Why study Russian and Czech at Bristol?
Our unique courses ensure that our students learn to speak fluently with the opportunity to spend time immersed in native speaking environments.
A degree in Russian will give you strong proficiency in the language, along with competence in literature, history, cinema, others aspect of culture, and contemporary society. If you wish, you can also study the Czech language, starting in the first year if you do Post A-level Single Honours Russian, or in the second year in other programmes. While you develop your knowledge of Russian language and culture, you will also practice a number of transferable skills, which will ensure strong employability after completion of your degree. These include intercultural understanding, analytical skills, presentational skills (orally or in writing), team work, adaptability and open-mindedness, and many more. A degree in Russian demonstrates that you are willing to go beyond the beaten path and explore new horizons for yourself and that you are able to meet challenges, which are attributes highly valued by employers and that will stand you in good stead in your future career, whatever direction it takes.
We are one of the few universities to offer Czech language, as well as modules that address Czech culture. And we may be able to offer subsidised opportunities to do a summer course in the Czech Republic. Knowledge of both Russian and Czech enables you to acquire other Slavonic languages and/or to become a specialist in Central and East European societies.
As much support as you need
We offer a structured, student-centred course for all learners. Beginners in Russian follow a core language course with a team of specialist teachers. Students who have A-level Russian (or equivalent) study advanced language units.
All Russian and Czech language teaching takes place in small groups in informal tutorial settings.
Studying beyond the textbook
We offer you a range of learning opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom. For example, in our pioneering final-year English-Russian translation unit we will help your translation skills by conducting supervised research and interacting with the other members of the group online.
You will develop translation strategies, use a variety of internet-based language resources and learn to evaluate your own and work and that of others. This develops important employability skills, including team-working and critical thinking.
Outside the classroom students and staff from the Department of Russian form a supportive community with shared academic and cultural interests. Each year we put on a Russian Show with an evening of song, dance, theatre and poetry.
The slides below will give you a sense of the structure of the programme and the atmosphere in the Department: Russian at Bristol - An Inside View (PDF, 3,865kB).
For a student perspective on our programme, please read Anna Russell’s feature published in Russian Art & Culture.
Using technology to innovate
We work closely with our students to develop online tools to help them with their learning in a way that works best for them, from weekly online tests to student-produced videos. Some of our innovations are even being picked up by other universities in the UK and abroad.
You will also have access to the superbly equipped School of Modern Languages Multimedia Centre, which provides print and digital media and tools to help with your studies.
Regular contact with native speakers
Research shows that regular contact with native speakers is a key part of language learning. Advanced and beginner groups both benefit from regular contact with experienced tutors who are native speakers.
Russian and Czech are hardest at the beginning, requiring discipline and systematic learning, but students always comment on the tangible sense of progress that results in both spoken and written language. At this stage it is great to have a supportive group of teachers and fellow-students - like those you'll find at Bristol.
The school's Multimedia Centre provides our students with dedicated, state-of-the-art facilities to enhance their studies.
Spend your third year living and studying abroad in a country relevant to your degree (or two countries if you intend to undertake a joint-honours course).
Bristol Students' Union's Slavonic Society is one of the most active language student societies in the country, organising social and cultural events throughout the year, including trips to Germany.
Find out more about student societies at Bristol Students' Union.
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