Skip to main content

Oxford is one of the largest and strongest centres for post-graduate research in Russian and other Slavonic Languages in Europe, and benefits from a lively, international scholarly community of teaching staff, research fellows and postgraduate students. The Sub-faculty offers teaching and supervision expertise in an exceptionally wide range of areas, including Russian literature from the Enlightenment to the present day; Russian music; Russian film and theatre; Russian and Soviet cultural studies; and Russian and Slavonic linguistics.

Library resources are extremely strong. The University’s specialist Modern Languages library at the Taylor Institution includes a wide selection of rare literature and arts journals and works by major Russian poets (some signed by the authors), alongside rich primary and secondary holdings on the most important Russian, Czech and Polish writers and medieval philology, including Old Church Slavonic and South Slavonic. There is a small but excellent collection of Russian paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, and books on the visual arts are available in the Western Arts Library there. The University’s central library, the Bodleian, has outstanding collections in the field of Russian history.

Oxford offers a unique range of Russian and Slavonic Master’s courses. 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. In the MPhil in Slavonic Studies all candidates study at least one Slavonic language which they have not previously studied to degree standard. They also choose from a wide range of philological, literary and historical options, and papers in research methods such as palaeography, textual criticism and methods of literary criticism.

The MSt in Modern Languages and MPhil in Modern Languages offer specialism in Russian, or a comparative degree with Russian and another language/literature. Both courses offer a wide range of modules in literature, culture and literary theory and research methods.

The Sub-faculty has a long and successful record of supervising doctorates (DPhils), and can offer supervision on a very broad range of topics (see faculty subject expertise here). There is always a sizable international community of DPhil students working on projects in Russian studies: please see current students and projects here. Many of our former DPhil students are now distinguished academics in their own right. Examples of past DPhil projects include:

  • Literary Scholarship in Late Imperial Russia (Prof. Andy Byford)
  • The Letters of Catherine the Great and the Rhetoric of Enlightenment (Dr Kelsey Rubin-Detlev)
  • Leningrad Poetry in the Thaw (Dr Emily Lygo)
  • The Russian Formalists
  • George Eliot and Dostoevsky
  • Bilingualism in Russian Émigré literature