The Bachelor Degree Programme “International Politics” prepares specialists in international political analysis, international activities pursued by educational, public, and business organizations, academic research in political science, political expertise and political journalism. The programme is implemented jointly with the RANEPA Institute for Social Sciences.
Political science in Shaninka is not about public service, management, and even less about diplomacy. It is primarily a way to understand and explain the world in which we all live; to collect a meaningful picture from hundreds of events that flash in front of our eyes daily to give an answer to the key question that interests not only political science, but any science in general - the question “Why?” Why does the electoral system design impact results of elections? Why do some states strive to possess nuclear weapons, while others do not even attempt to obtain them? Why has mass culture become a space for reflection and criticism of political problems? These issues along with hundreds of other equally interesting “Whys” are precisely in the center of our attention, and together we are looking for answers to them - in a dialogue with each other and also following the present-day standards, approaches, and practices adopted in European universities.
Training ProgramAll training courses of the programme can be divided into four main thematic cycles:
- Historical and geographical cycle: History of Europe and America; History of the East; Political and Economic Geography; History of International Relations and Diplomacy;
- Political and Philosophical Cycle: Introduction to Political Theory; Theories of International Relations; Foundations of the Theory of Law; Political Sociology; International Political Economy;
- International Cross-Cultural Cycle: Comparative Politics; State, Nation, and Nationalism in the Modern World; Introduction to Political Conflicts; Contemporary European Politics; Culture and Politics of the Far East; Islamic Community and Orientalism;
- Foreign languages.
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated, please contact us for the latest information.
When we started our Political Science course, we were asked to explain in writing what we think politics is. Everyone started to write that it was all about news or people in suits who make decisions. It is not about us. And then we begin to discuss quite practical issues that we address in every day life. And you understand that politics is in any of your decisions. Politics is something that penetrates all layers of our society, regardless of whether a person understands it or not. The way how one beggar comes up to an agreement with another beggar, impacts decisions made at the very top of the society.
Program LecturersAll lecturers who deliver the program courses are active researchers with a European educational background, fluent English, and with a professional track record in UK or US universities. Research-led teaching (teaching based on findings of one's own research) is a fundamental principle of the program.
International InternshipsInternational language and professional internships, and summer schools in the UK and other European countries:
- Language courses at the Coventry University;
- Language courses in the country of the second studied language (France, Germany, Spain, China, etc., after the second year of study);
- Professional internships at the Coventry University.
During my training in Shaninka I visited England twice: after the first and after the third year. During my first internship, I had a detailed look at Manchester. My second internship after the 3rd year was already a professional internship - we traveled jointly with students from Master Degree programs, and we were engaged in research work design. We were taught how to structure our text to make it readable and to get positive assessment. However, my internship in France was the most memorable for me. I am used to speaking English abroad. And here there was an attitude that you were in the same conditions as the others, and I realized that I could not say anything. But since everyone around me, I mean the students, felt the same, it somehow united us.
Teaching in EnglishMost of the disciplines are taught in English. The number of disciplines in English is increasing gradually, to make students adapt to studying in English.
Two foreign languagesStudents learn two foreign languages from the first year. English is a compulsory foreign language. Prior to studying, students’ knowledge of English is tested and then the students are divided into groups according to the language proficiency level.
Students choose the second foreign language from 4 available languages: French, German, Spanish or Chinese.
Our classes, without exception, are arranged as seminars. This means that the classroom becomes a space for creative dialogues and free discussions, without turning into a dull amphitheater hall, where everyone, both the lecturer and students, serve their duty an hour and a half long, fighting boredom and sleep. The seminar format also turns the classroom into a space of individual responsibility - forcing students to prepare harder at home, making them sharpen their saws in finding right arguments, and to be sensitive to ideas expressed by others, to work with data and be able to interpret them. That is why we work in such small groups: these skills simply cannot be developed otherwise than through the scrupulous, almost individual, work of a lecturer with a narrow circle of students.
Critical Thinking and Academic WritingCritical thinking and academic writing are developed in both Russian and English.
Just as solo diving can be dangerous, writing texts without careful support from lecturers will have no effect. We demonstrate students the best examples of political science research as benchmarks for their own work, and then we together, text by text, sentence by sentence, argument by argument, in painstaking individual work, we comment on and edit what students write.
During the first year, I was told that there are no lectures attended simultaneously by all students: when there are approximately 300 students listening to one lecturer, I see no point in this. The fact that we do not have this practice here means that you can always ask the lecturer something directly, in the flow. Rather than waiting for the class to be over. All classes are arranged in narrow circles, i.e. in small groups with the teacher being on the same level with the students. I think this makes you feel comfortable and multiplies the amount of information that you take away from the class. Everything delivered in this format is more efficient. For example they asked us to read some book or article - and when in class we do not just listen to the lecturer’s interpretation, but with his help we discuss the text among ourselves. Through this practice, we see different points of view and we can proceed exploring them in class. Perhaps the lecturer is wrong! The inherent quality of human sciences is that everything can be looked at different angles. Your interpretation may differ from that of the lecturer, and it could be further discussed.
UK Assessment Procedure
All our exams represent some kind of reflection on a given topic. It differs from the approach when you come into the exam room, take an exam ticket and start considering an answer. To write something, you really need to understand something. And it is impossible to pass the Shaninka exams if you have nothing inside. Our work is to constantly think about this topic. It was a regular thing for me – when the seminar was over, and I was already travelling in the metro, I still continued reflecting on some statements that hooked me during the seminar. That is how you work. In the end, you sit down to write an essay or come to an exam with some practical results, you have ideas. In this regard, Shaninka’s work is very creative.
Free Academic Communication EnvironmentSimilar to European universities, the UK Bachelor Degree programmes have adopted an equal and tolerant style of relations accepting representatives of different cultures, identities, religions, and mindsets. A friendly atmosphere, honesty and transparency of procedures regarding assessing of academic progress and student performance.
Alumni Career Paths
- Fluency in spoken and written English, and proficiency in the second (European or Asian) foreign language;
- Academic knowledge of social and political theory, modern and present-day history, and cultural processes in a fast changing world;
- Analytical skills related to international political, historical and cultural processes, application of advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods;
- Skills in writing journalistic and research texts in Russian and English.
Program graduates can be successful in a variety of careers:
- Political analysts in public and private information and analytical structures;
- Political commentators;
- Lecturers and academic researchers;
- Experts working in international relations departments in large companies, educational and public organizations, and international political advisors in private and public companies.
Our Bachelor Degrees alumni who graduated from the Faculty in summer of 2019 are now working in various areas - in the Kommersant Publishing House, City Bank Commercial Bank, PR Partner agency, Gorbachev Fund Research Fund, or they proceed their studies at Master Degree programmes.
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