For many decades, the social sciences have rewarded narrow specializations in both topic and methodology, believing this to be the best way to achieve results. The established systems of higher education have also strongly supported this trend through the development of stand-alone departments. However, today, the task of addressing real-life economic, social, political and environmental issues and designing appropriate policy responses requires a combination of approaches and bodies of knowledge across different sciences and intellectual traditions. Real-world problems like climate change, environmental degradation, crime, disease, policy failures, technologies running amok, loss of trust in institutions, etc. recognize no state borders, so the tradition of insulating disciplines, methodologies and geographic areas of expertise is harmful because it allows disciplinary biases and blind spots to obscure needed solutions.
Faced with these challenges, academics, activists, and policymakers should build on a growing trend towards research and policymaking that promotes creativity and sustainability by explicitly working at the interdisciplinary crossroads of the social sciences and the humanities and within teams of open-minded individuals from diverse intellectual and cultural backgrounds.
The Master’s Programme ‘Politics, Economics, Philosophy’ encourages students to do research into the political, economic, and moral dimensions of real-life social problems of various origins and to integrate tools and insights from the core disciplines in the Programme’s name with an eye on changing the world for the better.
The Master’s Programme ‘Politics, Economics, Philosophy’ offers two tracks.
The first – PEP – track reproduces the spirit and purpose of the Oxford-style ‘Politics, Philosophy, and Economics’ (PPE) programmes and offers a combination of classes in Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy.
In 2021, the Programme launched its second track, ‘Russia in Comparative Perspective: Politics, Society, Cultures’. Previously, there was the ‘Russian Studies’ Master’s Programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences at HSE-University. This programme will go on as our second track. The transformation is part of a new Master’s education development strategy at HSE-University, which stimulates the assembly of previously autonomous small programmes into larger ‘federations’.
‘Russia in Comparative Perspective’ track inherits the basic structure of the ‘Russian Studies’ Master’s Programme and its curriculum. The original curriculum was designed by experienced Russian academics with an eye on the practical benefits of professional expertise in Russia coupled with a strong background in political science and other related scientific disciplines.
One may ask why a ‘Russian Studies’ track has been set within a PPE-style programme? The answer is that any meaningful understanding of contemporary Russian reality requires interdisciplinary approaches to research Russian history, society, politics, economy, culture, etc. In other words, this track is a reasonable and inevitable continuation and application of the PPE approach to a highly complex object of study – Russia.
The Master’s Programme ‘Politics. Economics. Philosophy’ is a two-year programme taught in English.
The PEP track offers the following types of courses:
- Bridging courses (depending on students’ educational backgrounds): Political Science, Economics, Mathematics, and Contemporary Philosophy
- Core courses: Modern Political Science, Methodology and Research Methods in Political Science and Economics, Intellectual History, and Data Analysis in the Social Sciences
- Electives from the following blocks: Politics, Economics, and Philosophy (thus the focus is provided)
‘Russia in Comparative Perspective: Politics, Society, Cultures’ track (modelled after the Russian Studies programmes) offers the following types of courses:
- Bridging courses (depending on students’ educational backgrounds): Political Science, Economics, Mathematics.
- Core courses: Modern Political Science, Methodology and Research Methods in Political Science and Economics, Explaining Contemporary Russian Politics: Institutions and Practices, Regional Dimension of Russian Politics, Russia in the Global World: International Relations and Foreign Policy of Russia
- Electives from a list of courses on different aspects of Russia’s contemporary reality, including culture, demographics, economy, the media system, etc.
While enrolled in the Programme, students are encouraged to collaborate with HSE institutes, laboratories, and research centres. This is an essential ‘learning by doing’ component of studies.
The Master’s programme in Politics. Economics. Philosophy is designed to prepare students for the following professional career tracks:
- Experts and consultants in the field of strategic decision-making in either public agencies or non-governmental organizations (political parties, PR agencies, business analytical centres, NGOs, etc.)
- Analysts, researchers and teachers in academia looking to continue their studies in PhD programmes at leading universities in Russia and abroad.
Graduates of the programme are well positioned for roles where joint competences from politics, economics and philosophy are most relevant, especially those that are focused on interdisciplinary problems of institutional reform and policy-making in various domains.
The main international partner of HSE’s PEP programme is the MA programme in Philosophy – Politics – Economics at the University Wittem/Herdecke in Germany. Students may take advantage of international partnerships of the Faculty of Social Sciences, including the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Freie Universität Berlin and Universität Bayreuth (Germany), Charles University of Prague (Czech Republic), Sciences Po Toulouse and EHESS (France), KU Leuven and University of Antwerp (Belgium), University of Tilburg (the Netherlands), University of Bologna and University of Torino (Italy), University of Shanghai (China), George Mason University and University of Michigan (USA).
Each application to the Master's Programme ‘Politics. Economics. Philosophy’ is considered on an individual basis. The selection committee examines the documents submitted as part of the application portfolio (programme’s requirements). After reviewing the documents, the selection committee or its designated member conducts an interview.
There is a great deal of competition among applicants. This means that meeting the entry requirements does not guarantee that an offer will be made after an interview.
The first step is simple. Please, carefully read the programme’s requirements.