The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.
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 four 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.
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.
Mandarin Chinese for Beginners 1A
This module provides you with a foundation in Chinese phonetics, grammar and vocabulary in order to develop your competence in Mandarin Chinese. The focus is on communicative competence in both spoken and written language, and you will begin thorough training in use of the Mandarin Chinese script. As well as equipping you with skills in the language, the module also informs you about Chinese culture and society.
Mandarin Chinese for Beginners 1B
This module builds on the knowledge you acquired in semester 1, introducing post-elementary grammatical structures and the phonology of Mandarin Chinese. You will learn to write notes, simple letters and a diary, as well as to use more diverse basic vocabulary for social and everyday situations. You will continue to expand your knowledge of contemporary society and culture.
Introduction to Contemporary China
This is an introductory course designed to provide students with an overview of contemporary China and help students establish a foundation of knowledge and skills to pursue more advanced studies of China in their later years of study. You will examine a variety of topics such as Chinese economy and politics, security and foreign relations, and Chinese media since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 with particular attention paid to the changes in China since 1978. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture each week.
From Tsarism to Communism: Introduction to Russian History and Culture
This module introduces you to 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 Soviet period (1917-1991). Alongside the history of Russia, you will study aspects of Russian culture relevant to different periods of its history such as painting, architecture, music, folklore and religious beliefs. You will have three hours per week in lectures and seminars.
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 the 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.
Introduction to Business and Economy of China
This module intends to provide the fundamental knowledge of China's economic transformation and business development. It assists you to establish an understanding of issues including economic strategies, industrial sector transformation, investment, trade and business management.
Introduction to the Chinese Legal System
Studying this module you will gain an introduction to the origin, key elements and characteristics of the evolving Chinese legal system including the history of Chinese law, the organization of the People’s Republic of China as a state and its constitutional laws, the law making process in China, the legal institutions and the Chinese court system, the criminal process, and the civil process and legal profession in China. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture each week.
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.
Mandarin Chinese for the Intermediate Level (2A)
This module consolidates the skills you have acquired in the first year and further develops your oral and written communicative ability in Mandarin, introducing its use in more complex situations and broadening your vocabulary. A range of activities, including listening exercises, discussion, reading comprehension and producing short written texts, will improve your fluency and confidence.
Mandarin Chinese for the Intermediate Level (2B)
This module further develops your use of and confidence with Mandarin in increasingly complex situations, in preparation for your year abroad. Teaching continues to focus on the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, and takes place in Mandarin wherever possible. By the end of the module you will have firm knowledge of Mandarin at intermediate level.
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.
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.
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 and Successor States since 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.
In this module you will study the history of China from the 1840s, through to the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949. You will focus in particular on the ways in which Chinese society responded to the arrival of ‘modernity’ in the form of the Western powers and Japan throughout the period in question, but also how different groups in China tried to remould or redefine China as a ‘modern’ nation-state and society. In this module you will have a two-hour lecture each week.
Chinese Society and Economy
This module focuses on the political and social structure of contemporary China, from the perspectives of the state, society, families and individuals. The topics covered are organised around an understanding of the role in society and the economy of such concepts as trust, Guanxi (social relations) and social capital. You will also examine the rural-urban divide, nationhood, identity, and ethnicity.
- International Political Economy
The study of International Political Economy is essentially interdisciplinary, based on the premise that the political and economic domains are inextricably intertwined in the international system. You will learn the main approaches to International Political Economy, related to a conceptual as well as empirical engagement with the history of, and recent changes in, areas such as international trade, global finance, transnational production and development related to the North-South problematic. For this module you will have one two-hour lecture and one one-hour seminar each week.
The module aims to provide an overview of the development of Chinese business law in the context of economic globalization and in particular of China's WTO membership. Topics covered business regulation in China and China's WTO membership; the Chinese legal system, contract law and company law and corporate governance in China, and the impact of China’s integration into economic globalisation.
Social Change and Public Policy in China's Reform Era
In this module you will learn how the Chinese central government has responded to socio-economic changes by issuing a number of key policy initiatives, most notably in the field of social security, health, education, labour, innovation and the environment. In the first part of the module participants will be sensitized about the interplay between socio-economic transformation, administrative reform and public policy making during China's reform era (1978).
In the second part of the module students will learn about the expanded spaces for participatory policy making in China by analysing case studies in all five substantive policy fields. As part of their course assignments students will be asked to write one 3,000 word essay and put insights into practice by developing group presentations on a selected public policy.
