Russian and Czech study guide 2023/24

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. The department does not offer postgraduate units (level M/7), however selected postgraduate units (level M/7) are available from elsewhere in the School of Modern Languages (please see the Cultural Studies guide). 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 2023/24. 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 2023/24 is updated by April 2023.

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)

Please note that, if you have been nominated on the Russian Subject Pathway, you are required to take the majority of your credits from the Department of Russian, and/or these additional options:

Also, if you have the necessary language skills, you can choose from the range of additional units that each Department in the School of Modern Languages offers on cultural topics (literature, cinema, history, identity, etc.) that require knowledge of the relevant modern language. Students who are not on the Subject Pathway for that department, but are able to demonstrate the required language level (A2 for 10000-level units, B1 or B2 for 20000-level units and C1 for 30000-level units) may apply to be considered for registration on units from these study guides:

To check your level of language, please see here.

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

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

The units listed here explore Russian and Czech art, culture, history, and literature. If you are interested in taking a Russian or Czech language class, please see the Languages and Linguistics study guide. Please note that the majority of language units run in Teaching Block 4, which are only available to students studying with us for a full academic year.

Year 1 (level C/4)


  • Understanding Russia: Literature & Visual Culture (TB1) - RUSS10042


  • Understanding Russia: History & Identity (TB2) - RUSS10041

Year 2 (level I/5)


  • Revolutionary Russia, 1881-1917 (TB1) - RUSS20066
  • Russian Orthodox Culture (TB1) - RUSS20044


  • The Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel (TB2) - RUSS20069

Year 3 (level H/6)


  • Dress and Identity in Russia through the Ages (TB1) - RUSS30086
  • Liaison Interpreting for German, Russian, or Italian (TB1) - MODL30006
  • Theatre and Theatricality in Russian Society (TB1) - RUSS30085


  • Decadence, Decay and Rebirth: Russian & Czech Literature (TB2) - RUSS30084
  • Dostoevsky (TB2) - RUSS30073

Year 4 (level M/7)

None available

Selected English Literature units available to Czech or Russian subject pathway students

There are 2 units available from the Department of English:

  • 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 Centre for Study Abroad inbound 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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