Russian Studies BA

   
   
  

Fact file - 2018 entry

Qualification
Russian Studies | BA Hons
UCAS code
R700
Duration
4 years full-time/year 3 out (available part-time)
A level offer
ABB
Required subjects
B in Russian for post-A level pathway. No language qualification is required for the intensive beginners’ pathway
IB score
32 with 5 in Russian at Higher Level or 6 at Standard Level (B programme) for the post-IB pathway
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places
12
School/department
 

Overview

This course allows you to choose from a wide range of optional modules covering Russian literature, history, society, politics, culture and film alongside core language modules.
Read full overview

This course allows you to choose from a wide range of optional modules covering Russian literature, history, society, politics, culture and film alongside core language modules.

This course is open to A level students of Russian as well as to beginners in Russian. Beginners’ Russian students (including post-GCSE students) follow an intensive language course designed to take them to degree level within four years, while for our post-A level students the language course begins at a more advanced level. We welcome applications from students who are absolute beginners, or those who have GCSE, AS, or A level in Russian.

The course aims to take you to a high level in Russian, enabling you to use the language in your career if you choose to. From year one our classes target your linguistic development over the full range of skills, increasingly targeting applied and employment-related situations as you progress.

All our students spend time in Russia to consolidate their language skills and improve their fluency and confidence. At the end of the first year you will be offered the chance to spend two weeks in Russia on a special subsidised language course. This helps to prepare you for your third year, which is spent abroad, studying at a university or specialist language school in Russia. We work closely with our partner institutions in Russia to ensure that students receive excellent tuition and exposure to Russian culture.

At each level the Russian language course is complemented by modules in Russian literature, history, cinema and cultural studies, beginning at introductory level and gradually becoming more specialised as the course progresses. The breadth of our research expertise means we are able to offer our students an exceptionally broad choice and a course that promotes a deep understanding of what makes Russia the nation it is today.

The course also offers the exciting opportunity to study a further Slavonic language. If you choose to study modules in Serbian/Croatian language in your first or second year and spend part of your year abroad in Serbia or Croatia, you may graduate with a degree in Russian with Serbian/Croatian. There are also optional fast-track modules offered in the final year to students who wish to begin a second or third Slavonic language at that stage.

Year one 

The first-year core language course develops the four skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing. Our core module Nation, Myth, Identity introduces the study of Russia and Eastern Europe through topics in culture, history, language and society and also gives a grounding in essential study skills. You will also choose from other introductory level modules on Russian history or literature, or a module introducing the study of South-East Europe. Students who are studying Russian post-A level may begin learning Serbian/Croatian or Slovene. You will have the opportunity to attend a language course in Russia during the summer vacation.

Year two

The second year advances your study in Russian in preparation for the year abroad and offers further broad coverage of the literature, history and culture of Russia and Eastern Europe. You can begin or continue a second Slavonic language.

Year three 

The third academic year is spent abroad in Russia. You can either:

  • study at one of our partner universities or
  • study at a language school.

If you are taking a second Slavonic language, you will be able to divide your time to cover the countries of both languages.

For more information, see our  Year Abroad page.

Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision

Year four

In the final year, you will apply your Russian language skills in high-level modules, including those dealing with employment related topics. You will also extend the skills and knowledge acquired earlier in the course in specialised modules on topics in which you have become particularly interested. We offer a wide range of options, taught by experts in areas from the Byzantine period to the present day and ranging across literature, history and cultural studies. You can take a specialist module in Russian interpreting, and you also have the option of beginning a new language via fast-track modules in Serbian/Croatian and Slovene.

 

Entry requirements

A levels: ABB, B in Russian for post-A level pathway. No language qualification is required for the intensive beginners’ pathway.

English language requirements 

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE), which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English. Successful students can progress onto their chosen degree course without taking IELTS again.

Alternative qualifications 

We recognise that potential students have a wealth of different experiences and follow a variety of pathways into higher education, so we treat applicants with alternative qualifications (besides A-levels and the International Baccalaureate) as individuals, and accept students with a range of less conventional qualifications including:

  • Access to HE Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • BTEC HND/HNC
  • BTEC Extended Diploma

This list is not exhaustive, and we consider applicants with other qualifications on an individual basis. The entry requirements for alternative qualifications can be quite specific; for example you may need to take certain modules and achieve a specified grade in those modules. Please contact us to discuss the transferability of your qualification.

For more information, please see the alternative qualifications page.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  
 

Modules

Typical year one modules

Compulsory

Russian 1 (Beginners)

This year-long module provides the opportunity to learn Russian to approximately A level standard as a basis for study to honours degree level. Students study grammar and syntax, acquire vocabulary, read simple texts, and engage in simple conversations on personal subjects. They also learn about daily life in Russia.

 

Or

Russian 1

You will consolidate and develop the knowledge of Russian which you gained at A level. This module focuses on practical application of your language skills, including reading, writing, comprehension and oral communication. You will also study some grammar topics in depth. You’ll spend around four hours per week in practical classes workshops and tutorials, being taught by experienced teachers, most of whom are native speakers. You will also benefit from our excellent language laboratory facilities.

