• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • –ź
  • –ź
  • –ź
  • –ź
  • –ź
Regular version of the site
  • HSE University
  • News
  • Master's Programme 'Politics. Economics. Philosophy': Perfect Combination of Three Disciplines

Master's Programme 'Politics. Economics. Philosophy': Perfect Combination of Three Disciplines

Modelled on classical British programmes, the HSE Master's Programme 'Politics. Economics. Philosophy' (PEP) helps students delve deeper into economics and political science, broaden their philosophical outlook, develop their critical thinking skills, and enhance their social and academic capital. HSE News Services spoke with current first-year student Tamás Barnák and programme alumnus Franz Walternberger about why they chose PEP and what it is like to study at HSE University.

Tam√°s Barn√°k, first-year student of 'Politics. Economics. Philosophy' Master's programme

Tamás Barnák, from Budapest, Hungary, was initially planning to pursue a Master’s degree in economics at HSE University, but after starting the Preparatory Year he decided to apply to the Master's Programme 'Politics. Economics. Philosophy' (PEP).

Politics. Economics. Philosophy is a Master’s programme where people with the background in any of the three disciplines can apply. I came here with a philosophy major and international studies minor background from Pázmány Péter Catholic University.

My first choice was Economics, not PEP. Luckily, I participated in the preparatory year, where I studied Russian. There I found this programme and I quickly decided to change.

Bot decisions were actually rational. I choose Economics at first because I wanted to widen my current knowledge in philosophy towards economics, which I believe can be a very strong combination.

When heard about PEP for the first time, I knew that this is what I want.

It perfectly combines the three disciplines. I think I made the best possible decision to study what I really want.

I think HSE University can give me the chance to study new and manageable amount of materials that can be useful in my future career. I’d also like to have an opportunity to make publications on international platforms. I haven't published anything yet, but the possibilities are obviously present, and I hope to make a publication in the near future on a topic that interests me.

I applied to HSE through the Russian Cultural Centre in Budapest, where I had to go through a multi-stage approval. I would characterize it as lots of paperwork and effort, but it pays off in the end. The programme change took place already here, in Moscow, during the preparatory year. That was a bit smoother since I had most of the documents done.

Preparatory Year

One of the best teachers in Preparatory Year was Vasiliy Kuza who taught history. He could show new, unknown aspects of Russian history. Also, Valeria Kirova, our math teacher was able to prepare us for the final exam successfully, which was quite a challenge in my case after not studying math for 8 years.

Maria Rostovskaya was one of our teachers of Russian language. I would describe her as the master of phonetics. She made us pronounce letters we didn't even know existed. She made the lessons very interactive and interesting. The same can be said about Ekaterina Kornakova, who is an experienced teacher with good and interesting plans that made every lesson interesting.

Master’s Programme Courses

Multidisciplinarity is among the biggest challenges for me. The programme tries to combine three different disciplines, which requires lots of effort, background knowledge, time, and energy. However, by trying to meet these requirements and organize my work, I can manage to prepare well enough. But of course, there are times when I feel like I'm underwater.

The amount of the material that needs to be learned is huge and sometimes new, which can be really hard. There is also the problem of multitasking, which is a side effect of the online format. All our lectures are arranged in a fully online format, which has its advantages (such as saving time on traveling) and disadvantages (missing out on social life).

In the PEP programme, it is really hard to pick only one teacher and subject I enjoy because there are quite a few interesting topics we are studying.

Since it is my first year, there are many courses ahead, but to just to mention a few, I really liked:

Still, this is only a limited list of the subjects I liked, and there are many interesting ones ahead, such as Political Ethics with Boris Kapustin or Heidegger and Contemporary Philosophy from the university-wide of electives.

'I Would Recommend the Programme to My Friends'

Franz Waltenberger, graduate of PEP programme
Photo courtesy of Franz Waltenberg

Franz Waltenberger graduated from PEP programme in 2020. He is currently living in Munich and working as a doctoral candidate at the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM), a joint institution of the TU and LMU Munich.

For me the PEP programme was a very good choice. After my bachelor's degree, I felt the need to expand my understanding of the world and that's exactly what the programme helped me achieve. Often times I catch myself thinking about ideas and facts that are directly related to the classes I took during my master's at the HSE. 

The greatest thing I got from the programme was an overarching knowledge in politics, but also economics.

I think my initial knowledge of philosophy was too little to fully benefit from the classes, but it worked really well in politics and economics. The most influential professor I had was Mikhail Mironyuk who provided me with excellent guidance and supervision during my work on my thesis. I also very much enjoyed the classes of Oleg Ananyin and the one and only Leonid Grigoryev, which were both entertaining and enlightening. Additionally, I can very much recommend the classes of Israel Marques, an outstanding educator and expert in his field. 

In terms of soft skills, it really is hard to distinguish between the programme and Moscow itself. The overall experience was very good in terms of personal growth. I learned to reach out to others if in need, to fight through hard times and that I could rely on the help of my classmates in case I got stuck. 

I would recommend the programme to my friends, however advise them that they should think about what they are looking for. I am sure that there are more "comfortable" master's programmes in terms of visa, bureaucracy, climate, language and cultural barriers but on the other hand I did not look for something comfortable when I applied.

I wanted a challenging programme and an opportunity for personal growth and that's exactly what I got and why I am happy with my choice. 

