Fact file - 2014 entry
Qualification:BA Jt Hons
Type and duration:4 year UG (year 3 out)
Qualification name:History and Russian
A level offer: ABB
Required subjects: Russian at A level and grade B in history at A level
IB score: 32 (Russian at Higher Level and 5 in history at Higher Level)
Available part time: yes
Course places: 32 for all joint honours courses in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies
Campus: University Park Campus
This course combines studies in history and Russian language and culture. You will acquire the skills for writing and debating history, and an in-depth analysis of an area of historiography of your choice will help you to develop critical abilities. In Russian, as well as taking core language modules, you will study the culture, history and literature of Russia. You have the option to study a second Slavonic language (Polish, Serbian/Croatian or Slovene). All students take part in a subsidised course in Russia during the first summer vacation.
In history, you will take the core module Learning History which introduces you to the skills and methodologies of historical research. In Russian, you will consolidate and advance your knowledge of the language and study introductory modules on Russian culture, history, cinema and literature. Students have the opportunity to take part in a course in Russia in the first summer vacation.
The core element in History is provided by the Contemporary World since 1945, which deals not just with global developments, political and economic, social and cultural, environmental and demographic, but also explores key historical debates concerning the immediate origins of the world in which we now live. In addition, you will be able to select more specific optional modules from an extensive menu, covering an extremely wide chronological and geographical range. In Russian, you will consolidate your language skills and take optional modules in Russian literature, culture and history.
The year abroad is spent in Russia where you will study at a university or language school and may gain some work experience in the private or voluntary sector, including English language teaching. We are currently placing students in Moscow, St Petersburg, Tver, Yaroslavl, Volgograd, and Petrozavodsk.
In history you will select a Special Subject plus an optional module. In Russian, you will select high-level language skills modules, including employment-related and specialised modules. There is a range of options, taught by experts in the field and optional fast-track modules for learning Serbian/Croatian and Slovene.
See also the Department of History.
A levels: ABB, including Russian at A level and grade B in history at A level
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 100 (minimum 19 with 20 in Speaking).
For details please see the alternative qualifications page
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Typical Year One Modules
You’ll consolidate and develop your knowledge of Russian which you have 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 nine hours per week in practical classes, workshops and tutorials, benefiting from experienced teachers most of whom are native speakers and the use of excellent language laboratory facilities.
This module will provide you with the learning skills necessary to make the most of your studies in history. You will be introduced to different approaches in the study of history as well as to different understandings of what history is for. The module aims to encourage more effective learning, bridge the transition from school or college to university, prepare you for more advanced work in the discipline, and enhance the skills listed. You will spend three hours in lectures and seminars each week.
Introduction to Russian History and Culture
This module introduces you to the development of Russian history and culture, starting with the foundation of the Kievan state in the 10th century, and following the development of Russia into a modern state up to the mid-late 19th century. Alongside the history of Russia, you will study aspects of Russian culture relevant to different periods of its history (painting, architecture, music, folklore and religious beliefs, etc).You will have three hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Introduction to Soviet Culture
This module provides you with a historical overview of the period 1917-1991. You’ll be introduced to the culture of the Soviet Union and to aspects of the everyday life of Soviet citizens. You will have the opportunity to examine in detail the culture of this period you’ll learn to engage with written texts, films, visual sources and music.
Introduction to Eastern Orthodoxy
You’ll be given an introduction to the study of Orthodox Christianity, including the Greek, Slavonic, African and Oriental churches. Topics for study include the establishment of Christianity as an official religion in the east, the early church councils and schisms, worship and liturgy, church buildings and ritual objects, prayer and sacraments, the clergy and laity, and the Orthodox church in and out of power between the fourth and 21st centuries. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and seminars studying for this module.
Introduction to Russian Literature: 19th Century
This module traces the development of the Russian literature through the short story and the novel of the 19th century, examining world-famous Russian authors such as Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov. A weekly one-hour lecture provides you with the historical and cultural background which is essential to an understanding of the individual writers and their work, while weekly one-hour seminars are devoted to the study of individual texts.