 

And

Nation, Myth, Identity: Introduction to Russian and Slavonic Studies

This module introduces students to important areas and topics in Russian and Slavonic studies, examining important aspects of the histories and cultures of the region, as well as aspects of the languages, cultures and literary traditions. You will learn to analyse a wide range of cultural phenomena, including pictures, music, film, literary texts and other kinds of written sources.

 

Optional

From Tsarism to Communism: Introduction to Russian History and Culture

This module introduces the development of Russian history and culture, starting with the reign of Peter the Great (1682-1725), following the development of Russia into a modern state through to the end of the 19th century, and ending with a survey of the Bolshevik Revolution and the early Soviet period (1917-c.1928). Alongside the history of Russia, students learn about aspects of Russian culture relevant to different periods of its history (such as painting, architecture, music, folklore and religious beliefs).

 
Modern Russian Literature: Texts, Contexts, Approaches

This year-long module introduces Russian literature of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries through study of texts by canonical writers such as Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Zamiatin, Bulgakov and Akhmatova, as well as by some exciting contemporary authors. Alongside insights into the changing culture of Russia over this dynamic period of history, the module equips students with skills for analysing and discussing prose, poetry and drama.

 
The Clash of Empires: Introduction to Balkan Cultural Identities 
This module introduces you to the cultural history of South Slavs and the legacy of great empires such as the Ottomans, and the Habsburgs on the Balkan peninsula. By focusing on the visual cultures of the three key religious traditions – Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Islamic – the module explores the common features and differences in alphabet, architecture, sculpture and painting across the region. You will learn how living under empires informed the self-understanding of Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and other South Slav nations.
 

Students on the post-A level pathway may opt to study a second Slavonic language (Serbian/Croatian or Slovene) from beginners' level in Year One.

 

Typical year two modules

Compulsory

Russian 2 (Beginners)

You’ll consolidate and develop the knowledge of Russian you acquired in year one. This module focuses on practical application of your language skills, including reading, writing, comprehension and oral communication. You will also study some grammar topics in depth. You’ll spend around four hours per week in practical classes workshops and tutorials, being taught by experienced teachers, most of whom are native speakers. You will also benefit from our excellent language laboratory facilities.

 
Or
Russian 2
This module will help you to develop your comprehension of Russian and your communicative skills, including reading, oral fluency in Russian, and translation from Russian into English. The module also includes some writing in Russian and study of more sophisticated grammar topics. You’ll spend three hours per week in practical classes. 
 


Optional

Screening Russia: Film and Society from the Tsars to Putin

In this module you will acquire an in-depth understanding of developments in Russian society and culture as reflected in popular and influential films from around 1900 to the present day. You’ll examine how films are constructed technically and develop skills in analysing cinema in its historical and social contexts. You’ll spend two hours per week in lectures and seminars.

 
Repression and Resistance: Dissidents and Exiles in Russian Culture

This module provides you with an introduction to the themes of dissidence and exile, central notions in Russian literature, culture and thinking, using the examples of the life and work of four major Russian writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Bulgakov). You will learn the theory of different literary forms such as verse narrative, novel, short story and drama.

 
Serbian and Croatian Literature

You’ll examine major literary movements in Serbia and Croatia during the 20th century, from Modernism to the socially engaged literature of the 1930s, Socialist Realism, literary politics under the Communists in Yugoslavia and the emergence of critical literature in the 1980s and 1990s. You’ll also undertake a textual analysis of representative works from 20th century literature; for example, works by Milos Crnjanski, Ivo Andrić, Miroslav Krleža, Danilo Kiš and Slobodan Selenić. You’ll spend around two hours per week studying in lectures and seminars. 

 
History of Yugoslavia from 1941

The aim of this module is to examine developments in the political, social and diplomatic history of Yugoslavia after 1941 leading towards an understanding of the reasons behind the collapse of the country and subsequent violence in the 1990s. You’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and seminars studying for this module. 

 
The World of Orthodox Sainthood

You’ll gain an understanding of the growth and development of the cult of saints in the Eastern Christian world in the context of the history and culture of late antiquity and the middle ages. In particular, you’ll learn to interpret original written sources and icons and will master the basic tools for conducting research in the field, spending around three hours in lectures and seminars each week. 

 

Multimedia Russian 

This is an optional language module that allows students to explore the Russian media from the Soviet era to the present day. Different types of media are investigated, via translation, transcription or précis. The module aims to improve linguistic skills and comprehension of a wide range of media sources and give an appreciation of the historical background of the media and insights into style, register and language use. 

 

 

*In addition, you may choose one or two Year One modules not taken in your first year

All students have the option of beginning (or continuing) a second Slavonic language (Serbian/Croatian or Slovene).

 

Year three (year abroad)

The third academic year is spent abroad in Russia. You can either:

  • study at one of our partner universities or
  • study at a language school.

If you are taking a second Slavonic language, you will be able to divide your time to cover the countries of both languages.

For more information, see our Year Abroad page.

