You will make your module choices when you arrive at Birmingham. You'll receive a detailed information pack containing reading lists, module information, assessment topics, seminar questions and suggested reading for each seminar. During your studies, you'll have numerous opportunities to meet with your academic tutor to address both your academic and personal ambitions.
This degree is organised around two terms of structured taught modules and one term focused on assessment and dissertation writing which continues over the summer vacation.
The programme is very intensive as it involves a high degree of self-study, reading, note taking and preparation for presentations. Very few formal lectures are offered at the postgraduate level; instead, teaching tends to be highly interactive, involving staff-led discussions and student presentations. In addition to formal seminar sessions, CREES staff members are always around to support students in their learning process.
Postgraduate student views
Our postgraduate students within the Centre for Russian and East European Studies come from a range of backgrounds:
I chose to study with CREES as I was looking for somewhere in which I could study Central Asian countries with a broad, comprehensive perspective. After browsing the Internet I concluded that Birmingham offered the best overall course for my particular interests." Rafael Gomez Sanchez, Contemporary Russian and East European Studies (The Caucasus and Central Asia) MSc.
What attracted me to CREES in particular were the thrilling modules it offers, its excellent reputation and its relative small size which promised (and delivers) closer, uncomplicated student-staff relations." Alain Perusset, Contemporary Russian and East European Studies MSc
I like the fact that the department is not too big, so you're not anonymous and the both the staff and the other students are very friendly and approachable. It's also a very international department, with students from many parts of the world. Some of the staff are from Russia and eastern Europe, which is of course a big plus." Michael Kellett, Contemporary Russian and East European Studies (The Caucasus and Central Asia) MSc.
CREES's programme contains a good balance, so it encourages students to build a foundation and broaden evenly understanding of Russian and Eastern European, CIS region studies." Yeani Shin, Contemporary Russian and East European Studies MSc.
Enhancing your Student Experience
In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.
Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all G&S students.
Departments from across the School of Government and Society are all based within the recently refurbished Muirhead Tower. Following a £50million refurbishment, Muirhead Tower offers state-of-the-art teaching and research study facilities including free wifi throughout the building and dedicated study areas for postgraduate research students.
Muirhead Tower comprises 12,000sq.m of floor space between two towers. The tower includes a number of sustainable features including solar shading (known in the trade as brise soliel) to control temperatures, as well as low energy fans; timed lighting to reduce energy waste; natural ventilation systems and a heat source taken from the University’s combined heat and power generator.
The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and research accommodating 150 academic offices, 230 "hubs" for post graduate research students, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200 seat lecture theatre.