Russian & Slavonic Studies

Russian, spoken by more than 250 million people worldwide from the northern tundra to the Black Sea beaches, is an international language of culture and commerce, and Russia remains a global political power.

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg

Learning Russian is the key to its rich literary heritage and its fascinating and multifaceted society.

Find out more about Russian at Sheffield

Undergraduate degree combinations

BA Modern Languages & Cultures

On the BA Modern Languages & Cultures you can study:

  • Russian language & culture only
  • Russian language & culture with one other language & culture
  • Russian language & culture with two other languages & cultures

Choose from these languages:

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Catalan
  • Dutch
  • Luxembourgish* (from second year only)
  • Czech
  • Italian

BA Modern Languages and cultures - 2020 entry

Dual Honours (with a non-language subject)

As a Dual Honours degree

  • Russian language & culture with a non-language subject
  • Russian languages & culture, a second language & culture, and a non-language subject

Combine your study of Russian language & culture with one of the following:

  • Archaeology
  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics

Dual honours degrees

Guided Module Choice

If you have some experience of modern language learning, you may be able to take Russian language & culture modules either as part of your degree (guided modules) or alongside your degree (not-for-credit modules).

Fast facts

Award: Bachelor of Arts

Duration: 4 years

Entry: ABB at A Level. We also accept a wide range of other qualifications. See individual degree programmes for more detailed information.

Course structure

Language Modules

At Sheffield you can start studying Russian from scratch, meaning you need no previous knowledge of Russian. If you already speak some Russian you can skip the beginners programme and enter at an appropriate level.

In first year post A-Level, you'll spend 3-4 hours per week taking written classes and conversing with a native Russian speaker, in order to achieve communicative fluency in Russian. (Common European Framework Reference for Languages [CEFR] B1). You will also spend 1-2 hours per week studying Russian texts that introduce you to key aspects of Russian culture.

The first year Beginner's Course is taught by native speakers and is for those with no, or limited, knowledge of Russian. It focuses on intensive language study (4-5 hours per week), allowing you to develop the skills to progress quickly and start to bridge the gap to post-A level. (CEFR A1/2).You will take weekly classes studying Russian texts that introduce you to key aspects of Russian culture.

You will study 40 credits in language and culture at either beginner or post A level.

Beginner's Russian

Title Credits Core/Optional
Russian Language Beginners 20 Core

Introduction to Russian Culture

The module provides a schematic overview of Russian history from the formation of the Russian State until the present time, and consideration of key literary, political, cinematic and visual culture texts from a number of periods to introduce students to some of the main features of Russian culture.

20 Core (if you are studying one or two languages and cultures)
Optional (if you are studying three languages and cultures)

Post A-Level Russian

Title Credits Core/Optional
Russian Language Post A-Level 20 Core

Introduction to Russian Culture

The module provides a schematic overview of Russian history from the formation of the Russian State until the present time, and consideration of key literary, political, cinematic and visual culture texts from a number of periods to introduce students to some of the main features of Russian culture.

20 Core (if you are studying one or two languages and cultures)
Optional (if you are studying three languages and cultures)

You may also choose from the following:

Title

Credits

Core/Optional

Russian Poetry, Performance and Prose

NB This module is taught in English but we will be reading texts in the original Russian. You will need A-level Russian (or equivalent; CEFR Level A2) for this module.

Russian literature is famous for its big novels – but for many Russians, lyric poetry is at least as important. This module explores the connection between the two through a range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts from Pushkin to Tsvetaeva. You’ll be given guidance on reading short poems out loud in Russian – a great way to develop both your proficiency in the language as well as confidence in your voice. You’ll then learn to analyse the poems in detail and set them in their historical and literary context. Having done this, you’ll be able to understand the complexities of prose texts by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky or Chekhov. We finish with the vibrant and innovative poetry of the early twentieth century and examine some of its responses to the political and artistic upheavals of the time.

20 Optional

The Soviet Union 1917-1991

An overview of the history of the Soviet Union showing the huge changes the region underwent during the 20th century. The module examines the ideological nature of all historical accounts of the period, especially produced during the Cold War, and encourage a critical engagement with original source materials. The module is taught in English.

20 Optional

The Czechs in Central European History

How does a nation come to be: what are its founding myths, the events and relationships that shape its formation? This module examines the history of the Czech lands, beginning with the earliest records and tales of its foundation. In the second half, the module follows the 'national revival' of the early nineteenth century and continues through the founding of the modern Czechoslovak state and its fateful encounters with Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. You will participate via readings and discussion of original historical documents in translation and student-led seminars.

20 Optional

Introduction to European Cinema

This is a school-wide module taught by specialists from across the school who have research interests in cinema. It introduces students to some of the main movements in European cinema, and includes a strong Russian and East European element. The module includes seminars and film viewings.

20 Optional

You may also choose from a range of modules from across the School of Languages and Cultures.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 9 November 2021


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