The academic year at HSE is divided into four parts called 'modules'. Each module is followed by an examination period which usually lasts for one or two weeks.
The dates of modules, holidays and exams for the 2019/2020 academic year are as follows:
|Modules & Breaks||Start / End dates||Exam dates|
|Module 1||September 1 – October 21||October 22 – October 28|
|Module 2||October 29 – December 19||December 20 – December 31|
|Winter break: January 1 – January 8|
|Module 3||January 9 – March 24||March 25 – March 31|
|Module 4||April 1 – June 16||June 17 – June 30|
|Spring break (except for graduates): May 1 – May 10|
|Spring break (for graduates): May 1 – May 15|
|Summer break (except for graduates): July 1 – August 31|
|Summer break (for graduates): July 1 - August 8|
Initially, it is essential to get information about a teaching schedule, the exact number of teaching hours and the length of courses in order to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding. This information can be obtained from your coordinator or the contact person on the faculty who will give you detailed information about your schedule.
9:00 – 10:20
13:40 – 15:00
18:10 – 19:30
10:30 – 11:50
15:10 – 16:30
19:40 – 21:00
12:10 – 13:30
16:40 – 18:00
Every year, each educational programme approves its curriculum, which consists of mandatory (basic curriculum), elective and optionalcourses.
Students at HSE make their own Individual Study Plan based on the curriculum. A students' Individual Study Plan must contain:
- All core subjects from the basic curriculum;
- Elective courses.
Optional courses may be included in the plan at the discretion of students. If an optional course is included in a student’s plan, an “unsatisfactory” grade will be considered to be an academic failure.
For all courses from the Individual Study Plan, the student must earn at least 60 credits per year. Any credits earned for optional courses are above the basic 60 credits.
HSE’s flexible education system allows students to make their own plan and choose courses from different areas that they are interested in. According to the educational model accepted in the 2014-2015 academic year, undergraduate students should dedicate 20% of their study time to different projects (work in research groups, laboratories) and 10% to gaining an additional competence. Thus, except for the core and elective courses which make up the bulk of the chosen educational track, students should also choose elective courses for their minor speciality (minors). All the courses may be chosen from the Catalogue of HSE courses.
It is important to note, that state-funded full-degree international students may join courses only in the second module. Due to peculiarities of nomination process as well as visa and migration procedures these students may arrive to Russia and start their studies later that the rest of the students - till the late October.
Besides, unlike Russian and international full-degree students, exchange and visiting students are not assigned to any particular educational programme and have so-called “shopping period” of first two weeks at the beginning of academic year, when they are allowed to enroll to and drop the courses (even from basic curriculum of the programme) which give them an opportunity to make up their Individual Study Plan based on their academic needs and home institutions requirements.
HSE provides great opportunities and a wide range of disciplines for a diverse audience and offers the following types of elective and optional courses:
MagoLego is an elective course from the “university pool”, which may be chosen by first-year master’s students from different educational programmes, but should be relevant to their main programme and form the basis of their educational track. MagoLego (major) courses must be included in the Individual plan and are worth 3 credits for each course. They last for two modules (3-4) and are conducted on a certain day of the week for all first-year students, so there is no conflict with timetables.
Minors are a series of interconnected elective courses (4 courses) from non-core educational programmes, which are taught sequentially and help students to get an additional competence in fields of knowledge different from their main area of study. Minor courses can be chosen by second and third-year undergraduate students. Each minor course lasts for two modules and is worth 5 credits.
Additional Open courses are elective training courses on various subjects ranging from those with a purely theoretical format to workshops of leading practitioners and specialists. Additional open courses are beyond the basic educational programme and are open to students of all courses, all specializations and even students from other universities.
HSE offers a number of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that may interest students who want to gain additional knowledge. MOOCs provide free training to all those who are interested. Our MOOC trainers are the best talents in their field. The best HSE open courses are available on Coursera, the most popular international free online education platform.
The lecturer must take into account the specifics of optional courses, as the students attending these courses are from different educational programmes. We recommend you pay particular attention to the electronic forms in LMS so as not to be confused when carrying out the assessment.
The first and the most important task of a lecturer before beginning studies is to work out the course syllabus.
Syllabus is the main agreement with students on the process and conditions of training, and the educational process is organized according to it. A syllabus should include the content of the course (its goals, topics, literature for further reading) and methods of work with students (types of work, assessment principles).
Although the requirements for course descriptions taught in English have been simplified at HSE, it still needs careful examination and compliance with all the rules and terms to schedule it. And you will also need to write a short description of the course in Russian, you will probably need some help from your department.
