Summary of Degree Programme
58.04.01 Asian and African Studies
Full-time, 120 з.е.
Instruction in English
Specific benefits of the program include:
1. The program combines professional Oriental studies with a modern framework for the study of economics, and in particular, with the study of economic development and the development of state and local management of socio-economic processes.
2. NRU HSE has a reputation as being the leading Russian university for the training of specialists in Oriental studies, thanks in part to the fact that the Oriental studies department was established with a strong scientific focus. Thanks to the HSE brand, the best applicants and most-experienced teachers are attracted to come to the university to work at a very high level and offer innovative teaching techniques.
3. There is a strongly international feel to the program (taught in English, opportunities for academic mobility, etc.), which provides graduates with a more rounded global vision and prepares students for careers in an international environment.
4. There is a high demand among employers for HSE graduates in St. Petersburg, Moscow and other Russian cities.
The master’s degree program ‘Business and Politics in Modern Asia’ has been designed to provide graduates with the professional skills and competences expected by NRU HSE and to meet the requirements of the university’s educational standard.
During the course of the master’s program, students will acquire the skills required to carry out professional tasks across the following areas:
Research and teaching:
- Conducting fundamental theoretical and applied research in the field of Oriental studies;
- Conducting scientific work in research and analytical institutions and organizations using Oriental studies methodology and materials in foreign (primarily Oriental) languages;
- Planning, organizing and conducting scientific, educational and methodological work in institutions of higher education;
- Teaching disciplines of Oriental studies.
Informational and expert-analytical work:
- Conducting analytical research individually or in groups using source information and materials in foreign languages;
- Carrying out informational and expert-analytical work on socio-economic, political, ethno-cultural and religious aspects of Eastern countries and peoples; conducting expert research, preparing expert assessments and proposals for decision-making;
- Conducting expert research into the structures, institutions, organizations and subdivisions of state and municipal authorities, public organizations and commercial structures, while also making use of international and cross-cultural contacts with Asian and African countries;
- Organizing and implementing informational programs and providing informational support for research into political and socio-political trends and processes related to cooperation with Eastern countries;
- Editing scientific, business and journalistic papers in the sphere of Oriental studies and interrelations with Eastern countries;
- Developing conceptual foundations of socio-economic, political, historical and cultural aspects of the activities of Russian organizations and institutions in Asia and Africa.
Organizational and managerial work:
- Managing scientific, research and expert-analytical projects and programs carrying out research into Eastern countries for the benefit of state institutions, central and regional authorities, and research centers, as well as commercial organizations;
- Organizing informational, analytical and expert support for communication between interstate, diplomatic, business, scientific, technical, and humanitarian contacts with countries and regions of Asia and Africa;
- Organizing economic, social and cultural projects and development programs implemented within state structures, the municipal administration, and public and commercial organizations cooperating with Asian and African countries;
- Organizing international discussions, meetings, conferences and seminars;
- Conducting negotiations and business correspondence and establishing business relations while also having an acute level of cultural awareness when working with Eastern countries;
- Improving the quality of professional planning and organization to meet the particular requirements of the employer;
- Organizing cooperation with mass media and media structures to widen economic, socio-political, historical and cultural knowledge within the subject of Oriental studies.
Having completed the master’s program, graduates will have acquired the following professional skills and competences. They will be able to:
· Independently determine research problems across a wide range of areas within Asian and African studies ( PC-1).
· Produce business, scientific and informal texts in both English and at least one Eastern language (PC-2).
· Verify, comment on and prepare written and oral sources for publication; and edit scientific and journalistic texts, reports, files, and articles on the subject of development in Asia and Africa (PC-3).
· Formulate and justify proposals for joint Oriental research and scientific, analytical and applied work (PC-4).
· Present the results of their work in English and at least one Eastern language directly to their audience and indirectly via mass media and the internet (PC-5).
· Conduct business negotiations in foreign languages (English at least one Eastern language) (PC-6).
· Organize the development, testing and practical implementation of research results (PC-7).
· Use the language and apparatus of Oriental studies to solve interdisciplinary scientific, theoretical and applied problems in related professional fields (PC-8).
· Develop complex Oriental studies-based projects using modern conceptual models. Research domestic and foreign Oriental studies technologies (PC-9).
