Bachelor’s Programme 'HSE and University of London Parallel Degree Programme in International Relations'


Program Description

The Bachelor in International Relations is an English-taught parallel degree programme that combines the academic strengths of HSE and University of London and enables students to earn Russian and British degrees. Over the course of four years, students study a wide range of subjects, including political science, history, economics, and foreign languages. Graduates of the programme are well prepared to begin their careers in business, civil service or academia, or to continue their education by pursuing a master’s degree in Russia or internationally.

Programme Overview

Led entirely in English, the parallel degree International Relations Bachelor programme prepares students for careers in the international public and private spheres. Successful graduates receive two degrees: a Russian Bachelor in International Relations from HSE and a British Bachelor of Science (BSc) in International Relations from University of London (UoL).

All courses are taught in Moscow and students can apply to participate in short-term study programmes (for example, summer schools) in the UK. Staff from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (which serves as the Lead College for the University of London International Relations BSc) develop the programme’s syllabi, prepare study materials, and assess students.

The programme combines the academic strengths of HSE and UoL, offering a wide selection of rigorous courses in fields ranging from history and political science to economics and mathematics, and including a choice among five different foreign languages. Students build their own intellectual and communication skills, develop strong, persuasive writing skills, and hone their ability to formulate, analyze and discuss ideas. Graduates of the programme are well prepared to begin their careers in business, civil service or academia, or to continue their education by pursuing a master’s degree in Russia or internationally.

The application process is highly competitive and based on merit. Candidates may apply in English or in Russian:

  • English-speaking applicants must apply through entrance exams organized by HSE
  • Russian-speaking applicants must apply through the Unified State Exam (in social sciences, Russian and foreign language)

Successful applicants must also provide evidence of their English language proficiency through results from international language exams (for example, IELTS or TOEFL). Students who have at last 5 years of education at the secondary school level entirely in English are exempt and do not have to submit certificates. Please note that the application to University of London (in English) is separate.

This programme is tuition-based and Russian Government scholarships are not available, however, HSE will offer bursaries to a number of successful candidates.

Learning Process

The learning process includes:

  • Core Curriculum Courses
  • Profile "International Relations"
  • Specializations
  • Foreign Language (English)
  • Second foreign language (European or Eastern)
  • Online courses and electives
  • Essays, course paper

The first course is implemented by the faculty of the world economy and international affairs, it consists of core curriculum disciplines and at the same time is preparing students for admission to the University of London. To do this, first-year students must pass the exams, as well as IELTS * for 6 or more points.

The undergraduate degree program at the University of London lasts three years. Following the four years of study at the International Relations program and after successfully passing the final examinations, diplomas of two universities are awarded - HSE and the University of London.

In the first year, students choose to study a foreign language (in addition to English). They are offered a choice of European and Oriental languages ​​(for more on teaching, see Foreign Languages). In previous years, the most popular languages ​​were Spanish, German and Chinese. There are also groups in French, Italian and Japanese. However, with a sufficient number of interested students, groups in Turkish, Hebrew, Hindi and other foreign languages ​​may also be opened.

An integral part of the program are disciplines of specialization, where students acquire practical skills related to international studies and a future profession in the field of international relations, with an emphasis on the predominantly corporate sector. The choice of specialization occurs after the first course. Currently, students are offered two specializations: International Economics and Business and International Politics and Public Relations.


Beginning with the second 2nd year of the program students choose one of the 2 specializations offered:

  • “International economics and business”
  • “International politics and public relations”

The main objective of choosing between two specializations is to enrich the fundamental education in the sphere of International Relations with practically oriented disciplines. On the one hand, it will demonstrate to students how to put obtained knowledge into the practice. On the other hand, specializations are capable to provide practical skills to be useful in the future profession. Eventually, in order to introduce the student in the perspectives of professional orientation disciplines are matched with each other letting on the student to try all of them and to define his future career trajectory.


The admission of international students is based on History (min. 55 points out of 100)and English language (min. 75 points out of 100) examinations, conducted by the HSE.

History (min. 55 points):

  • Format: written test
  • Duration: 180 minutes

English language (min. 75 points):

  • Format: written test
  • Duration: 180 minutes

Proficiency in English:
Bachelor’s HSE and London University Parallel Degree Programme in International Relations is led entirely in English. Therefore, high level of proficiency in the language is needed.

As an additional advantage for the applicant, we accept and consider IELTS, TOEFL, CPE, CAE certificates. Lack of certificates does not remove you from admission process.

