All MSc and MA students are required to write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic as agreed with their supervisor.This contributes one-third (60 credits) of the overall assessment. The dissertation offers the chance to study a topic of particular interest to you and has central relevance to Russia and East European Studies.

The aim of the dissertation is for you to be able to apply the knowledge and research skills you have gained in your modules to a longer, independent project. The dissertation allows you to demonstrate your ability to work on your own, acquire knowledge about a specialised area of study, and present a cogent, well-supported defence of a central claim.

By the end of the dissertation the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate they are able to work independently to carry out a research project
  • Relate a specific research question to an appropriate conceptual and empirical context
  • Demonstrate knowledge of debates and issues within a specialist field
  • Present a well structured dissertation using correct academic conventions

MSc and MA students benefit from detailed guidance and closer supervision and support while preparing their dissertations.

Examples of dissertation topics in recent years include:

  • The Social Impact of the Economic Crisis on Households in Russia
  • EU Membership and Party Politics in Romania and Bulgaria
  • Ethnic and National Self-Consciousness of Russians in the ‘Near Abroad’ 
  • Foundations and Promises: the Cult of the Hero in the Stalinist Era
  • ‘The Rose and the Apricot’: Comparing Democratisation in Georgia and Armenia

For MA Russian and East European Studies students:

A certain proportion of the dissertation should contain sources in Russian language, or another East European language relevant to the student's dissertation topic. The dissertation should clearly demonstrate to the examiners the candidate's ability to understand and handle this foreign language material.

It is, of course, understood that the actual amount of Russian, or other East European language material used, will depend partly on the nature of the topic and partly on the student's level of knowledge of the language on entry to the programme.