I am still in touch with several students and I am carefully optimistic that once Corona is over and we can travel again there will be even more contact. For the next four years, I will continue pursuing my PhD - afterwards I am not sure what I'll be doing, but who knows in these times. But I hope I'll still be learning Russian with my teacher from Moscow via Zoom!

HSE University welcomes applicants from all over the world and offers not only different levels of study, but also different formats in English and Russian, online and offline. International applicants can apply for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in a separate admissions process for foreign applicants and receive scholarships with full or partial tuition fee coverage.

Master’s applicants also have the opportunity to get a preliminary assessment of their portfolio and communicate with their programme of choice online. There are also ZOOM consulations available for graduate and undergraduate applicants.

To learn more about HSE University, its admission process, or life in Moscow, please visit International Admissions website, or contact the Education & Training Advisory Centre at: inter@hse.ru, or via WhatsApp at: +7 (916) 311 8521.

See also:

Teaching Masters' Students and Conducting Lectures in English Boost Academic Productivity

HSE researchers have analysed teaching load data at the HSE campus in St Petersburg to investigate the potential impact of teaching on faculty research output. They found that factors such as teaching primarily masters' courses, conducting 20% of lectures in English, and supervising only one doctoral student per year were associated with a greater likelihood of producing more high-quality academic papers. The study has been published in Higher Education Quarterly.

'HSE Paved My Road to Harvard'

Nargiz Mammadova, from Azerbaijan, is a 2022 graduate of the Economics: Research Programme and a finalist of the Global Essay Competition in St. Gallen. As she prepares to start her Master of Public Administration in International Development programme at Harvard in August 2023, Nargiz reflects on her time studying at HSE University during the COVID-19 pandemic, talks about her work for the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, and shares an important message for future students.

Income and Cost of Living Distribution Found to Be Similar in Russia and US

Researchers at the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences Laboratory for Wealth Measurement analysed income and cost of living data at the sub-regional level in Russia (municipalities) and in the US (counties). The study reveals that territorial differences in the cost of living are more pronounced in Russia compared to the United States. However, the distribution of overall income across settlements of varying sizes is quite comparable in both countries. The article has been published in the HSE Economic Journal.

12% of Middle-aged Female Russians Look After Both Children and Parents at the Same Time

Economists at¬†HSE University¬†and the Russian¬†Presidential¬†Academy of National Economy and Public Administration¬†(RANEPA)¬†have¬†assessed the situation of women¬†from¬†the¬†‚Äėsandwich generation‚Äô ‚ÄĒ¬†those who have to take care of both their children and elderly parents. The results were mixed: women in this situation often fail to eat¬†regularly, neglect medical¬†check-ups¬†and are more likely to be overweight, but at the same time suffer less frequently from chronic diseases, smoke and drink less and generally show a higher level of life satisfaction. The preprint of the study is¬†published¬†in the¬†Munich Personal¬†RePEc¬†Archive.

‚ÄėIt‚Äôs a Very Small Area of Political Science, and Working to Redress That Is Very Satisfying‚Äô

On March 15, Judas Everett defended his doctoral dissertation ‚ÄėThe Effect of the Patterns in the Dissolution of Communism on the Transition to New Systems in Eastern Europe‚Äô, which investigates the relationship between the demise of communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe and the quality of democracy in the post-communist regime. The defence took place remotely. His academic supervisor was Professor Andrey Akhremenko of the HSE University School of Politics and Governance at the Faculty of Social Sciences. In his interview, Judas talks about the topic of his research and explains why political science is more important than ever.

Defenders in Football Underrated in the Transfer Market

Having analysed the statistics of players in the German Bundesliga, researchers from the HSE University Laboratory of Sports Studies found that the impact of defensive actions by players during a football match is much greater than contribution of such actions to their market value. The results of the study were published in the journal Applied Economics.

Graduate Admissions Webinars: PhD Programme in Economics

On February 1, 2023, HSE University will open admissions to its doctoral schools. The Doctoral School of Economics has held a webinar for prospective students, which attracted participants from various parts of the world. Materials and feedback from the webinar, as well as information on applications, are now available on the Faculty of Economic Sciences website.

HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences Co-Authors Intercontinental Monograph

The monograph Russian and Western Economic Thought has been published under the editorship of the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences and the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart (Germany). Written by a selection of respected experts, the monograph examines the interrelations and mutual influence of Russian and Western economic thinking. The book is edited by Prof. Vladimir Avtonomov, HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences, and Prof. Harald Hagemann, the University of Hohenheim.

Cliometrics: 20th-century Revolutions Came in Waves

Having studied the 20th century revolutionary processes, Andrey Korotayev (HSE), Leonid Grinin (HSE) and Anton Grinin (MSU) have put together an extensive evidence base, proposed a new typology of revolutions and revolutionary waves, and introduced the concept of 'analogues of revolutions'. Their study '20th Century Revolutions: Characteristics, Types, and Waves' is the follow-up to an earlier paper published in Russian. The new findings are presented in Humanities & Social Sciences Communications.

Incompatible Alternatives: HSE Researchers on the Ambivalence of Power in the Twenty-first Century Economy

Ambivalence and a combination of contradictory principles are vividly manifested in the actions of government, its individual agents and institutions, as well as the everyday practices of economic subjects and citizens. The participants of the HSE Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology seminar discussed the book The Ambivalence of Power in the Twenty-First Century Economy: Cases from Russia and Beyond, recently published in the UK. Prepared by researchers from HSE University and foreign universities, the book focuses on the study of ambivalence in Russia and beyond.