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Research Seminar Russian and Eurasian Studies


Admission requirements

This compulsory course is only available for students in the MA Russian and Eurasian Studies.


The research in Russian and Eurasian Studies carried out at Leiden University reflects a variety of disciplines, each which their own methodologies - sometimes overlapping, sometimes contrasting. The aim of this compulsory course is to present all students with an overview of the fields of Russian and Eurasian studies in which specialists at Leiden work, which can include politics and economics, international relations, history, literature, culture and linguistics.

These disciplines will be introduced in their own dedicated seminar by a leading Leiden scholar in the relevant field during the first block. They will pay particular attention to current debates in the Russian and Eurasian context, the sources that are available to conduct research in the region, and the methodologies that can be applied.

In the second block, students will choose one of these fields for a further three workshops with the relevant scholar(s), with a view to planning the research for their own MA thesis. They will discuss in more detail the appeaches and method(s) that can be used in empirical research in relation to the key debates in that field, by the end of which students will be well-on their way to conducting their own research for the MA Thesis Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Course objectives

The purpose of the course is to prepare the student academically for being able to engage in scholarly research in Russian and Eurasian Studies. After successful completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

  • A multidisciplinary understanding of current issues and debates in the main disciplines of Russian and Eurasian Studies (politics and economics, international relations, history, literature, culture and linguistics.)

  • The ability to operate a scientific conceptual apparatus and to employ relevant and appropriate modern research methods in the field of Russian and Eurasian Studies

  • The ability to critically reflect on differing opinions and hypotheses as well as on one’s own research, taking into account and weighing alternative arguments

  • The ability to communicate the scientific knowledge and skills that are characteristic of graduates of the master’s degree programme Russian and Eurasian Studies.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars and workshops

Assessment method


25% written Research Proposal (1000 words)
75% written Literature Review (4000 words)

It is also possible for these to serve as a basis for the student’s own MA thesis in the second semester if they choose to develop the research topic further.
Students pass the course if their weighted average for both written assignments is 5.50 or higher


Only the literature review can be retaken when a mark is 5.49 or lower. No resubmission is possible for the research proposal. The deadline for resubmission is 10 working days after receiving the grade for the literature review. Literature reviews submitted more than a week late without an extension agreed in advance will be considered a resubmission.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A syllabus containing the reading lists for each week will be made available on Brightspace before the start of the course.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the co-ordinator listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats.


Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).