Studies programme

Teaching at Russian and Balkan Studies mostly takes place as classroom instruction. Here you will actively participate in discussions, do presentations, complete assignments and work with texts. The classes are often small, so you will find the teaching to be personal and focused. You will also spend a lot of time with your study group, in which you train and prepare for teaching.

Free to choose your country

At the Russian and Balkan studies programme, you specialise either in Russia or in the South-Eastern European countries that formerly comprised Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia, normally referred to as BCS. You will specialise in the country's culture, history and social conditions, and learn the language of that country. You will also focus on conditions throughout the Eastern European region, and during the course of the degree programme, you will have the opportunity to spend a semester studying in an Eastern European country.

Examples of academic matters 


  • How is/was social realism expressed in Moscow’s architecture?
  • How and why are Vladimir Putin trying to create a new national identity in Russia?     
  • Why did the Soviet Union collapse?
  • What has been the objectives and strategy of Russia towards Ukraine since the Maidan?


  • How did the “Yugoslavian idea” occur ant how has it developed both politically and culturally in the 19th and 20th century.
  • How do the countries’ cultures separate from each other and how have culture and history been used in defining the arguments about the countries differences?
  • What challenges did Yugoslavia face after the death of Tito and how can the Balkan wars during the 1990’s be explained and understood?
  • How have the countries moved towards the EU, and what is the view of the populations view their future in the EU? 

Career opportunities

With a Bachelor’s degree in Russian and Balkan studies, you will be qualified for admission to a variety of different Master’s degree programmes. You can find job opportunities in companies and institutions which are active in Eastern Europe, for example work in research, communication and media, in teaching, for public institutions, ministries, and NGOs, as well as within the private sector, where cross-cultural competencies, even in small and medium-sized enterprises, are increasingly demanded.

Admission requirements

Admission area number: 22350

To be eligible for admission to this degree programme, you must fulfil the following requirements:

qualifying examination as well as the following specific admission requirements (A, B and C refers to the subject level in the Danish upper secondary school with A being the highest level possible):

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B
  • An additional language at A level (or B level in case of an advanced language).

*The requirement of an additional language qualification may be replaced by an introductory course in connection with the degree programme.


If there are any subjects you have not completed at the required level, you can take them as supplementary courses or as a summer supplementary course (conditional Admission).

The admission requirements must be met and documented by 5 July in the year of application unless you apply for conditional admission.

Quota 2

Like quota 1 applicants, quota 2 applicants must have passed a qualifying examination, and they must also fulfil the specific admission requirements above.

Quota 2 applicants are individually evaluated on the basis of: 

  1. a grade average calculated on the basis of the particularly relevant subjects (Quota 2 subjects), listed below
  2. other particularly relevant documented qualifications.

Read more about Aarhus University's quota 2 criteria.

Quota 2 subjects:

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B

Programme structure

The Bachelor’s degree programme in Russian and Balkan Studies consists of a number of modules. The main module is the language course, where you will either study Russian or Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. Below are the other modules, which specifically focus on the culture, history and the contemporary society of your country.

Academic regulations

In the academic regulations for the Bachelor’s degree programme in Russian and Balkan Studies, you can find more information about the individual subjects, the programme structure and the requirements you must meet as a student. You can also read about the types of exams and the exam requirements.

The degree programme diagram gives an outline of the entire Bachelor’s degree programme. You can click on the different courses to read the course descriptions.

Student life

Teaching on the programme in Russian and Balkan Studies

On the BA programme in Russian and Balkan Studies, much of the teaching takes place in classes, where you and your fellow students will review and discuss the academic syllabus together with your teacher. The classes are often small, which makes demands on your commitment to the teaching. At the same time, it gives you an opportunity to receive much more personal teaching and supervision during your degree programme. In addition to classroom instruction, there are also larger lectures where your teacher reviews assigned texts.