· Use traditional and interactive methods of both in-class and out of class work to teach the basics of oriental studies and a variety of special oriental disciplines (PC-10).
· Use modern domestic and foreign concepts, models and methods for the examination of written sources and artifacts (attribution, dating, nomination, authentication, research, expert evaluation, etc.) and present the results in the form of various types of expert texts (PC-11).
· Advise individuals, departments and organizations on development problems in Asia and Africa using modern methods of direct and remote (ICT) counseling (PC-12).
· Analyze the historical roots of modern-day processes in Asia and Africa and make medium and long-term forecasts of development trends (PC-13).
The public demand for specialist Orientalists with in-depth knowledge of economic, political and socio-cultural developments in modern Asian states and societies is steadily increasing. As the degree of interaction between Russia and Asian countries continues to intensify at both the interstate and commercial levels, the need for consulting and expert-analytical companies and organizations in this field is also growing. With this in mind, graduates of this program are in high-demand and their potential employers include:
· Various ministries of the Russian Federation, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Transport, Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, etc.
· State-owned corporations (Gazprom, Rosneft, Russian Railways).
· Large and medium-sized foreign and Russian companies, where graduates of the master's program may be employed as project managers, analysts, or representatives of Russian companies operating in Asia.
· Consulting firms and investment companies promoting foreign and domestic businesses to Eastern markets, such as Legal bridge, West Union, Document 24, MRB-Vostok, Vremya Biznes, Tramis, etc.
· Expert-analytical, research and teaching positions in foreign and domestic universities, institutes, research centers and other organizations within the Russian Academy of Sciences will be open to Orientalists who understand economic developments across a variety of Asian countries.
· Digital and print media (internet publications, newspapers, journals, magazines, television, etc.)
· Private equity and venture capital funds where graduates of the program could lead projects related to Asia.
Graduates of this master's program will be able to pursue a professional career in science and teach at HSE-St. Petersburg or other higher education institutions.
The curriculum is divided into three main areas: general modules; program modules (both core and elective); and specialized modules. In the first year of the program, students will primarily study general modules as well as the bulk of the program’s core subjects and some elective modules. While specializations will be taught within the framework of the program’s elective modules. In the second year, however, students will study two independently taught specializations and all modules will be conducted in English. Elective courses are available in both the first and second years of the program.
Students whose previous education was not related to Oriental or African studies will have the opportunity to take on additional adaptation courses to help prepare them for their studies.
The curriculum consists of modules, practicals, certification tests, state examinations and other types of educational activities, all of which are weighted according to their credits and shown according to their order and distribution within the study period. For each module and practical, student certification is held in the form of an exam.
The program is divided into three main areas:
1) Base modules taught in accordance with the state educational standard.
The course ‘Current Problems of Studying the East’ is taught in the first term of the program to give students who have not previously read Oriental studies a better understanding and grounding in the nature of the field of Oriental studies, to fill in any gaps in knowledge, and to help students to formulate their future research.
‘Methodology of Socio-Political Research in East Asia’ is taught in teaching blocks 1,2, and 3 of the first year. The course allows students to master research methods that they have not previously applied, giving them an excellent grounding in political science methodologies to help them conduct their future research.
Base courses such as ‘Introduction to Business and Intercultural Communication in Asia’, ‘Russia and Asian Countries’, ‘National Identity and Socio-Political Development in Asia’, and ‘Politics and Systems of Public Administration in Asia’ are all taught throughout the first year of the program. These units help students to understand in detail the international, political, economic and environmental contexts in Asia and compare them with other countries, and Russian in particular. Thanks to research by specialists in the culture and traditions of Asian countries, students have the opportunity to learn about cultural diversity in Asia and how Asian countries cooperate with one another.
2) Core compulsory modules of the ‘Business and Politics in Modern Asia’ program.
Among the compulsory disciplines of the variable part of the OP, it is worth highlighting such courses as "Politics and society in Central Asia", "Global processes and international economic relations in the EAEU and Greater Asia", "Features of transnational Islamic business in Asia", "Business and entrepreneurship in Asia", which allow students to gain practical knowledge on negotiating and business with partners from Asian countries.
