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‘When You Get Positive Feedback, You Are Inspired by the Result’

‘When You Get Positive Feedback, You Are Inspired by the Result’

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The admissions campaign for the ‘Applied Social Psychology’ English-language programme of the Faculty of Social Sciences has started. From September 2022, this master’s programme, whose structure and curriculum align with those of social psychology programmes at European universities, will be delivered online.

The programme trains world-class psychologists capable of coping with the tasks of intercultural interaction and economic behaviour. Such experts are especially in demand in the ‘new normal’, with its breaks in established social ties and rapidly changing social relations. In this paradigm, graduates of the Master’s in Applied Social Psychology have an important mission to establish intercultural, intergenerational, and interpersonal relations. Alexander Tatarko, the programme’s Academic Supervisor, spoke about the programme’s relevance and the competencies of its graduates.

Alexander Tatarko, Academic Supervisor of 'Applied Social Psychology' programme

What skills can the graduates of the programme apply in real life?

Our graduates are fluent in both theoretical knowledge in the field of social psychology and the practical skills of a psychologist and researcher. They can predict and interpret people's behaviour, their reaction to socio-economic and political events, carry out competent and effective psychological support of intercultural negotiations, analyse and explain mass behaviour and many other socio-psychological processes and phenomena. They can also engage in monitoring and research of socio-psychological processes in society, help with socio-psychological and socio-cultural adaptation, evaluate the effectiveness of various social programmes and much more.

More information about HSE University's online programmes can be found here.

In fact, social psychologists skilled in the research and analysis of social processes can apply their knowledge in any field that involves interpersonal interaction.

What’s the structure of the Master’s programme?

The programme trains specialists in various fields of theoretical and applied social psychology in two tracks: Social Psychology and Cross-cultural Psychology; and Economic and Organisational Psychology. Students can compile an individual curriculum that combines programme-specific elective courses with university-wide electives, online courses and individual topics of the Master's thesis. The courses are taught by leading specialists and researchers of the Centre for Sociocultural Research.

The programme includes courses in:

• Cross-cultural Psychology

• Modern Social Psychology

• Environmental Psychology

• Work and Organisational Psychology

• Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology

• Cross-cultural Psychology of Organisational Behaviour

• Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: Social and Cultural Contexts

• Behavioural Economics

• Social Psychology of Prejudice

• Intercultural Conflicts and Negotiations

The programme’s international status attracts renowned foreign experts in the field of psychology. There are short-term academic mobility options: for one semester as part of university partnership agreements or for up to two semesters as part of exchange programmes offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences.

What does the practical side of the programme involve?

From the very beginning of their studies, students gain practical experience of participating in research projects by applying for a research assistant position at the Centre for Sociocultural Research. They participate in research projects led by the Centre's employees or take part in real research into, for example, people's values or strategies of economic behaviour in the current socio-economic situation.

What career opportunities do graduates of the programme have?

Graduates can develop in the academic field by continuing their studies at an HSE University doctoral school or working in scientific and research organisations (the Centre for Sociocultural Research, LCSR, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, the Public Opinion Foundation). They can pursue a teaching career or work in government bodies (departments dealing with social and migration policy). Graduates have also gone on to work in international and Russian commercial companies, consulting centres (centres for the monitoring and prevention of interethnic conflicts, the Tolerance Centre, etc). They can also find interesting work in non-governmental and non-profit organisations such as public and charitable foundations, councils, etc.

What tasks will students and graduates face in light of new geopolitical processes and the socio-economic shifts caused by them?

First of all, to re-establish damaged intercultural ties and partnerships, as well as search for new foreign partners. This includes negotiations—sometimes difficult ones. Graduates will also need to examine the numerous social programmes that will now have to be implemented for the development of our society. In the current political situation, research into moods, opinions, the socio-psychological state of society, and the potential for social cohesion are in great demand. The demand for such research increased sharply after February 24; for example, the number of related requests to our Centre for Sociocultural Research has increased.

What psychological qualities are necessary for experts in applied social psychology?

It is important to be interested in your profession and to be creative, open to new experiences, and productive. I would also say you need optimism, faith in your profession, and a belief that you can make the lives of others better with small deeds. When you get positive feedback, you are inspired by the result.

Information about the programme’s graduates can be found here.