In 2016 St. Petersburg University will open admissions to 205 main educational master programs and profiles (157 main educational programs), 16 of them being new ones. They have been developed in collaboration with partner employers and foreign partner universities.

 

'St. Petersburg University has expanded its portfolio of master's programs by 13%. In 2016/2017 admissions are announced to 205 programs and profiles,' Ekaterina Babelyuk, SPbU Senior Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Methodological Support, says. 'Yet, we do not strain too much after the quantity. We aim at meeting present-day requirements. The master programs we are offering are really up-to-date.

The applicability of each new master program has been defined by those who are most interested in training professionals in the relevant fields of knowledge — the employers.' 'There was a very important criterion in our choice of master programs: there must be a partner among the employers who could confirm that the curriculum is truly essential and they are eager to offer internships to our students in the course of studies,' Ekaterina Babelyuk adds.

SPbU's academic partners are major foreign universities. In collaboration with them double degree programs and student exchange programs are implemented. SPbU has signed about 350 agreements with foreign higher education institutions from 65 countries. The University has enough resources to organise the educational process not only in Russian — at present admissions are open to 14 programs taught in foreign languages.

In 2016/2017 St. Petersburg University will be more open to international applicants as well as to those who come from other regions of Russia. Starting from 1 March 2016 every applicant will be granted access to a Personal Account, that meaning all the documents required for application (copies of the passport and educational credentials as well as photos) can be submitted electronically from anywhere in the world.  What is more, the University annually increases the proportion of admissions tests held in the form of a competitive selection of documents (portfolio). Such a way of admissions test organisation makes it possible to evaluate not only the applicants' level of knowledge (thanks to the essay component which is a creative element of the examination demonstrating the applicant's performance level) but also his or her motivation to study as well as professional training skills and scientific achievements, if any. To pass such an admissions test, the applicant even does not need to come to St. Petersburg in person. The portfolio, like the other documents, must be uploaded to the applicant's Personal Account.'

'The time frames for admissions tests will be changed in 2016/2017. Written examinations will be held in August, not at SPbU only but also in other Russian higher education institutions. At our university they will be organised from 11 to 16 August,' Ekaterina Babelyuk says. 'We have retained the opportunity to submit the documents electronically, in the portfolio format. Since 1 March any applicant may submit the whole set of the required documents through his or her Personal Account and then simply wait for the enrollment.'

 

New Master Programs at SPbU in the 2016/2017 Academic Year

New educational programs guarantee highly specialised training and an opportunity to directly apply the acquired skills in various fields of practical activity.

The Information Technology and Nuclear Technology program will enable its graduates to use in practice the methods of applied mathematics and physics, mathematical modelling and information technology in such fields of science and engineering as nuclear physics, elementary particle physics and accelerator physics. Students will be granted access to take part in experimental research at the scientific facilities of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research located in the Russian town of Dubna.

The Applied and Information Technology. Information Expert Systems program has been developed to train experts capable of using mathematical methods, computer technologies and information expert systems in the fields of applied mathematics and informatics. Particular attention is paid to applied information technology for engineering facilities, industrial processes and socioeconomic systems.

Cold Region Environmental Landscapes Integrated Sciences — CORELIS: research devoted to climate change, Arctic shelf explorations, Northeast Passage development, study of the Antarctic mineral wealth and mountain landscape after deglaciation. Internships in the Arctic are planned within the program. The University of Hamburg is SPbU's principal partner in this program. The internship partners are the University of Helsinki in Lammi and UNIS — the University Centre in Svalbard.

Following the changing line of cutting-edge research, our University is constantly upgrading the contents of its educational programms. Thus, the contents of the profiles of the following programs has been totally modified: Biology: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Plants; Genetics and Biotechnology; Zoology, Hydrobiology, Parasitology, Entomology; Cellular Biology, Immunology, Microbiology, Developmental Biology; Physiology, Biochemistry, Biophysics.

The BRICS Studies program will make it possible to train experts in the field of the current issues of the BRICS group development, organisation of international negotiations including multilateral ones with an account of the BRICS member states' national characteristics.

The increased demand of expert consultants in a broad range of interreligious relations problems lead to the development of the Islamic Studies master program. It expands the sphere of applied Asian and African studies for full participation in the life of international professional communities.

The Current Ethnopolitical Processes in Russia and Worldwide program is aimed at professional study of ethnopolitical processes from the viewpoint of political science. The importance of this program is undebatable for there are neither centres nor programs aimed at training government officials specialising in the field of interethnic relations and capable, among other things, of implementing goals and objectives formulated in the Russian National Policy Strategy Until 2015 and Federal Target Program 'Strengthening of the Russian National Unity and the Ethnocultural Development of the Peoples of Russia (2014–2020)'. The enrollment will be on both the full-time and part-time bases, thus enabling students to flexibly combine work and studies.

The set of profiles of the History program has also been expanded: such profiles as the Formation of the Modern Western Civilisation; The Baltic World: History and Culture; Ethnological Expertise are intended to satisfy an urgent need in practical specialists in these fields.

The French Philosophy program is unparalleled for other Russian higher education institutions. It is aimed at highly professional human resourcing of intercultural communication in the process of interaction between France and Russia and development of research important for the Russian culture which has been closely intertwined with French humanitarian traditions.

The portfolio of the main field of study 'Law' has also been renewed: Human Rights and Their Protection; International Commercial Arbitration (the only master program in Russia offering training in the area of trial practices in international commercial arbitration as a specialised legal authority), European Legal Studies and International Economic Law (the curriculum includes training in Germany and in Russia; following the successful master examination the academic degree 'Master of Laws (LL.M.)' is awarded by the University of Hamburg and the 'Master of Law' degree is awarded by St. Petersburg University). Moreover, a new profile titled 'Pharmaceutical Law' is planned for implementation within the Medical Law program. It will be reorganised into a separate program in the long view.

The unique character of the new programs within the main field of study 'Linguistics' (Theory, History and Methodology of Translation; Simultaneous Interpreting; Literary Translation; General and Applied Phonetics) lies in the specification of the area of future translators' professional activity. That will solve the problem of training experts in the field of applied translation studies.

The fact that SPbU became a member of the Association of Creative Higher Education Institutions of St. Petersburg has specified the vector of research in culture and art, the Philosophy of Art program being a result thereof. It will make it possible for the graduates to perform a socially demanded function of 'commenting art'. The program provides for the formation of a complex vision and understanding of the phenomenon of art  as well as for employment opportunities in organisations related to the art community. The graduates will also be able to act as highly competent experts and consultants in the field of the present-day artistic process.