The Collapse of the USSR, its causes and aftermath

Ref: C2224722

Part 2 of the course “Russians and the Russian Culture in the USSR through the Witness’ Eyes” is based on the Tutor’s personal experience of living during Perestroika and the collapse of the USSR and further develops the topics discussed in Part 1. Illustrated with period artefacts, audio and video materials, this course explores the key reasons for the collapse of the USSR rooted in the economic, political and cultural policies of the Soviet state, and the ways it affected lives of ordinary people, with the focus on the Baltic States. This is supplemented by the optional reading list and colourful hand-outs with interactive tasks.

Course aim

1. To share personal experience of living in the USSR. 2. To compare life in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. 3. To develop a better understanding of current events related to Russia.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Anyone interested in the Russian history and culture, though those completed Part 1 of the Course would have an advantage.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • 1. Compare and contrast the life in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods.
  • 2. Identify the key factors that caused the collapse of the USSR and explore its effects.
  • 3. Relate the recent past of Russia to her present for better understanding of current events.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • The course reading list is provided. Each session is supplemented by 2 handouts and artefacts related to the Russian history and culture, such as books, films, records, newspapers, photographs, badges, revolutionary posters, etc.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Students might consider doing an A-level course on Russian history.

Download full course outline

The Collapse of the USSR, its causes and aftermath Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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