In the final year, you will apply your Russian language skills in high-level modules. 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, with the option of writing a dissertation.
Our optional modules are taught by experts in areas from the Byzantine period to the present day and range across literature, history, cinema and cultural studies. If you wish to hone your language skills further with the aim of using them professionally you can choose an optional module in Russian interpreting and undertake a language project. If you have studied Serbian/Croatian earlier in the course you can continue it at the appropriate level.
Your assessment results in year four is weighted at 67% of your final degree classification.
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 offers opportunities to explore the different techniques/skills required for both simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. The main difficulties of interpreting will be examined, along with strategies to deal with them. The module is seminar-led in order to maximise practice in class.
Russian Popular Music in the 20th and 21st Centuries
This module covers popular music in Russia during the late tsarist, Soviet and post-Soviet eras as an area of culture that affects ordinary people in many different ways – in Russia, songs have often brought people together, sometimes in celebration, sometimes to challenge authority, and they have also offered individuals fun or solace.
In the module you learn how to examine all this, applying concepts such as authorship, performance, technology and ideology, and learning how to evaluate the relationship Russian music has to popular music in the UK, USA and elsewhere. The examples studied include pre-revolutionary popular songs and gramophone culture, the assimilation of jazz, patriotic and propaganda songs, rock and pop-rock.
With guidance you will develop your own essay question focusing on a topic within Russian popular musical culture of their choice. No prior study of music is required for this module but you must also be taking Russian 3, or to be at an equivalent level in Russian, in order to choose 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.
We focus on the interpretation of original written sources and icons, allowing you to master the basic tools for conducting research in the field.
Serbian / Croatian 2
This year-long module builds on the skills acquired in Serbian/Croatian 1 with more emphasis on independent learning and preparation.
The module develops abilities to break down complex linguistic structures in order to facilitate comprehension and communication skills.
Teaching uses materials from written, audio and video sources, and includes grammar classes. There are exercises in comprehension, translation, guided composition writing, and presentations in the target language.
Brotherhood and Unity: Yugoslavia on Film
Film can provide unique insight into how mythology is deployed that creates and maintain nations. This is particularly the case for the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a state which relied heavily on the foundational myth of 'Brotherhood and Unity' to bring together citizens across six different republics who recently had been divided by WWII.
In this module, we'll study a selection of films from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its successor states, with a focus on film from Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia. These films show us how 'Brotherhood and Unity' was constructed on film, how it was deployed to bolster the power of Yugoslavia's leader, Josip Broz Tito, and how it was ultimately destroyed to devastating effect.
By the end of the module, you'll have developed an ability to 'read' cinema through the analysis of themes, visuals, and narratives to gain a better understanding of the cultural and historical circumstances under which films are produced.
There is an option to watch these films with subtitles, so there is no expectation that students have Serbian/Croatian language skills (although, if you are studying the language, we encourage you to watch films without subtitles). We'll also provide an overview of Yugoslav history and film studies so no prior knowledge of these subjects is required.
Myths and Memories: Histories of Russia's Second World War
This module introduces the construction of national and collective memory of the Second World War in Soviet and Russian culture and society. The lectures and seminars focus on contemporary and subsequent artistic and social responses to the experience of war, but also examine individual acts of remembering (diaries, reports, letters) in the context of a wider cultural memory.
The module equips you with the skills to analyse, evaluate and discuss Russian and Soviet commemorations of the Second World War and the construction of a collective memory; to identify and contrast different strands of narratives of war experiences which unite individual and collective responses to the Second World War; to analyse and apply relevant theories of memory to Russian and Soviet strategies of commemorating the war; to discuss some of the central problems related to Russian and Soviet memories of the Second World War, including the relationship between memory and forgetting, narratives of suffering and sacrifice and the relationship between acts and rituals of commemoration and the construction of national identity/identities.
Language Project in Russian and Slavonic Studies
This module aims to equip you with the skills required of linguists in the modern, digital workplace and may be taken by those studying Russian or Serbian/Croatian.
The project gives you the opportunity to combine your achievements in language and non-language modules studied over the course of their degree. You work in a group on a topic agreed with the module convenor to create a final Language Project, in the form of a translation, blogpost, podcast, short film or public performance.
Communicating and Teaching Languages for Undergraduate Ambassadors
In this module students learn to devise and develop projects and teaching methods appropriate to engage the age and ability group they are working with. The module enables students to gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and to understand how to address the needs of individuals.
Dissertation 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 two or the final year.
Areas of study include history, literature, cinema, music and religion.
Recent topics include:
- Mongol rule in medieval Russia
- the cultural remembrance of Porajmos (the genocide over Roma during World War II)
- the works of Mikhail Bulgakov
- reporting on the Pussy Riot trial in UK and Russian media
- adaptations of US television comedy series for the Russian market