A course syllabus must contain the following sections:
- Course Description
- Course title
- Course Type (mandatory, elective, optional)
- Learning Objectives
- Learning Outcomes
- Reading List
- Grading System
- Guidelines for Knowledge Assessment
- Methods of Instruction
- Special Equipment and Software Support (if required)
When the syllabus is completed, it should be discussed and approved by the Academic Сouncil at your department. The approval procedure is shorter for elective and optional courses; for core subjects, it generally takes a little more time to receive approval. As the general requirement is to submit the syllabus to the commission before the beginning of the module, the lecturer is responsible for establishing the exact terms of its approval in advance.
Full-time foreign and exchange students coming from abroad choose their courses 6 months prior to the beginning of their study at HSE. Thus, if the course is taught in a foreign language, its synopsis (not necessarily the whole syllabus) should be presented to your department 6 months prior to the beginning of the semester when this course will be taught.
As soon as the syllabus is approved, the course is included in the curriculum and automatically appears in the database of the HSE courses and on the personal profile of the lecturer on the HSE website. A description is attached to the course’s profile by the website editor at the department.
A course syllabus must be placed on the website prior to September 1, regardless of the actual start date of the course and must be presented to students no later than the start date of the relevant Course.
The lecturer is responsible for the availability and quality of the syllabus put into the database of courses. If necessary, the lecturer may make minor changes to assessment formulae or sequence of topics to be learned, on the condition that the students are informed of these alterations beforehand. It is best to inform students about any changes using the LMS or via email to protect oneself against possible student complaints concerning the violation of rules fixed in the syllabus.
The assessment system at HSE is another significant thing to be aware of and again, needs to be included in the syllabus. During the first lesson, it is important to familiarize students with the different types of assessment that will be held throughout the academic year. There are three different types of assessment used at HSE: the ongoing, interim and final assessments.
Ongoing assessment is carried out as part of the regular and systematic monitoring of students’ academic knowledge during lectures and seminars, including distance learning courses, and other forms of studies (internships, project work, scientific seminars etc.).
Ongoing assessment is conducted by the lecturer and can be organized:
- during an in-class work in the presence of the lecturer according to the schedule;
- during independent work without the lecturer with the subsequent assessment of results by the lecturer or the assistant;
- by using the information environment for remote learning during both in-class work and independent work, with the possible automatic assessment of results.
Ongoing assessment can be carried out in the following forms: homework assignments, tests, papers, essays, colloquiums, laboratory classes, course projects and other forms of ongoing assessment at the discretion of the lecturer responsible for teaching a particular academic subject.
The lecturer must inform the students of the results of ongoing assessment not later than 10 days after the event through various communication means, including electronic ones.
Interim assessment is aimed at assessing part of an academic subject if it lasts longer that one period, and should be held upon the completion of the module or semester. Thus, some academic subjects may not require interim knowledge assessment.
An interim assessment may be summarised by using ongoing assessment methods and/or by conducting an exam. It should be noted that an unsatisfactory result of the interim check is not a reason to deny a student access to a subsequent interim check or to the final test of knowledge on the subject.
It is important to know that the contents and procedures pertaining to interim and ongoing assessments must be specified in the syllabus of the subject and students must be informed of them during the first lesson on the given subject, and in addition, they must be repeatedly informed of the contents and procedures of exams at the last lesson before the corresponding exam on the given subject.
The final assessment which is primarily held in written form (test, essay, report, etc.) should be held upon the completion of an academic subject. The lecturer can choose the type of assessment without administering an exam. If holding an exam is not suitable for a subject, the final grade for the course coincides with the cumulative grade.
The cumulative grade is calculated on the basis of ongoing assessment results (homework assignment, test, paper, essay, etc.), wherein each form has its own weight. The process of calculating the cumulative grade must be described in the course syllabus, as well as its weight in the resulting grade. In the course syllabus, the lecturer also specifies the weight of the exam, which may not be more than 80% or less than 20%. Generally, the weight of the exam is 20%, so that the students who work hard throughout the course have an advantage. This is why an unsatisfactory grade received at an exam does not mean the same overall grade: it may be higher if ongoing assessment grades are high enough and the formula for calculating the overall grade allows for a significant weighting of the cumulative grade.
Thus, the overall grade for the course (or part of the course) is calculated from the cumulative grade and the grade received at the exam. The sum of these grades amounts to 100%.
final grade = ongoing assessments (cumulative grade) + examination grade
If the academic subject lasts for more than one module and the lecturer holds more than one interim assessment, the procedure and the formula for calculating the overall grade must be specified in the course syllabus.
