Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Russian Grammar and Composition (RUSS2181) or Russian Grammar and Composition (with year abroad essay) (RUSS2171) OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: Russian Language 4(I) (RUSS3031). Others: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To familiarise final year students with the development of Russian poetry over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by examining selected works by major Russian poets and different critical approaches to poetry.


  • The module will give an overview of the development of Russian poetry, focusing particularly on the poetry of the major poets and poetic movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
  • It will provide an introduction to poetic terminology, outline directions in Russian and Western criticism, and suggest ways of approaching poetry analysis through examination of a selection of lyrical and narrative works.
  • Amongst nineteenth-century poets to be featured are Pushkin, Lermontov, Tiutchev and Fet.
  • The module will then examine twentieth-century movements such as Symbolism, Acmeism, and Futurism, and focus on the work of individual poets including Blok, Akhmatova, Mandel'shtam, Maiakovskii, Tsvetaeva.
  • Pasternak, and Brodsky.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • The student should achieve detailed familiarity with a selection of lyrical and narrative poetry.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The student should have developed skills in poetry analysis and commentary.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Lectures will provide information relating to historical and cultural context, the essentials of Russian versification, and poetic terminology.
    • Seminar work will develop skills in poetry analysis and involve discussion of particular works.
    • Coursework in the form of poem commentaries and an essay will enable students to demonstrate the skills acquired in seminars and to give their own readings of Russian poems.
    • A final examination will also students to demonstrate their knowledge of particular poetic movements or schools, or of a group of poems by a single author.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Total 200
    Lectures 21 1 Hour 21
    Seminars 10 1 Hour 10
    Preparation and Reading 169

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Commentary Component Weighting: 40%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    one written 2000 words commentary in English 100%
    Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    two-hour unseen written examination in English 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    2 essays/commentaries.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University