At Russian and Balkan Studies you will be part of a study group. You will work together to complete academic assignments and to spar with one another in connection with exams. Language teaching at Eastern European studies is intensive, and in connection with this, you will come to use your study group in the day-to-day preparation for the lessons.

Below you can see an example of a timetable for a week during the first semester of Russian and Balkan Studies. Russian and Balkan Studies is a full-time degree programme with many scheduled lessons, but you should also expect to spend time individually preparing for lessons.

9:00 - 11:00 Classroom Instruction: Introductory Course 1
11:00 - 13:00 Lecture: Introductory Course 1
14:00 - 16:00 Practical exercises: Introductory Course 1

8:00 - 10:00 Classroom Instruction: Introductory Course 1
10:00 - 13:00 Lecture: Studium Generale
14:00 - 16:00 Independent study

08:00 - 10:00 Independent study
10:00 - 12:00 Lecture: Introductory Course 1
14:00-16:00 Classroom instruction: Studium Generale

8:00 - 10:00 Classroom Instruction: Introductory Course 1
11:00 - 14:00 Classroom instruction: Eastern Europe Today: An Introduction
14:00 - 16:00 Independent study

8:00-12:00 Independent study
13:00 - 16:00 (Practical) exercises: Contemporary Eastern Europe

Social life on the Russian and Balkan Studies programme

Russian and Balkan Studies is a smaller degree programme. This means that you will quickly get to know your fellow students – also across the year groups. The programme has a good study environment that you can actively participate in.

Studying abroad

At Russian and Balkan Studies, you have the opportunity to spend a semester studying abroad. This gives you the opportunity to learn even more about the language and culture that you study. If you study Russian, you can make use of the university’s partnership with the university in St Petersburg during your fourth semester. If you study Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, you can enter into an agreement with a university in the respective countries in cooperation with Aarhus University. This means you can influence which country's dialect and culture you would like to get to know better.

Commencement of studies

Your time at Aarhus University will begin with an introductory week in week 35 (the last week of August). During this week, you will get an introduction to IT systems, exam forms and degree programme structure and opportunities as well as meeting your teachers. You can read more about your commencement of studies and the introductory week here. On this page, you will also find tips and good advice for new students at Aarhus University.

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Your career opportunities as a Bachelor of Russian and Balkan Studies depend on what supplementary subjects you take as well as what Master’s degree programme you choose later on.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Russian and Balkan Studies you will get an in-depth knowledge of either the Russian or Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language. You will learn about how history has helped to shape today's Eastern European society, and you will be introduced to the countries’ culture. You also learn to communicate current political, economic and social conditions in Eastern Europe to the Danish public.

The majority of graduates from the degree programme in Russian and Balkan Studies find work as consultants. Such work can involve tasks such as arranging collaboration between Danish and Eastern European companies or institutions. You can also find a job as a translator or interpreter in private companies or the EU. And you have the opportunity to teach at upper secondary schools, language schools and folk high schools.

Supplementary subject

During the third year of the BA programme in Russian and Balkan Studies, you will be required to select a supplementary subject. You have the opportunity to choose between many different academic directions. Here are some examples of supplementary subjects chosen by other Russian and Balkan Studies students:

  • Supplementary subject in History
  • Supplementary subject in English
  • Supplementary subject in Social Science

Master’s degree programmes

Once you have completed your Bachelor’s degree programme in Russian and Balkan Studies, you can choose among a wide variety of Master's degree programmes. However, you should be aware that admission to some programmes requires specific supplementary subjects:

  • The Master's degree programme in Eastern European studies, where you make more use of the language skills you learned on the BA degree programme for in-depth analysis of the areas you are interested in Eastern European culture and history.
  • The Master's degree programme in international studies, where you build on your knowledge of Eastern Europe, but at the same time gain a broader, international perspective.
  • The Master's degree programme in European studies, where you will gain an understanding of broader European conditions – politically, historically and culturally.
  • The Master's degree programme in journalism, where you can use your broad knowledge of Eastern European conditions in a journalistic context, while at the same time acquiring plenty of practical journalistic tools.