Each module is followed by an examination period, which lasts one or two weeks. Students may have exams on consecutive days, but not more than one exam per day. The duration of the exam (both oral and written) should not exceed 4 academic hours per student and this must be announced to the students before the start of the examination. It can be held between 9 a.m and 9 p.m.
Exams at HSE are generally held in written form, but in some cases may be oral at the discretion of the lecturer. No later than five (5) business days from the date of a written examination, examination papers must be released, and grades must be assigned.
The exams schedule is always announced to lecturers and students at least one week before it begins. Information on this can be found on the website and information boards around the university.
No examination may be held without a record sheet. Students not listed on the examination record sheet are not allowed to take the examination. The deadline for submitting completed examination record sheets to the programme office comes to one (1) business day after holding an oral examination or assigning grades for a written examination.
If the Course syllabus does not include an examination, the person responsible for calculating the final grade must inform the programme office (at least two (2) weeks prior to the start of the examination period) that no examination should be scheduled for the Course. Then, he/she shall set the finalisation date for the examination record sheet that should fall within the examination period
In case of a failed exam, students have the right to repeat the examination but not more than twice within one course. The first attempt is administered by the lecturers who led the initial examination and is similar to a regular exam; the second attempt must be administered in the presence of a committee composed of at least three lecturers, one of whom is appointed chairman of the committee. The examination committee may involve lecturers from other departments.
Repeated exams are allowed only after the second and the fourth modules. It is not permitted to take repeated exams in order to upgrade a positive result (above 4 on the 10 point grading scale).
At HSE there are requirements for written assignments or oral answers at exams. Their violation may bring students disciplinary penalties ranging from a reprimand and an unsatisfactory grade up to expulsion from the University.
The lecturer is responsible for elimination of the following violations of academic standards:
- Repeated submission of the same written assignment,
- Fabrication of data and results.
To check the course and graduation papers written in English against plagiarism you may use the electronic system “Turnitin”.
Likewise, students may appeal against the results of interim and final assessments for the following violations of their rights:
- Incorrect wording of questions, questions outside the scope of the curriculum, mistakes in the answer options in assignments and tests;
- Violation of the interim and final assessment procedures by the lecturer;
- Non-compliance with evaluation methods;
- Circumstances hindering an objective evaluation.
HSE has internal regulations concerning plagiarism. If you come across an issue that can be characterized as plagiarism, please follow the guidelines described in Procedures for Applying Disciplinary Measures for the Violations of Academic Standards for Student Paper at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.
HSE has a 10-point grading system, which corresponds to the 5-point scale officially used in many other Russian educational institutions and the European scale ECTS.
Unlike the 5-point grading system, in which 5 is excellent and 1 is poor, the 10-point scale makes assessment more nuanced. To facilitate the grading process, please use this simple scheme:
Numerically Graded Exam
Grades for all the assessment types should be integers ranging from 0 to 10 points. The grade rounding rules must be described in the course syllabus.
During the course, the lecturer registers interim results in student performance record in the LMS.
Grades received at the exam and other tests must be also registered in the examination record sheet (printed or an electronic version) formed by the Programme Office before the exam. The cumulative, exam and overall grades are put in the exam record in numerical form on a ten-point scale and in text form (“excellent”, “good”, “satisfactory”, “unsatisfactory”) on a 5-point scale.
The exam record sheet must be signed by all lecturers carrying out the exam and submitted to the Programme Office (in original or scanned copy by email) within one working day. Students who are not present at the exam should be registered as “absent” on the examination record sheet.
The overall grades are put in electronic student’s grade books in their account in the LMS by the Programme Office manager.
Regulations for Interim and Ongoing Assessment of Students (approved May 2017)
Appendix 1 to Regulations for Interim and Ongoing Assessment of Students.pdf
Appendix 2 Interim assessment record sheet.pdf
Appendix 3 Interim assessment record sheet research seminar.pdf
Appendix 4 Interim assessment record sheet term paper.pdf
Appendix 5 to Regulations for Interim and Ongoing Assessment of Students.pdf
Appendix 6 Individual curriculum.pdf
Appendix 7 to Regulations for Interim an..ing Assessment of Students ICEF.pdf
Appendix 8 to Regulations for Interim and Ongoing Assessment of Students NES.pdf
The new version of the Regulations for interim and ongoing assessment approved by the HSE Academic Council on November 30, 2018 will become effective on September 1, 2019
The Learning Management System (LMS), the HSE’s internal online platform for lecturers and students, was launched with the aim of making the study process more user-friendly for everyone involved.
