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Research Seminar


Admission requirements

This 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 rich variety of disciplines, each which their own methodologies - sometimes overlapping, sometimes contrasting. The aim of this course is to present students with an overview of the six fields of Russian and Eurasian studies in which specialists at Leiden work.

For 2018-2019 these are: Language and Culture, Linguistic Variation and Identity, Literature and Film, Political Economy, Politics and International Relations, and History.

Each of these six fields will be introduced in their own dedicated seminar by a leading Leiden scholar in that 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 small group tutorials with the relevant scholar(s). They will discuss in more detail the 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-prepared to start 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:

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

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

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

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


The timetable is available on the Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminars and tutorials

Course Load

Total course load 5EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Seminars and tutorials: 20 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 50 hours

  • Assignment(s): 70 hours

Assessment method

Assessment & Weighting

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

Students pass the course if their weighted average for both written assignments is 5.50 or higher


Only the Literature Review can be resubmitted in the event of a failing grade.

Exam review

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.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • communicating with students

  • sharing study materials

  • submitting assignments

  • providing feedback and grades

Reading list

Selected articles and book chapters are provided by the lecturers viaBlackboard


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course contact the co-ordinator Dr. M.J. Frear


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).