Foreign languages

Foreign language instruction is delivered by the Department of Foreign Languages headed by Distinguished Professor Irina V. Yukusheva, who has been charing the department for over 15 years now, also serving on the programme academic board. The team unites professors with international experience using cutting edge methods of foreign language teaching aligned with major international frameworks like CEFR and ACTFL. Special English language instruction is provided in regards to IELTS preparation (a UoL entrance requirement of 6.0 overall score) and Business English during the first year of the program.

Along with English, parallel degree students have a choice of a foreign language:

  • German
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Arabic
  • Korean
  • Russian also taught by the HSE faculty with years of experience and international expertise. Vigorous class schedule allows to master a foreign language from the beginner level to advanced placing emphasis on presentational, interpretive and interpersonal modes, incorporating intercultural approach as well. For those who have already studied a foreign language, there is also a possibility to attend electives. There are 6-9 students in each group.

Data culture

Data Culture — is a special term used to define skills and culture of working with data. A modern expert always is confronted with the challenges of data processing: a lawyer studies hundreds of cases, a historian – thousands of documents in different languages, an economist develops a forecast model based on a large amount of data.

Career Opportunities

The program in the field of International Relations prepares specialists in different areas, who speak English at a high level, who is familiar with the international aspects of various applied questions, and also have basic practical skills in a number of areas (see Specializations). The graduates' employment experience of the "International Relations", as well as their career with two diplomas (HSE and University of London) allow us to identify the following career and educational trajectories for our students:

  • International departments specialists in Russian and foreign companies responsible for international communications, negotiations, transaction support and contracting
  • Expert analysts and risk analysts preparing reports for business and investment companies (McKinsey, Big four– PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG)
  • Translators-consultants abroad (in another country or region) in large domestic and foreign enterprises
  • Journalists and editors of leading international news agencies, media, also publishing houses like Elsevier, Thomson Reuters, McGraw-Hill, etc.
  • Analytical centers experts in the field of corporate and political consulting; experts from research centers and institutions (governmental and non-profit)
  • International and intergovernmental organizations employees, such as the UN, BRICS, SCO, APEC, and others
  • State structures employees who are connected with international cooperation and international economic transactions support (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international departments in other ministries, embassies, chambers of commerce and industry)
  • Press services employees of government departments and journalists (including foreign representations of Russian media) in the field of international relations and domestic politics
  • Government authorities interactions experts (GR managers) of TNCs and foreign large companies
  • Managers and consultants in the tourism field
  • Own business founders with its withdrawal prospect to international markets

The program also allows you to continue your studies in the leading foreign magistracy, such as:

  • MSc International Political Economy (LSE, King's College, Harvard)
  • MSc/MPhil International Relations (LSE, Cambridge, King's College, Penn)
  • MSc Management and Strategy (LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, King's College, UCL, Yale, Penn)
  • MSc Media and Communications / Media Management (LSE, King's College, University of Passau)
  • MBA and Executive MBA (LSE, King's College, Berkeley, Irvine, Stanford, Yale, Dartmouth, Penn, Harvard, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA) Programme (LSE, Berkeley, Penn, Harvard)
  • MSc Public Policy and Administration (LSE, Cambridge, King's College, UCL, Berkeley, Irvine, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Harvard, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
  • MSc Development Management /Emerging Economies & International Development (LSE, King's College, Penn, Harvard, University of Passau)
  • MSc International Business / Management (HSE, King's College, Yale, Penn)
  • MSc International Marketing (King's College, Penn, University of Passau)
  • Masters Degrees – Area Studies Research (European, Middle East, South-East, China, Latin America, African, Religious)
  • MSc Global Politics (LSE, Yale, Heidelberg University)
  • MSc Operations Research & Analytics (LSE)
  • MSc Politics and Communication (LSE, University of Passau, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
  • MSc Business Analytics (UCL, Irvine, Penn)
  • MSc Human Resources and Organisations (LSE)
  • Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy (LSE)
  • MSc Education, Globalisation and International Development (Cambridge, Stanford, Yale, Dartmouth, University of Passau)
  • International Hospitality Business and `management (King's College, Cornell, Business School Barcelona, École hôtelière de Lausanne, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
  • MA Arts & Cultural Management (King's College, Penn, Harvard, Heidelberg University, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

Consistently ranked as one of Russia’s top three universities, the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University) sets itself apart by its internationally-minded, research-dr ... Read More

Consistently ranked as one of Russia’s top three universities, the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University) sets itself apart by its internationally-minded, research-driven approach to higher education. Based in the vibrant centre of Moscow, with campuses in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Perm, HSE offers outstanding academics at all levels and includes more than 40 English-taught Master’s programmes and 8 English-taught Bachelor's degree programmes. Read less
Moscow , Saint Petersburg + 1 More Less