BA History and Russian

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Russian Studies Long Essay

Course unit fact file
Unit code RUSS20502
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Russian & E. European Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit gives students the freedom to formulate and investigate an individual research topic within a range of areas not covered by taught course units currently offered at L2. The range of available research areas will vary from year to year; however, they will typically include aspects of Russian history, society, thought, literature and culture (including popular culture) from the 19th-21st centuries. Under the supervision of an appropriate member of staff in Russian and East European Studies, students undertake guided reading; the formulation of an appropriate research question and preliminary bibliography; the formulation of a detailed essay plan; and the writing and submission of a 4,000-word essay.


This course unit is open to Final Year students in REES, but may not be taken alongside RUSS30000: Dissertation.


• to provide students with an opportunity to investigate and write in depth on an aspect of Russian Studies outside the range of taught courses offered at L2;
• to build on and develop independent study, research and critical thinking skills;
• to build on and develop proficiency in presenting sophisticated arguments orally and in writing;
• to prepare students to undertake a dissertation at L3, if they so choose.

Knowledge and understanding

This will vary according to the topic chosen. By the end of this course unit the successful student will have demonstrated:
• Independence in choosing a research area and formulating a suitable research topic based on their particular interests;
• Resourcefulness, including the ability to use electronic resources as appropriate, in researching that topic;
• Self-confidence in presenting their topic orally to an interested non-specialist audience;
• Intellectual and organisational skills requisite to the production of an extended piece of written work.


Intellectual skills

• Identifying a research topic;
• Developing a suitable approach to researching it;
• Analysing primary source material;
• Evaluating and organising secondary source material;
• Presenting a cogent argument.

Practical skills

• Researching a problem;
• Working with an experienced member of staff to develop a solution to the problem;
• Presenting a cogent argument orally and in writing.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

All of the intellectual and practical skills listed above are also transferable skills.


Employability skills

All of the intellectual and practical skills listed above are also transferable skills.

Assessment methods

Research Question and Preliminary Bibliography (due in Week 4)         5%

Essay Plan (due in Week 9)                                                                     5%

Essay (due in Week 13)                                                                            90%



Feedback methods

Feedback method Formative or Summative
Individual written feedback on summative assessment tasks  
Discussion of Research Question/Preliminary Bibliography and Essay Plan in supervision meetings  


Recommended reading

Recommended readings will depend on the research area chosen. Students will receive a list of recommended readings appropriate to their research area at the beginning of the semester. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 194

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Stephen Hutchings Unit coordinator

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