Each course has its own site in the system, and as soon as students have chosen the course for the current academic year they then have access to it. For every course a lecturer can:
- Place training materials (tasks, cases, presentations, reading literature, etc);
- Test knowledge (ongoing or final assessment);
- Maintain student performance records;
- Collect and store individual assignments of students (essays, course and graduate papers, projects etc.);
- Communicate with students and consult them.
The LMS team conducts group-training sessions on using the system. If you are interested you should fill in an application form following the link on the main page of the LMS or forward it to Konstantin Timofeev, maintenance specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HSE lecturers can apply for a teaching assistant from the body of HSE graduate or undergraduate students. These assistants are paid by the university for their work.
Teaching assistants may be chosen from those students who do not have grades below 8 points on mid-term assessments in the academic subject they are recruited for, or those who have been recommended by the department responsible for teaching this subject, as well as post-graduate students recommended by the department responsible for the course.
It must be also taken into account that the teaching assistant should not:
- be studying at a course level in which the subject is taught;
- be recruited simultaneously by two or more lecturers;
- be recruited simultaneously in two different subjects;
- be recruited to conduct academic or research seminars, as well as to develop and implement subjects that are being included for the first time in a division’s curriculum;
- work at the University in a teaching position or provide teaching services to the university under a civil law contract (for students of Master’s programmes or postgraduate students)
Teaching assistants help lecturers in preparing for a lecture or a seminar, participate in conducting lessons, and engage in the preliminary evaluation of students’ work, but the final grades are to be determined by the lecturers. It is important to remember that teaching assistants must always operate under their mentor’s supervision and are not permitted to carry out teaching activities on their own. The lecturer is responsible for the quality of a teaching assistant’s work.
Applications can be submitted by a lecturer or by the head of the department twice a year. If a subject is continued in the next academic year, a new application for teaching assistant must be submitted. To clarify all the details on applications and terms, please contact the designated person at your Faculty.
- Here are some practical tips that will help you fulfill your teaching duties at the University.
- Make sure your course syllabus contains complete/updated information about the assessment procedure, the methods of grades calculation, the timing and forms of written and other types of work.
- Make sure your course syllabus is included in the HSE courses database and is available on your Profile Page.
- Update your Profile Page regularly. Make sure it contains all the necessary and current information.
- Create a profile of your course in the LMS.
- Prior to the beginning of studies, inform the Programme Office in the department of your preferences regarding the course schedule (preferred days of the week and hours) and your wishes will be taken into account as far as possible.
- Course schedules are placed on the Faculty bulletin boards not later than 3 days prior to the beginning of classes, and the exam schedule not later than 7 days.
- Inform students about types and features of assessment procedures and also of their achievements to date one week prior to assessment procedure.
- Register students’ achievements in the Student performance record. It's best to do it in LMS.
When planning a course, if you have special requirements for the room (arrangement of tables and a board, the Internet, computers, an interactive whiteboard, etc.) for the duration of the whole course, it is necessary to inform the Programme Office in your department of your needs two weeks prior to the beginning of the module.
If you need a laptop, a projector, speakers or access to the Internet to conduct one or several lectures/seminars, please ask your coordinator to assist you with submitting an application to the appropriate department 3 days prior to the beginning of the event.
Fund for Educational Innovation
The HSE Fund for Educational Innovation aims to identify and reward the university’s best instructors, involve the best graduate and postgraduate students in teaching, support innovative educational developments, and spread the best teaching practices. Twice a year the Fund collects applications for participation in the competition for original developments in the field of education. Competition categories include:
- an original interdisciplinary curriculum program,
- an original model of organizing an undergraduate and Master's level research seminar,
- an original methodology for conducting seminars,
- an original course on developing students’ academic skills,
- original program for a discipline training workshop,
- a ‘freestyle category’ for those who do not see in these categories a description of their conceived and implemented pedagogical innovation, original idea or element of the educational process.
Documents for the fall round of the competition are usually accepted in September. Application deadlines will be announced in spring on the HSE website and the website of the HSE Fund for Educational Innovation.
Complete a standard application form and prepare attachments with a description of the completed or planned development. Email these documents to the contact person and submit a signed hard copy of the application documents to the Fund for Educational Innovation at Room G 613, 11 Pokrovsky blvd, or by fax to +7-495-621-43-72.
For details please check the website of the Fund for Educational Innovation.