Introduction to the Medieval World, 500-1500
This module provides an introduction to medieval European history in the period 500-1500. It offers a fresh and stimulating approach to the major forces instrumental in the shaping of politics, society and culture in Europe. Through a series of thematically linked lectures and seminars, you will be introduced to key factors determining changes in the European experience over time, as well as important continuities linking the period as a whole. Amongst the topics to be considered are: political structures and organization; social and economic life and cultural developments. You will have a one hour lecture and one hour seminar each week.
From Reformation to Revolution: an introduction to early modern history, 1500-1789
This module introduces you to major issues in the social, political and cultural history of Europe in the early modern period by analysing demographic, religious, social and cultural changes that took place between 1500 and 1789. You’ll examine the tensions produced by warfare, religious conflict, the changing relationships between rulers, subjects and political elites, trends in socio-economic development and the discovery of the ‘New World’ spending two hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Roads to Modernity: an introduction to modern history, 1789-1945
In the first semester the module provides a chronology of modern history from c.1789-1945 which concentrates principally on key political developments in European and global history such as the French Revolution, the expansion of the European empires and the two World Wars. The second semester will look more broadly at economic, social and cultural issues, such as industrialisation, urbanisation, changing artistic forms and ideological transformations in order to consider the nature of modernity. You’ll spend two hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Typical Year Two Modules
Russian Comprehension and Oral
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 around three hours per week in practical classes and lectures.
Russian in Practice
Through two hours of practical classes and lectures you are given the opportunity to develop your practical language skills. You’ll be given exercises in translation, comprehension and composition and also work on your spoken Russian in oral classes.
Spending around two hours per week in lectures and seminars, you’ll examine the creation of the Soviet state and Soviet cultural identity between 1917 and 1953. You’ll build on your knowledge of 20th century Russia acquired through year 1 modules, and develop a deeper understanding of what it meant ‘to be Soviet’. You will also learn to engage with and analyse the contradictions and paradoxes of Sovietness as an identity in formation.
Screening Russia: Film and Society from Khrushchev to Putin
You’ll be given an in-depth understanding of developments in late-Soviet and post-Soviet society and culture as reflected in key films from the period 1959 to 2010. You’ll examine how films from this period are constructed technically and develop skills in analysing films in their historical and social contexts. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and seminars.
History of Russia
This module provides you with a historical perspective on a selected range of Russian phonetic and morphological features which often present particular problems for language learners. You’ll be given an overview of the nature and linguistic logic behind modern Russian irregularities, including consonantal alternations, mobile vowels, irregular case endings, the use of short and long adjectives, reflexive verbs and verbal aspect. You’ll also be introduced to the basics of cross-linguistic comparative and etymological analysis and will be guided on how to handle and interpret Russian and Slavonic aural and written data from different periods. You’ll spend around two hours in lectures and seminars each week.
The Contemporary World since 1945
The module surveys and analyses some of the main developments in world affairs since the end of the Second World War. This includes major international events, particularly the course and aftermath of the Cold War, as well as national and regional histories, especially in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East and political and social movements. Attention is paid to political, economic and social forces spending five hours per week in lectures and seminars.
This module addresses evidence for crusader motivation and experience through sources relating to crusading activity in Europe and the Middle East from the late eleventh century to the mid-13th century. It seeks to understand how crusaders saw themselves and their enemies, their experiences and activity on crusade and as settlers, and how this horrifying yet enduringly fascinating process has been interpreted historically. You’ll have five hours per week in lectures and seminars.
De-industrialisation: A Social and Cultural History, 1970-1990
This module examines the social and cultural impact of economic change in three traditional industrial regions in the UK, Germany and the US in the 1970s and 1980s. It takes thematic approaches, exploring topics including: overlaps and differences between Contemporary History and the Social Sciences; change and decline in traditional industries such as coal, steel and shipbuilding; political responses to industrial change, with a particular focus on industrial conflict over closures, among others. You’ll spend four hours per week in lecture and seminars.
Soviet State and Society
This module examines political, social and economic transformations in the Soviet Union from the October Revolution of 1917 to Gorbachev’s attempted reforms and the collapse of the state in 1991. You’ll look at Russia both from the top down (state-building strategies; leadership and regime change, economic and social policy formulation and implementation) and from the bottom up (societal developments and the changing structures and practices of everyday life). You’ll spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Race, Rights and Propaganda: the superpowers, the Cold War, and the politics of racial identity, 1945-89
The Cold War was a conflict defined as much by intellectual and cultural struggle as by conventional military means, diplomacy, or realpolitik. Conceptions of race and identity were by no means immune from this, but heavily disputed and contested in the political environment of the Cold War. This module examines how the two superpowers dealt with issues of race and identity during the Cold War years, confronting questions and challenges from both within their own borders (and each other’s) and in several theatres of superpower conflict – including the Middle East, East Asia and post-colonial Africa. You’ll spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.
