Russian and Czech study guide 2022/23

Russian and Czech Studies at Bristol

The Department of Russian at Bristol is a major centre for research in Russian, Slavonic and East European Languages and offers a lively environment for studying their history, literature and societies. The Department offers carefully structured, student-centred language programmes for both complete beginners and experienced learners in Russian. Language classes are interactive, combining work on speaking fluency with a rigorous grounding Russian grammar. We use authentic materials when possible, making use of a range of materials from classic Russian literature to new digital media You will have frequent contact with experienced native-speaking teachers, and our students consistently praise the department's friendly, supportive atmosphere. Core or advanced linguistic tuition is followed by rich cultural units exploring the literature, arts, and religious and political histories of Russia, taught by specialists in the field. In your cultural units, you will be taught by researchers actively generating new knowledge in the field, regularly publishing articles and books, and working at the cutting edge of the field. Research-led teaching means that you will be exposed to the newest knowledge and approaches in Russian Studies. Your lecturers will teach you critical thinking skills, encouraging you to see Russian history and culture in new ways.

The Department also provides Czech language units at elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Unit structure

The department offers many classes that are based in a single semester, and can therefore accept unit requests from Study Abroad students who want to join Bristol for just the autumn or spring semester.

Unit levels

The department offers units across all undergraduate levels of study: year 1 (level C/4), year 2 (level I/5), and year 3 (level H/6) units. Selected postgraduate units (level M/7) are available from the School of Modern Languages. Level M/7 units are normally taken by students who have studied the subject for at least 3 years beforehand and are at an appropriate level of study to take postgraduate units.

Unit codes

Unit codes in the Department of Russian begin with 'RUSS'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • RUSS10000 = year 1 unit
  • RUSS20000 = year 2 unit
  • RUSS30000 = year 3 unit.

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2022/23. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2022/23 is updated by April.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Study Abroad (Subject pathway)

If you have been nominated to Bristol on the Study Abroad Czech or Russian subject pathway, you can access units from all of the departments listed below, as well as our Russian departments. Please note that you are required to take the majority of your credits from these departments:

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2022/23

The following units from the Department of Russian are open to incoming Study Abroad students.

Year 1 (level C/4)

  • Understanding Russia: History & Identity (TB1) - RUSS10041
  • Understanding Russia: Literature & Visual Culture (TB2) - RUSS10042

Year 2 (level I/5)

  • Engineers of the Human Soul: Russian Culture and Politics 1917-1941 (TB2) - RUSS20060 
  • Intermediate Czech Language (TB4) - RUSS20043
  • Revolutionary Russia, 1881-1917 (TB2) - RUSS20066
  • Russian Orthodox Culture (TB1) - RUSS20044
  • The Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel (TB1) - RUSS20069

Year 3 (level H/6)

  • Decadence & Symbolism (TB2) - RUSS30084
  • Dostoevsky (TB2) - RUSS30073
  • Life and Death with Stalin (TB1) - RUSS30079
  • Russia and the World, 1991–present (TB1) - RUSS30083

Year 4 (level M/7)

Incoming Study Abroad undergraduate students are permitted to take a maximum of one M-level unit from postgraduate programmes in the School of Modern Languages. This choice requires School-level approval through the School Education Director, in consultation with the relevant Study Abroad Coordinator (usually the Language Director):

  • Black Humanities 1 (TB1) - MODLM0043
  • Black Humanities 2 (TB2) - MODLM0044
  • Contemporary Global Chinese Literature and Visual Arts (TB2) - MODLM0050
  • Rise of the Novel in European Fiction (TB1) - MODLM2035
  • Space, Comparison and Empire (TB1) - MODLM0051
  • Theorising Violence: Colonial Encounters and Anti Colonial Reactions (TB1) - MODLM0025
  • Tradition and Experimentation in the Twentieth Century European Fiction (TB2) - MODLM2034

Units also available to Czech or Russian subject pathway students

Alongside units from the School of Modern Languages, Czech or Russian subject pathway students can take units from the Centre for Academic Language and Development. These units focus on the development of your academic English language skills, and are designed to complement and enhance your UK studies. You can read more about the Centre's units in their study guide.

There are also 2 units available from the Department of English (where space is available):

  • Approaches to Poetry (TB2) - ENGL10026
  • Critical Issues (TB1) - ENGL10017

(Please note that other English Literature units are not available on the Czech or Russian subject pathway programme).

Application queries

Contact the Global Opportunities Team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

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