Skip to main content

Unit information: Introduction to Czech History and Culture in 2021/22

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Introduction to Czech History and Culture
Unit code RUSS10038
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Chitnis
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Russian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

In this unit, students will study the history of the Czechs chronologically from ‘Good King’ Wenceslas to President Havel. They will develop a sound introductory knowledge of key overarching themes and interpretations of Czech political and cultural history. Classes will focus on key figures, episodes or periods, including the reign of Charles IV, the early church reformer, Jan Hus, Bohemia and the Thirty Years War, the nineteenth-century National Revival, Tomáš Masaryk and the creation of Czechoslovakia, the German occupation and the Communist period. Alongside the study of competing historiographical interpretations, students will also explore works of literature, art, music and film created in a given period and/or representing it.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will

a) have a sound introductory understanding of key episodes, events and figures in Czech history.

They will also be able to

b) discuss key recurring themes, including the Czech position between East and West, Czech-German relations and the role of nationalism in shaping and interpreting Czech history.

They will also

c) have a developing knowledge of Czech culture’s relationship with Czech history and Czech national identity, and will be able to d) analyse this relationship in key texts.

Teaching Information

1 x weekly lecture, 1 x weekly seminar (split group)

Assessment Information

2000-word essay (50%) plus 2-hour exam (50%), testing ILOs a-d.


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. RUSS10038).

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.