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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLAV1120 What is Russia? An Introduction to Russian Studies

20 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Sarah Hudspith

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Covering a wide range of topics relating to contemporary Russian society as well as the historical development of Russia and Russian, this cross-disciplinary module aims to foster an understanding of Russia as a poly-cultural, poly-ethnic and poly-linguistic space, combatting stereotypes and outdated binary approaches. You will work with diverse sources and media, developing skills for a variety of disciplines. No knowledge of Russian language is required, as this module is taught in English.


This module aims to offer a cross-disciplinary introduction to one of the most important global powers and furnish you with an understanding of the complex factors affecting its identity and self-perception. Its objectives are to equip you with intercultural competence, skills of critical reflection and analysis, and to provide a foundation for more specialized modules on aspects of Russian culture and society offered at levels 2 and 3.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module you will demonstrate your ability to:
1. understand key issues in the discipline of Russian Studies
2. understand the concepts of globalization and transnationalism, using examples from Russian case studies
3. reflect on the relationship between language, culture and identity

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module you will demonstrate your ability to:
4. analyse primary sources, using them critically as evidence to support your own arguments
5. identify and analyse arguments in scholarly literature, evaluating their credibility, and develop your own position in response
6. communicate your ideas concisely and coherently in writing
7. communicate your ideas concisely and coherently in an oral presentation
8. manage your time effectively


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours160.00
Total Contact hours40.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have the opportunity to submit a formative essay and deliver a practice oral presentation, and formative feedback will be provided on each. Student progress will also be monitored through seminar participation. The format of the oral presentation also allows for formative feedback on the essay plan.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayEssay 1,200-1,500 words80.00
PresentationOral presentation 7-10 minutes20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 03/05/2024


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