Researching Russia and Eastern Europe

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Term 2
Teaching: One two-hour seminar weekly

Lecturer: Julian Cooper

The module provides an introduction to critical evaluation of research in Russia and Eastern Europe. It also examines a range of social science and historical research methods such as documentary analysis, ethnographic methods, elite / expert interviews, and the comparative method. The strengths and weaknesses of research methods are evaluated through an examination of their applications in specific research projects.

The module focuses on the particular problems and challenges the researcher faces in applying research methods to communist and post-communist Russia and Eastern Europe. The module also raises students’ awareness of new information sources and the new media in Russia.

Students will:

  • Be introduced to different research methods employed in social sciences and history;
  • Be familiarised with a range of examples of using social science research methods to research the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and critically evaluate studies which employed them;
  • Gain an understanding of the issues and problems involved in applying research methods derived from different disciplines such as historical, political science and cultural studies in the context of communist and post-communist Russia and Eastern Europe.


  • 2,000-word essay (50%)
  • 1,500-word task-based assignment (50%)