MSt in Slavonic Studies

The MSt in Slavonic Studies is designed to introduce students who already possess a good knowledge of Russian or another Slavonic language to areas of Slavonic Studies which were not part of their first degree course. The examination consists of four papers: a paper in translation from unseen texts in a Slavonic language which the candidate has not already studied to degree standard, and three other papers selected from a wide range of philological, literary and historical subjects.

See also the 21-month MPhil in Slavonic Studies.

Course Structure

A Slavonic language and 3 other subjects not previous studied.

Course Content

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

During the course 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 Slovene Sorbian

Students also choose, in consultation with their supervisors, three other subjects from Schedules 2-9 (see below). They may take no more than two subjects from any one Schedule, and may not take subjects which they have already studied in a first degree course.

Schedule 2
Cyrillic Palaeography
Textual Criticism
Prague School of Linguistics
Methods of Criticism (from the MSt course in Modern Languages)
An essay 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
Comparative Slavonic Philology
Old Church Slavonic
History of Church Slavonic


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


Schedule 5 — The Structure and Present State of:
Bulgarian Croatian Czech
Polish Russian Serbian
Slovak Slovene Sorbian


Schedule 6
Literature and Culture of the Russian Enlightenment Pushkin and Romanticism Gender and Representation in Russian Culture from 1800
Russian Modes of Lyric (1820-1940) The Rise of the Russian Novel Russian Drama in the 19th and 20th Centuries
The Russian Experience of Modernity, 1905-1945 The Gulag and the Russian Literary Process Post-Soviet Russian Literature
Russian Lyric Poetry: Major Themes and Focus    


Schedule 7
Czech Poetry since 1774 Czech Prose Fiction and Drama since 1774
Polish Literature since 1798 Slovak Literature since 1783


Schedule 8
Byzantine Civilization and its Expansion 913-1204
Bohemia from the Hussite Wars to the Battle of the White Mountain (1415-1620)
The History of Poland and Hungary, 1506 to 1795
The Habsburg Monarchy, 1790-1918
The History of the Balkans, 1774-1918


Schedule 9
Russian Social and Political Thought, 1825-1917
The History of Russia, 1861-1917
The History since 1918 of either Bulgaria or Czechoslovakia and its successor states or Yugoslavia and its successor states


Translation paper in a Slavonic language and examination in 3 other subjects taken from the Schedules (one option is a submitted essay).

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