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Unit information: Dostoevsky in 2021/22

Unit name Dostoevsky
Unit code RUSS30063
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Coates
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Russian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will offer an in-depth analysis of the later fiction of Fedor Dostoevsky, building on exposure to earlier works explored in second-year units such as The Struggle for Russia and Hedgehogs and Foxes. The works will be studied in the context of ideological, political, and social developments in 19th-century Russia, and of Dostoevsky’s own creative and ideological evolution. Attention will be paid to both thematic and formal elements of Dostoevsky’s fiction, and account will be taken of both significant historical and recent critical approaches to his work.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will be able to:

1. demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of Dostoevsky’s mature fiction;

2. make connections between the novels and the ideological, political, and social context in which they were written;

3. situate Dostoevsky’s own world view in that context.

4. demonstrate an understanding of how Dostoevsky has been received both in Russia and the West, and to identify what is of passing, and what of universal significance in his work;

5. articulate their own response to Dostoevsky orally and in writing at a standard appropriate to level H, whilst at the same time critically distinguishing that response from existing scholarly criticism.

Teaching Information

Lectures and seminars, with an emphasis on the latter. Seminars to be part student-led and part tutor led.

Assessment Information


1. assessed presentation (30%);

2. 4,000 word essay (70%).

Both exercises assess ILOs 1-5


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. RUSS30063).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.