UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


SESS0044 Soviet and Russian Foreign Policy 

UCL Credits: 30

Total Learning Hours: 300

ECTS: 15

Level: Advanced

Course Unit: 1.0

Full Year

Module Coordinator: Dr Pete Duncan

Taught By: Dr Pete Duncan

To find out more about this module, please contact the Module Coordinator

Weekly Contact Hours: 2.0 (1 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial per week)
Prerequisites: None
Compulsory Module for:  N/A

Summative Assessment

3 Hour Examination (100%)

Formative Assessment

One voluntary essay, 1,500-2000 words. This will be given written and, if desired, oral feedback.

Module Outline

This course deals with Russian foreign policy from 1917 to the present day. The aim of the course is to offer the student a basic grounding in the aims and results of Russian foreign policy, in the context of changes within Russia and in international politics. Particular attention will be given to the role of Gorbachev’s ‘new thinking’, and to the foreign policy of the Russian Federation as it has developed under El’tsin, Putin, Medvedev and Putin again. The course also aims to develop the student’s skills in assimilating a substantial literature, to be demonstrated through essays and seminars. There are no prerequisites, but it is anticipated that students will have some background in twentieth-and twenty-first-century Russian or European government or history.

Indicative Texts

  • Robert H Donaldson & Vijay Nadkarni, The Foreign Policy of Russia: Changing Systems, Enduring Interests. 6th edn, Routledge 2018 pbk.
  • Andrei P.Tsygankov, Russia's Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity. 4th edn, Rowman & Littlefield 2016



Course Code



Full Year AffiliatesRegister for SESS3102As Above 15
Affiliates here for Term 1 onlyRegister for SESS3102ATwo Essays (100%) 7.5
Affiliates here for Terms 2 and 3 onlyRegister for SESS3102BTwo Essays (100%) 7.5

Please note: This outline is accurate at the time of publication. Minor amendments may be made prior to the start of the academic year.