Students also have the option of beginning study of Serbian/Croatian or Slovene.
The year abroad is divided between Russia, where you will participate in a study placement at one of our partner universities or a language school, and China, where you will also concentrate on studying the languages. Students benefit from the chance to spend a semester at the University of Nottingham’s campus in Ningbo, China.
Through this module you’ll develop a high level of Russian language skills, both written and spoken. The written skills include English-Russian and Russian-English translation, business Russian, summaries and creative writing in Russian. Oral presentations d year abroad. You’ll also cover advanced grammar topics of Russian. You will spend three hours per week in practical classes and workshops.
Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level 3A
The final year Mandarin Chinese course will develop your communicative competence in Mandarin Chinese in both spoken and written language to a high level. The module follows on from your work during your time abroad, enabling you to further improve your ability to employ your language skills in everyday formal and informal situations and across a broad range of contemporary applications.
Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level 3B
This module follows on from Mandarin Chinese for the Advanced Level 3A, further consolidating your grammatical knowledge and your skills in expressing yourself in different real-life situations. You will improve your abilities to communicate in a range of registers and tackle issues involved in translating between Mandarin and English.
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.
History of the Byzantine Empire, c. 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.
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.
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 diaries, reports and 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
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.
Slovene for Linguists
This module is a fast-track course of study for students in their final year who wish to acquire a new language. It develops aural comprehension and oral communication based on information acquired, and enables students to translate simple texts from and into Slovene. The module is taught by a native speaker and is based on a textbook, supported by additional materials.
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.
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 seven half-days spent at school.
- China from Revolution to Socialism
This module focuses on China from the Communist Revolution in the 1920s through the pre-reform era (1921-1978), examining how China was organised and governed, changes in rural and urban society, the family, the economy and the Chinese workplace under the socialist period (1949-1978). Major topics covered include:
- The CCP's rise to power
- The transformation of rural and urban society post-1949
- The Great Leap Forward and subsequent famine
- In-depth analysis of all phases of the Cultural Revolution
- Return to power of the pragmatists and the beginning of reform
- Changing views of Mao as a leader
China through Film and Literature
In this module you will first examine the close linkage between literature and cinema in China and the consequences and then explore trends in modern Chinese literature and cinema, with a primary focus on different genres and themes developed since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. By placing Chinese literature and film within their cultural, social and historical contexts, you will analyse, interpret and appreciate such phenomena. You will analyse individual texts in translation and films with English subtitles to increase your awareness of the major developments in literature and film as they are embedded in the wider changes in contemporary China. You will have one three-hour practical class each week studying this module.
Media and Communications in Globalising China
Media systems are critically important in any modern political system, and this module leads you directly to the heart of understanding how the media relates to contemporary society and politics in the People’s Republic of China. It introduces you to the unprecedented transformation in contemporary Chinese media and communication in the context of economic reforms, development of new media technologies and globalisation through a two hour weekly lecture.
Religion in Modern China
This module examines Chinese religion as a social phenomenon, and provides an overview of the officially-recognised belief systems comprising China’s religious landscape. It focuses on the doctrines, practices and institutions of different religious groups, while also considering the unofficial traditions that play an important role in modern Chinese religiosity. Major topics covered include Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Protestantism and Christianity, folk belief and new religious movements, China’s ongoing Confucian revival and the political dimension of religion in China.
- China's Political Economy
This module examines the interaction between politics and economy in China during the economic reform period from 1978 onward. Particular attention will be given to the progress and periods of China’s reform, the political context of major economic policies, reform of major aspects of the economy, evolution of economic institutions, as well as an overview of economic development in China prior to 1978. The module will highlight the role of the political factors and state policies in China’s economy, which is important for a good understanding of the reform and economic development in China. For this module you will have one two-hour lecture each week.
Government and Politics of Taiwan and Hong Kong: Alternatives to Leninism
In this module you’ll learn about the two countries that choose a different pathway from mainland China whilst still under the leadership of the communist party. You’ll address a number of questions in order to gain a good understanding of the processes of these unique countries and be able to critically reflect on their differences with mainland China. You’ll have two hours of lectures weekly studying this module.
Dynamics of regional economic development: China, Japan and ASEAN
East Asia is one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse regions. This module explores the various aspects of East Asia’s regional political economy with special reference to the influence of China. Key themes include regional organisations, international business, cities and infrastructure, environment, international migration, energy security, international development, trade, finance and geopolitics.