A Level Russian


AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

The AS course is designed to bridge the gap between GCSE and A level and to introduce students to the demands of studying the language at A level.

AS Specification Number
Edexcel 8RU01


General topic areas:

  • youth culture and concerns
    • lifestyle, health and fitness
    • the world around us (travel, tourism, environmentalissues and the Russian-speaking world)
    • education and employment.

Unit 1: Spoken expression and response in Russian

15% of A level
In section A students respond to four set questions on a stimulus related to the chosen general topic area;

In section B students engage in a discussion that, although still relating to the same general topic area and linked to subtopics, moves away from the main focus of the stimulus.

Unit 2: Understanding and written response in Russian

35% of A level
Written Paper: 2 hours 30 minutes (three sections)
In section A students listen to a range of authentic recorded Russian language and retrieve and convey information given in the recording by responding to a range of Russian language questions;

In section B students read authentic Russian language printed materials and retrieve and convey information by responding to a range of mainly Russian language test types;

In section C students write 150-165 words in the form of a letter, report or article in Russian. The written task will be based on a short printed Russian language stimulus.

Reading List

T.L.B. Wade A Comprehensive Russian Grammar The Oxford New Russian Dictionary Ruslan Russian 3 ISBN 9781405136396
J. Langran ISBN 9780425216729
J. Langran ISBN 9781899785407


A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

A2 seeks to consolidate the analytical language skills acquired at AS level and to develop all areas of linguistic expression.

A2 Specification Number
Edexcel 9RU01


A2 students will revise the four AS general topic areas and explore the following three:

  • customs, traditions, beliefs and religions
  • national and international events: past, present and future
  • literature and the arts.

Unit 3: Understanding and spoken response in Russian

17.5% of A level
The exam requires students to:

  • present a clear stance on any issue of their choice
  • interact effectively, defending and justifying an opinion on the chosen issue
  • engage in a spontaneous discussion with the teacher/examiner in which a minimum of two further unpredictable areas will be covered

Unit 4: Understanding and written response in Russian

32.5% of A level
Written Paper: 2 hours 30 minutes (three sections)
In section A students produce a short written translation exercise from English into Russian (about 80 words).

In section B students produce an essay (180-200 words) in Russian from a choice of seven questions. The essays will be discursive or creative, based on an imaginative Russian language text or a combination of text and visual(s). Both discursive and creative questions will link to the prescribed seven topic areas.

In section C students produce a research-based essay (180-200 words) in Russian. The research revolves around Gogol’s The Government Inspector and the return of religion to post-Soviet/-atheist Russia.

Reading List

T. L. B. Wade A Comprehensive Russian Grammar  ISBN 9781405136396
J. Langran The Oxford New Russian Dictionary ISBN 9780425216729


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Economics) 

“Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
King's College London (International Relations)

 “The teachers really helped me overcome any difficulties I came across; they always seemed willing to offer support be it inside or outside of the classroom. I could safely say my teachers inspired me to work hard and aim for the best, sometimes simply by being passionate about what they do.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University of York (Law) 

“Having a Personal Tutor to discuss ANYTHING with, from my UCAS application to organising my life in general, really did make life at the college more streamlined and in general less stressful.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Economics)

“My subject teachers and Personal Tutor have been very patient and helpful in supporting my studies and university application.”


Grades achieved at MPW

Progressed to
University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

“International students have many aspects to think about, such as accommodation and guardians, but MPW surprised me by having a highly organised and supportive administration. Also, because most MPW Cambridge students are local, as an ‘international’ student, I found this very useful in both improving my English and in giving me a taste of a genuinely ‘English’ college.”