 

Typical year four modules

Compulsory

Russian 3 

Through this module you’ll develop a high level of Russian language skills, both written and oral. The written skills include English-Russian and Russian-English translation, business Russian, summaries and creative writing in Russian. Oral presentations draw upon and extend the practical language experience of your year abroad. You’ll also cover advanced grammar topics of Russian. You will spend two hours in practical classes and two hours in workshops per week.

 


Optional

Serbian/Croatian for Linguists

This module is a fast-track course of study for students in their final year who wish to acquire a new language. The module is based on the textbook Teach Yourself Serbian and will introduce you to everyday use of the language. Through three hours of practical classes each week, you’ll study different points of grammar (syntax and morphology) as well as vocabulary for everyday situations.

 
Russian Interpreting
This module will introduce you to different forms, modes, and models of interpreting as well as the issues that are often encountered by professional interpreters. It will offer opportunities to explore the different techniques/skills required for both simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. The module is seminar-led in order to maximise practice in class with two hours of both lectures and practicals weekly. The main difficulties of interpreting will be examined, along with strategies to deal with them.
 
Myths and Memories: Histories of Russia's Second World War

This module introduces you to the construction of national and collective memory of the Second World War in Soviet and Russian culture and society. You’ll focus on contemporary and subsequent artistic and social responses to the experience of war, but also look at individual acts of remembering such as diaries, reports, letters in the context of a wider cultural memory. The module is conducted in English and you’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and seminars.

 
Nabokov’s Fiction

This module examines the life and work of Vladimir Nabokov, one of the most important writers of twentieth-century Russian literature. The main focus is on Nabokov’s works from his Russian-language period (1919-40), but examples of his later work written in English (1940-77) are also studied.

 
Serbian and Croatian Cinema

This module focuses on the representation of Balkan Roma in Serbian and Croatian cinema. It examines the ways in which the themes, motifs and narrative structures of films combine to produce semantically complex interfaces through which they also reflect the cultural circumstances of their production. The films examined include feature films and documentaries. Students learn to apply theories from film studies (montage, framing and acting) and cultural theory (including postcolonialism and trauma studies) and also learn about Romani life and culture.

 
The History of the Byzantine Empire, 300-1453

This module offers advanced study of the history of the Byzantine Empire from the reign of Constantine I to the fall of Constantinople. The course is structured chronologically, focusing on particular themes for each period: religion and heresy in late antiquity; warfare and the arts in middle Byzantium; and politics and international relations in late Byzantium. In an average week you’ll spend around three hours in lectures and seminars on this module.

 
Slovene for Linguists
This is a fast-track course of study for students in their final year who wish to acquire a new language. The module is based on materials and teaching methods developed by the Centre for Slovene as a Second/Foreign Language, and its aim is to introduce you to everyday use of the language using a communicative approach. Through three hours of practical classes each week, you’ll study different points of grammar (syntax and morphology) as well as vocabulary for everyday situations.
 
Russian Popular Music in the 20th and 21st Centuries

The module offers an in-depth study of the development of popular music in Russia in the 20th and 21st centuries. You will gain knowledge of the popular musical culture of the late tsarist, Soviet and post-Soviet eras, and learn to analyse songs and performances using such concepts as authorship, performance, technology and ideology. You will have one lecture and one two-hour seminar per week on this module.

 

Dissertation/Long Essay in Russian and Slavonic Studies

Working closely with a supervisor who teaches and researches in a relevant field, final year students carry out in-depth research into a topic of their choice, building on work they have done in a module studied in year 2 or the final year. Areas of study include history, literature, cinema, music and religion. Recent topics selected for Long Essays and Dissertations include Mongol rule in medieval Russia, the poetic mythology of Mayakovsky and adaptations of US comedies for Russian television.   

 

Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors

This module is part of the nationwide Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (UAS) which works with universities to provide academic modules that enable students to go into local schools as teaching assistants and to act as role-models (for more information please check uas.ac.uk). Students split their time between the university-based support seminar and their allocated school, where they will work in the language department as an assistant. This may involve one-to-one tuition, small group teaching or extra-curricular activities in the context of the school’s language provision. Students will develop a special teaching project and will be supported in their activities by the module convenor, the education specialist on campus, and their contact teacher at the school. Typically there will be a fortnightly seminar on campus and 7 half-days spent at school.  

 
 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Year abroad

The third academic year is spent abroad in Russia. You can either:

  • study at one of our partner universities or
  • study at a language school.

If you are taking a second Slavonic language, you will be able to divide your time to cover the countries of both languages.

For more information, see our Year Abroad page.

 

Careers

You will graduate with in-depth knowledge and understanding of a nation that plays a vital role on the global stage and with high-level linguistic, analytical and presentation skills which will equip you for a range of careers. Your time in Russia will demonstrate to potential employers your flexibility and ability to adapt to new environments and challenges.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 86% of first-degree graduates in Russian and Slavonic studies who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,375 with the highest being £50,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.

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Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 40 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.

 
 
 

Key Information Sets (KIS)


KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.

Assessment

This course contains a period of study or work abroad between the second and final year of the degree programme. Students' language skills and cultural understanding are assessed through a mix of presentations and written assignments upon their return to Nottingham. 

How to use the data

Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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