Russian MA

Russian 20th Century Visual Culture RUSSIAN4002

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will provide students with knowledge of the Russian visual arts and contemporary visual

environment with its semiotics and encoded social values. Visual culture makes up a significant part of a particular national culture or civilisation and encodes the main values and attitudes of the people and state, which for understanding Russia with her dramatic history is particularly significant.


20 1-hour seminars at days and times to be arranged.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2000 words) (50%) 

Essay (2000 words) (50%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course aims to:
1) provide students with a wide knowledge of the 20th century Russian visual environment and an understanding of its complex semiotics and encoded social values
2) give students a background knowledge of the history of visual culture in
Russia using examples such as the icon.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to:
1) explain the contribution of key figures to the Russian avant-garde of 1910s-1920s and the doctrine of socialist realism of 1930s-1950s
2) illustrate the development of the Russian poster (with reference to specific cultural artefacts)
3) identify key trends in art-photography in Russia
4) relate visual material to the every-day visual environment in the USSR and modern Russia
5) analyse visual material against a wider Russian political and cultural background.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.