The core compulsory modules of the program include units such as ‘Politics and Society in Central Asia’, ‘Global Processes and International Economic Relations in the EAEU and Greater Asia’, ‘Features of Transnational Islamic Business in Asia’, and ‘Business and Entrepreneurship in Asia, among others. These courses give students practical knowledge of how business negotiations and processes are conducted with partners in Asian countries. It should be noted that all courses are taught by professionals and specialists who have practical experience in business, making these courses even more attractive for students.
3) Elective courses
Second-year students can choose from a range of courses such as ‘Economics and Finance in the Near and Middle East’, ‘the Historical, Political and Economic Integration of BRICS’, ‘Russia’s Identity in World Politics (From the Global South to the Global Nomads)’, ‘Computational Text Analysis’, and ‘Governance and Politics in East Asian Countries.’ These courses give students the opportunity to broaden their horizons and competences across a number of important topics and issues.
In addition, students will participate in a research seminar in their given field. The purpose of the research seminar is to develop students' research skills as they prepare their master's theses.
The main tasks of the research seminar are as follows:
1. Help students to choose the direction and topic of their research that is also oriented towards their future careers;
2. Develop students’ holistic view of the processes of scientific thinking, as well as modern views on scientific knowledge and scientific research;
3. Further students’ ability to apply research tools when conducting analysis that reflects their own research interests. This includes the ability to apply both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis, depending on the nature of the research;
4. Promote students’ ability to conduct research assignments and projects in groups, allowing them to get acquainted with the skills required to carry out research in a team;
5. Develop individual scientific research skills, including the ability to publicly present any research findings;
6. Teach students rigorous academic research skills, including the preparation and carrying out of research projects, and writing scientific papers;
7. Discuss students’ projects and finished research papers;
8. Further students’ ability to work with scientific literature and statistical databases, and to write research papers and present their results in a foreign language (English).
9. The final task of the research seminar is to put students’ scientific work at the centre of the program as a permanent and systematic element of the educational process. Students will learn in detail the broad range of technological and methodological possibilities of scientific research.
The research seminar acts as the basis for students’ research and aims to get students to master all the possible stages of political science research, culminating in the successful composition and defense of their master's theses. During the research seminars, first-year students will consider and discuss the subjects of their term papers, while second-year students will work on developing their master’s theses. Students will also carry out pre-defense assessments of their term papers and master’s theses.
The research seminar has scientific, educational and methodological purposes: teachers and experts, and the students themselves, can make reports and presentations on scientific research as they begin to conduct their own academic analyses. Students' independent research projects will be discussed right from the preliminary stages, through to the stage of topic selection formation of research hypotheses. The seminars also play a vitally important training function. Students will learn how to properly design their work and presentations, make reports, conduct scientific discussions, and critique other research. In the second year of study, students will present their research during the seminars as a form of pre-defense of their master's theses.
The research seminar is held during modules 1-4 of the first year and module 3 of the second year. This includes weekly classroom sessions on an approved schedule and students are expected to complete a specified amount of independent work.
During the research seminar, active, interactive, problem-finding and reproductive methods of organization and implementation of educational and cognitive processes are used. Classes and independent work are organized mainly in the format of collective research and project work with an emphasis on the taught side of the program.
During the first term of the research seminar students will decide upon their proposed specializations. However, during the first two months of the program, the main focus of the seminar is on the methods of scientific research in the field of Oriental studies.
During the program, lectures and master classes will be conducted by specialist guest lecturers from other universities, including foreign institutions.
This degree programme of HSE University is adapted for students with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. Special assistive technology and teaching aids are used for collective and individual learning of students with SEN and disabilities. The specific adaptive features of the programme are listed in each subject's full syllabus and are available to students through the online Learning Management System.
All documents of the degree programme are stored electronically on this website. Curricula, calendar plans, and syllabi are developed and approved electronically in corporate information systems. Their current versions are automatically published on the website of the degree programme. Up-to-date teaching and learning guides, assessment tools, and other relevant documents are stored on the website of the degree programme in accordance with the local regulatory acts of HSE University.
I hereby confirm that the degree programme documents posted on this website are fully up-to-date.
Vice Rector Sergey Yu. Roshchin