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The MPhil in Slavonic Studies is designed to help those who already possess a good knowledge of Russian or another Slavonic language to acquire grounding in areas of Slavonic Studies which were not part of their first degree course, as a preparation for advanced research in this field. All candidates study at least one Slavonic language which they have not previously studied to degree standard. They take four other subjects chosen from a wide range of philological, literary and historical options, and at least one paper in research methods such as palaeography, textual criticism and methods of literary criticism. Candidates also write an MPhil thesis.

See also the 9-month MSt in Slavonic Studies.

Course Structure

Year 1: a Slavonic language and 3 other subjects not previously studied.

Year 2: 2 further subjects; a thesis.

Course Content

Please note: not all the subjects listed below are necessarily available every year. Enquiries can be made to the Graduate Office at 

In the first year, students are required to develop a reading knowledge of a Slavonic language which they have not previously studied to degree standard. The languages normally available are listed in Schedule 1 (see below). Reading competence is tested in the third term of the course by a three-hour examination in unprepared translation from the Slavonic language into English.

Schedule 1 - Unseen translation from any one of the following languages:
Bulgarian Croatian Czech
Polish Russian Serbian
Slovak Ukrainian  

In the first year, students also choose, in consultation with their supervisors, three other subjects: one subject from Schedule 2, and two more subjects from Schedules 2-7 with the proviso that, in total, they do not take more than two subjects from Schedule 2 (see below). They may not take subjects which they have already studied in a first degree course.

In the second year, students choose two more subjects. Students may not repeat subjects which they have taken in the first year, nor take more than one subject from Schedules from which they have already taken two subjects in the first year. Students also write an MPhil thesis.

Schedule 2 - Methodology
Cyrillic Palaeography
Textual Criticism
Slavonic Literature / Slavonic Languages and Nation
Slavonic Corpus Linguistics
Key Questions in Critical Thought (from the MSt course in Modern Languages)
An MSt thesis of 5,000 to 7,000 words on an approved subject of the student’s choice within the areas of Slavonic languages and literatures. (The work submitted may subsequently be incorporated in a thesis submitted for the M.Phil. in Slavonic Studies, or it may be used as the basis for the piece of written work required for admission to the status of student for the Degrees of M.Litt. or D.Phil.)


Schedule 3 - Slavonic Philology in Context
Comparative Slavonic Philology
Old Church Slavonic
History of Church Slavonic
Byzantine Civilization and its Expansion 913-1204


Schedule 4: The History of:
Ukrainian Bulgarian and Macedonian Croatian
Czech and Slovak Polish Russian


Schedule 5 - The Structure and Present State of:
Bulgarian Croatian Czech
Polish Russian Serbian
Slovak Ukrainian  


Schedule 6 - Russian Literature, Culture and History
Literature and Culture of the Russian Enlightenment Pushkin and Romanticism Gender and Representation in Russian Culture from 1800
The Rise of the Russian Novel Late Soviet and Post-Soviet Russian Literature The Russian Experience of Modernity, 1905-1945
The Gulag and the Russian Literary Process Russian Social and Political thought, 1825-1917 Russian Lyric Poetry: Themes and Forms


Schedule 7 - Central European Literature, Culture and History
Czech Poetry since 1774 Czech Prose Fiction and Drama since 1774
Polish Literature since 1798 Slovak Literature since 1783



Year 1: Translation paper in a Slavonic language and 3 other subjects taken from the Schedules assessed either by submission (‘Slavonic Literature / Slavonic Languages and Nation’, ‘Slavonic Corpus Linguistics’, MSt thesis, and all subjects in Schedule 6 except for 'Russian Social and Political Thought, 1825-1917') or by written examination (all other subjects).

Year 2: 2 further subjects assessed either by submission or by written examination (see above), and an MPhil thesis of 20,000-25,000 words.