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Russian and Eurasian Studies

The MA programme in Russian and Eurasian Studies is a one-year master’s programme (60 EC) that explores Russia and post-Soviet Eurasia from a variety of perspectives. A flexible degree format means that you can focus your studies on the region's language, literature and culture, or on its politics, history, international relations and economics. You can also combine elements from the two focus areas.

The core curriculum for all students, regardless of focus area, includes the course on Information and Disinformation (5 EC) and the Research Seminar (5 EC) in the first semester, and the writing of a thesis (20 EC) in the second semester. Students are expected to choose at least two more of the courses from either focus area as listed below (10 EC each). In addition, they can opt for: – a third course (10 EC) from within the programme; – or an elective (10 EC) from other MA programmes, or an internship (10 EC).

This choice, as well as any departures from the standard programme, is subject to approval by the Examinations Board.

In order to be able to complete the MA thesis (20 EC) in the second semester, students are advised to choose two courses in the first semester and one in the second semester, in addition to the core curriculum. Please note that in the second semester of the academic year only a limited number of courses is offered by the programme and that the programme is subject to changes. Not all courses are taught each year.

Students are encouraged to start working on their final thesis (20 EC) from day one, but they are expected to intensify this work in the second semester.


Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First Semester

Research Seminar Russian and Eurasian Studies 5
Information and Disinformation in Russia and Eurasia. 5

First Semester Courses

Corruption in Russia and Eurasia 10
Old Church Slavic Language and Culture 10
Culture and Literature: Russian Culture and Everyday Life During the Crazy 1990s 10
International Relations in the Slavic Triangle: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus 10

Second Semester Core Curriculum

MA Thesis Russian and Eurasian Studies 20

Second Semester Courses

Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants 10
The Russian Revolution Revisited 10
Internship Russian and Eurasian Studies 10

Career Preparation

During your master’s programme, you will also be stimulated to think about your future career. We will encourage you to think about your ambitions and your potential, to reflect on the skills you have learnt and still want to learn, the subjects you’d like to specialize in and how to do that (e.g. by enrolling for specific courses or choosing a subject for your thesis), the type of job you would like to do and how to prepare for it.


  • Labour Day, 17th September. Career orientation. Meet alumni.

  • Humanities Career Event

  • Various workshops, organized by Career Service Humanities.

Soft skills

For future employers, not only the knowledge you have obtained during your studies is important, they might even pay more attention to ‘soft skills’, as they sometimes are called. These are different, behaviour-related skills that for example determine how you handle responsibilities, how good you are at planning and organizing, and how you solve problems.

This is why it is important that, during your studies, you focus both on obtaining as much knowledge as possible and on being conscious of which skills you have acquired and which skills you’d still like to learn. In the course descriptions of the master in Latin American Studies and the Research Master Latin American Studies you will encounter several of the following ‘soft skills’ that we will work on.

  • Problem solving (recognizing and analyzing problems, solution-oriented thinking)

  • Analytical skills (analytical thinking, abstraction, evidence)

  • Project management (planning, scope, boundaries, result-orientation)

  • Responsibility (ownership, self-discipline, bear mistakes, accountability)

  • Motivation (commitment, pro-active attitude, initiative)

  • Self-regulation (independence, self-esteem, aware of own goals, motives and capacities)

  • Verbal communication (presenting, speaking, listening)

  • Written communication (writing skills, reporting, summarizing)

  • Collaboration (teamwork, group support, loyalty, attendance)

  • Flexibility (adaptability, dealing with change, teachability, eagerness to learn)

  • Critical thinking (asking questions, check assumptions)

  • Creative thinking (resourcefulness, curiosity, thinking out of the box)

  • Integrity (honesty, moral, ethics, personal values)

  • Intercultural skills (communications between different cultures)


Questions about your (studie-related) career orientation? Make an appointment with the coordinator of Studies J.P. Hoogbergen.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Leiden Elective Academic Periodical - Special Issue #2 "Nature" 10