In Russian and Chinese, your language studies will be consolidated to prepare you for the year abroad.
You will take modules in history, culture and society in both Russian and Chinese studies.
You may choose to begin studying Serbian/Croatian as a second Slavonic language.
You must pass year 2 which is weighted at 33% of your final degree classification.
You will take one of two Russian language modules depending on your existing language ability.
Building on the Russian skills developed in Year One, this module is going to improve your language proficiency skills and confidence so that by the end of the year you're ready to spend time living in a Russian-speaking country.
We'll develop your communicative skills, including oral fluency, through classroom discussions and interesting texts such as newspapers, websites and video. You'll improve your written Russian and get to grips with more sophisticated grammar topics.
We'll also help you build translating skills from Russian into English and English to Russian.
Russian 2 - Beginners
Building on the skills developed in Russian 1 Beginners, this module shall help you improve your language proficiency skills and gain confidence so that by the end of the year you're ready to spend time living in a Russian-speaking country.
We'll focus on the practical application of language skills including reading, writing, listening comprehension and oral communication. In classes, workshops and tutorials you'll have the opportunity to be involved in discussions to build your conversational skills and sessions to help you use more in-depth grammar.
Screening Russia: Film and Society from the Tsars to Putin
If you are studying Russian or East European Cultural Studies, this is an optional year-long module. It examines Russian society and culture as reflected in popular and influential films from 1900 to the present day, covering a variety of genres (including melodramas, biopics, youth films and musical comedies).
Lectures and seminars examine Russian and Soviet cinema’s historical contexts and reception, as well as how films are constructed technically. You develop skills in analysing cinema in its historical and social contexts, from the products of the burgeoning industry of late imperial Russia to post-Soviet arthouse films and blockbusters – via the extraordinary legacy of Soviet cinema. All the films covered are available with subtitles, and this module does not require any prior study of film.
Repression and Resistance: Dissidents and Exiles in Russian Culture
The relationship between the state and the intellectual in Russia has traditionally been a problematic one, marked by repression, persecution, forced and voluntary exile and censorship. Political concern and resistance to an authoritarian state are central themes in the Russian cultural and literary tradition as well as a defining feature in the lives and works of numerous Russian writers and intellectuals.
We will explore the cultural tradition and identity of the literary intelligentsia in Russian and Soviet history. We'll also examine different responses to the experience of state persecution in the work of writers and artists.
Covering an extensive period of Russian history we will look at examples of writers and artists who have defied the state.
Wider questions which will be discussed include the role of the artist and the intellectual in Russian culture, the myth of the persecuted writer and the complex relationship between the intellectual and the masses.
Serbian / Croatian 1: Beginners
Welcome to learning Serbian/Croatian. This course is designed for absolute beginners (we also welcome those with a little knowledge) and will take you to intermediate level by the end of the year.
In class you'll cover different points of grammar and vocabulary through everyday situations. We'll guide you through basic case and verb patterns, building up to more complex grammatical points like modal verbs and verbal aspect.
But we won't only be looking at grammar! Once you have the foundations of the language in place, we'll use your new skills to explore aspects of daily and cultural life. We'll be using structured course materials and textbooks, but we'll also learn how to use everyday language to ensure you have the skills to use Serbian/Croatian in real life.
The History and Culture of Early Rus' c.800-1400
This module introduces you to the medieval period in the history of the East Slavs, covering pre-Christian times to the Mongol conquests and beyond.
Through lectures and workshops, we will explore political, cultural and social developments, with a particular emphasis on working with primary sources in various media (including texts, painting and architecture).
The module draws on a selection of primary sources in translation, which you learn to assess as historical evidence. It also focuses on basic trends in the historiography of this period and how it has been manipulated for various political purposes in modern times.
History of Yugoslavia and Successor States since 1941
This module covers the history of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, formed after WWII. We will discuss key economic and political factors of the state’s creation and disintegration, as well as Yugoslavia’s individuality during the Cold War.
Other topics for discussion include gender and social inequalities, nationalism and its rise, and circumstances surrounding the state’s collapse into the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s.
European Silent Cinema
This module will examine the development of cinema during the silent era, from its invention in the 1890s through to the early 1930s, in France, Germany and the Russian Empire/Soviet Union. Because silent cinema was easy to translate and export from one country to another, it was highly transnational, and the module will enable you to see how filmmakers in different countries entered into dialogue with one another. You will be able to compare and contrast the themes and preoccupations of films produced in these countries, and consider how these reflected distinct political and cultural agendas.
The first part of the module will introduce students to the history of early film, primarily as it developed in France, looking at short actualité films produced by the Lumière brothers and others. It will consider the practices of display of ‘silent’ film (looking especially at how it was accompanied by music, speech and sound effects), and look at its appeal to popular audiences as well as its broader critical reception. We will then go on to consider a range of films made during the silent era, which represent two main tendencies:
- A tendency towards realism and the examination of everyday life
- A tendency towards fantasy and the creation of spectacular new realitie
You will be introduced to the fundamentals of film language and will be encouraged to engage in close analysis of short extracts from the films.
Films will include (but will not be limited to):
- Georges Méliès, Voyage to the Moon (1902)
- Louis Feuillade, Fantômas serial (1913)
- Paul Wegener, The Golem (1920)
Media in Russia
This module aims to develop understanding of Russian-language media from the Soviet era to the present day.
You will explore the use of Russian on different media platforms, including print, broadcast, television, and online media, and will cover such topics as advertising, internet, music, television, radio, journalism and the freedom of the press.
The module aims to develop translation and comprehension skills when dealing with Russian media. You will widen your vocabulary and gain experience in dealing with more complex grammatical structures, taking into consideration style and register.
Depending on your language abilities you will take 40 credits worth of Chinese Mandarin language modules from the group below as well as the "China Beyond the Headlines" module.
Mandarin Chinese for Intermediate Level
Now that you have gained in confidence and ability, we're going to take your Mandarin skills to the next level!
We'll use interesting examples from online resources to further develop your Chinese comprehension (written and aural) and expression (written and oral).
You'll also learn about Chinese culture and society, preparing you for the exciting time you'll spend in China during year three.
Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level
Now that you have gained solid Mandarin language skills, we'll push you to develop them to a more sophisticated level. Not only will you continue to improve your understanding of the language but also the cultures of the Mandarin-speaking world.
With your increased proficiency you'll be able to examine more complex texts covering themes such as leisure activities and lifestyles, personalities, love and relationships, economic developments, language learning, and social customs.
You will be asked to reflect and compare your own culture and the target culture via group discussions and debates to enhance both, your cultural awareness and intercultural competence.
Mandarin Chinese for Proficiency Level
This module includes:
- topics such as careers, job application, contemporary Chinese families and marriages, gift cultures corruption and life for Chinese people today
- vocabulary on the above
- grammar knowledge for the level
- language functions such as expression ideal situations, reasoning for choices and opinions
- understanding of authentic materials on the above topics
- productive skills for the above topics
Mandarin Chinese for Research
This module will focus mainly on:
- reading skills for understanding research-relevant texts
- writing skills for presenting academic ideas and debating in such contexts
- understanding spoken Mandarin Chinese for academic contexts and about social and cultural issues
- communication in spoken Mandarin Chinese for such contexts
China Beyond the Headlines
This module emphasises sociological theories with reference to current events and social policy making in China. Topics change every year according to what is in the news, but may include:
- nationhood, identity and ethnicity
- gender, family and sexualities
- inequalities, social capital and welfare
- health, education and popular culture
- crime, deviance and justice