Typical Year Three Modules
In your third year of study you will spend the academic year abroad in a Russian speaking country, you will be supported by our Year Abroad officer in preparation for this period in Year Two. You have the option to undertake a study or a work placement, to be agreed in advance by the 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, please see the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies Year Abroad webpage
Typical Year Four Modules
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, production of 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.
Russian for Business Situations
You’ll be taught how to cope linguistically with straightforward business situations in which, as a new graduate, you are likely to be involved. Topics for study include introducing personnel, telephone calls, CVs, welcoming visitors, interviewing, business meetings, negotiations, describing companies, describing products and prices, guarantees, and delivery and payments.
Introduction to Comparative Slavonic Linguistics
You’ll be introduced to the basic concepts and working methods of comparative linguistics using material from East, West and South Slavonic languages, as well as their common ancestor, Common Slavonic. Through three hours of lectures and seminars each week this module draws upon your pre-existing knowledge of Russian and/or other Slavonic languages to understand how other Slavonic languages work. You’ll analyse historical changes the Common Slavonic phonetic and grammatical patterns have undergone in different Slavonic languages and learn to recognise these patterns in modern Slavonic language data.
Myths and Memories
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 (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.
Serbian/Croatian for Linguists (a)
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.
Introducing you to Russian-English interpreting, topics covered include evaluating interpreting, differences between English and Russian and problems of interpreting arising from these, reference sources, equivalence at and above word level and strategies for dealing with non-equivalence, collocation and idiom, cultural factors, and language variety. You’ll spend around two hours per week in practical classes and lectures.
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, focussing 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.
From Racial State to Reconstruction: women and gender relations in Germany, 1939-45
This module adopts a perspective of women´s and gender history to explore the history of Germany in the period from the beginning of the National Socialist dictatorship up to the division of Germany into two post-war states in 1949. It will examine National Socialist discourses, policies and practices in relation to women and gender relations by drawing on records of public authorities and institutions concerned with educating and training the female population in line with Nazi precepts, mobilizing labour for the Nazi war economy, sustaining home front morale, and combating 'threats to the race'. You’ll have a weekly three hour seminar to study for this module.
Italy at War, 1935-45
Spending three hours per week in seminars and tutorials, you will be given a framework to understand the experience of Italians (and to a lesser degree their enemies, allies, and collaborators) during the military conflicts in the long decade 1935–45, as well as knowledge of the background factors that shaped these experiences.
The Missing Dimension: intelligence and international history in the 20th Century
The history of secret intelligence was once called the ‘missing dimension’ in the study of politics and international relations. Today, it has established itself as a separate field of historical enquiry. This module will examine how the study of secret intelligence has informed and sometimes even altered our understanding of some of the major political and international crises of the 20th century. You will spend three hours per week in lectures and seminars studying for this module.
This module involves the in-depth study of a historical subject from which you will create a 10,000 word dissertation. You’ll have regular meetings with your supervisor and a weekly one hour lecture.
By the end of this course you will have developed strong linguistic, analytical and presentation skills that will prepare you for a wide range of careers. You will have attained a high level of proficiency in Russian and will be able to use your language skills in increasingly complex situations. You will have a sound knowledge of the theories and techniques used by historians.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2012, 92.3% of first-degree graduates in the Department of 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 £17,100 with the highest being £22,000.*
In 2012, 92% of first-degree graduates in the Department of History who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,546 with the highest being £30,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.
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.
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.
There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.
To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.
* 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.
The International Office provides support and advice on financing your degree and offers a number of scholarships to help you with tuition fees and living costs.
Key Information Sets (KIS)
KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.
This course contains a period of study abroad. Students are assessed in their language skills and cultural understanding, developed during their time abroad.
Assessment for Russian studies forms part of the final year core language module R83112 (Advanced Russian). Assessment is via a presentation and contributes 10% of the overall module mark.