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Programme Overview

The HSE Bachelor’s programme in ‘International Relations’ is based on a unique educational concept, which aims at producing specialists in IR with fundamental economic knowledge and who are capable of working as analysts and IR experts. In today’s world, it is no longer enough to be well-informed about the realities of a particular country or region, or only be able to analyze processes in separate spheres such as economics, politics, security or culture and information technologies. It is much more important to see the interconnection of all these issues and be ready to constantly ‘up‘ one’s knowledge with ever newer components from various subjects and fields.

The ‘International Relations’ programme, which is offered by the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics at HSE, aims at instilling such skills. In addition to the history and theory of international relations, international security, and learning two foreign languages, students in this programme study an entire block of basic economic disciplines. Moreover, since 2017, a large range of issues related to the role of information in IR and technologies for its application have been included in the programme.

In addition, all HSE students may select an additional mini-specialization for their main focus of the programme (a so-called ‘minor’), which can be worked on during the second and third years of study. The minor can be any subject area offered through an HSE programme which is different from the chosen major. As such, many IR students may choose minors in economics, information technologies, programming fundamentals, psychology and art.

Overall, this approach encourages a holistic vision of the world for graduates, while also allowing them to engage in practical research as quickly and effectively as possible.

What are the programme’s main features?

The ’International Relations’ programme offers three key advantages:

1. An interdisciplinary approach.
Students have an opportunity to study historical, political, economic, legal and information-communication cycles. In addition, during their third year of study, each student must select a country of specialization, whereby they can analyze and reach conclusions on political and economic characteristics of national/regional development (the country of choice should coincide with their main foreign language, as well as the student’s specific academic interests).

2. Three key specializations.
Specializations are the focus of the third and fourth years of study so that students can obtain in-depth knowledge in specific subjects. For students enrolled in the programme in the 2017/2018 academic year, the following specializations are offered: ‘International Security’, ‘International Cooperation’, and ‘International Information and Humanitarian Communications’. The ‘International Security’ specialization is a ‘classic’ for such programmes and foresees a comprehensive study of the military-political, economic and value aspects of international relations. The ‘International Cooperation’ specialization is particularly focused on integration issues, as well as the economic aspects of international relations with a particular emphasis on their application (e.g., global business). The ‘International Information and Humanitarian Communications’ specialization is unique among IR programmes. This, in turn, offers an answer to a key challenge of our time: the rising importance of information and digital technologies in the international context. This specialization is not only devoted to problems relating to international relations, but also digital technologies, international media, and the peculiarities of information interactions among different countries and regions of the world. It is being offered jointly with HSE’s Department of Media Communications.

3. A solid theoretical basis to instruct students about various analytical methods.
In the programme’s fourth year, the faculty offers a substantive pre-diploma practicum, which can take place at leading analytical centres, specialized departments of the state authorities, and mass media outlets. In addition, starting from their second year of study, all students are directly involved in project work, which may be both research-based and practical (e.g., carrying out projects for outside organizations, in cooperation with students from other HSE departments, etc.).

Furthermore, a support system for international academic mobility is in place for senior students. They may take one or more overseas internships for a period from 1.5 months to one year at such prestigious European institutions as the Institute of Political Science in France, the University of Bologna (Italy), the University of Bologna (Italy) and the University of Bologna La Sapienza.

What languages can I study?

Our students study two foreign languages for a period of four years:

  • A student’s primary language should take up to 6-8 hours a week. Students are guaranteed to receive quality instruction in the language for which they enroll: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic;
  • Their secondary language instruction should come to 4 hours a week (compulsory: English). In addition, a number of theoretical disciplines in the professional cycle (starting from the second year of studies) are taught in English, thereby allowing students to engage in open communication and correspondence in a foreign language for an extended period in varying contexts.

At the end of the second year, all Bachelor’s degree students must pass an independent English language exam based on international standards.

Who are the teachers?

The faculty offering this programme employs leading, well-respected domestic and international experts. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to communicate directly with professional experts, who have been involved in the development and execution of Russia's foreign policy

The programme turns out highly qualified specialists, who are capable of understanding the development of the global economy and international relations, as well as applying their knowledge in the following institutions:

  • state structures;
  • leading domestic companies with close ties to foreign partners;
  • Russian representative offices of global corporations and international organizations;
  • trade missions on behalf of the Russian Federation;
  • domestic and foreign universities;
  • large scientific and analytical centres;
  • mass media.