HSE faculty and researchers employed under work contracts are allowed to leave the country either on their non-working days (days off, Russian public holidays, or during a paid or unpaid leave) or when going on a business trip. Leaving the country on a workday without going through formal procedures is non-compliant with the terms of your work contract.
These procedures need to be completed in advance before going on a business trip, no matter what funds you use to cover your business trips expenses. Otherwise your business trip will not be registered. Please see the guidelines below for more details on the procedure.
Find it out from your coordinator if you have funds available for your business trip:
For more details, please see University regulations on business trips. We strongly recommend reviewing these requirements before you go on your business trip.
Before the trip:
1. Travel assignment form with your signature and your supervisor's signature
2. Formal invitation of the party hosting the event (workshop, conference, etc.), including the name & dates of the event, your name and role in the event (e.g. presentation of the paper named "...", etc. ) as well as indicating what expenses are covered by the organizer of the event.
3. Event programme
After the trip:
1. Back-to-office report. See the form;
2. Supporting documents.
1. All expenses must be paid by the employee. Services purchased using someone else’s bank card will not be reimbursed.
2. Original copies of supporting documents with translation into Russian must be submitted for reimbursement. You are to submit them to the accounting office via the Faculty and Student Support Office within 3 days after you come back from your business trip.
3. All documents proving payments must contain payment references.
4. Bank statements issued by Russian banks must contain a signature and a seal of the relevant bank.
5. Reimbursement for one trip cannot be made in parts. Only a complete package of documents will be accepted.
6. An employee will only be reimbursed for those expenses that are supported by correct documents. Please, see below for the reimbursement rules.
For questions, please contact the Faculty and Student Support Office.
Work Calendar and Leave
National holidays in Russia are considered non-working days. Every year the Russian government issues a statement specifying the duration of national holidays, so it may vary from year to year. National holidays may also be followed or preceded by additional days off. Please note that a working day preceding a national holiday is normally one hour shorter.
National holidays are celebrated in Russia on the following days:
January 1-6, 8
New Year Holidays
Defenders of the Fatherland Day
International Women’s Day
Day of Russia
National Unity Day
HSE faculty and staff are normally employed under work contracts where the employee’s working time on the territory of the Russian Federation is specified. Employees are free to travel outside Russia on their non-working days that are days off, Russian national holidays, or registered leaves. Naturally, leaving the country on a workday (if it is not an official business trip) is violation of the work contract.
Going on leave requires formal procedures that must be completed in advance; otherwise, leaves will not be registered. HSE-Perm teaching and research staff are entitled to different types of leave – annual paid leave and unpaid leave. Please read the information below for details on each kind of leave.
According to the Russian Labour Code and the internal regulations of the University, research fellows must be provided with the annual paid leave of 28 calendar days per year; faculty who have a teaching load are provided with an extended annual paid leave of 56 calendar days.
Please consult your contract for the duration of your annual leave.
The period of your annual leave can be divided into several parts with one unbroken part of no less than 14 calendar days. In general, faculty members take most of this leave in July and August, as there are no classes during these months.
Employees are supposed to use annual paid leave during the working year. Transfer and deferral of the annual paid leave is only possible in exceptional cases. To change the dates of the leave, an HSE Annual Leave Changing Application Form.doc must be completed. Please note that when changing your leave you should specify the new dates for the entire leave period: either as one lump or in smaller pieces.
How to apply?
Annual paid leave is provided according to the Employee Leaves Schedule, which is composed and approved at the department and submitted to the HR office in December at least two weeks before the start of a calendar year. According to the schedule, the leave and allowance are processed automatically during the year without any additional formal procedures.
Unplanned leave out of schedule is provided based on an application filled out by the employee and submitted to the head of their department at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the leave.
How is it paid?
While it may seem advantageous to combine leave with holidays to prolong it, this may lead to certain monetary losses.
The reason is that compensation for leave days is calculated differently than a salary, and depends on 1) the amount of average wage and 2) the number of working days in a month. While salary is paid for workdays, leave is paid for calendar days (including weekends). Furthermore, public holidays that occur during the period of leave are not paid, though they prolong the period of leave to the corresponding number of days. It is important to remember that the fewer working days there are in the calendar month, the smaller your compensation will be*.
In January and May, for instance, you can take a longer leave, saving leave days, but receive less payment. Accordingly, if you want to go on leave with minimal monetary losses, the recommended months for leave on the work calendar are April, July, and August.
If you want to know the details of how the payment for your leave days was or will be calculated, you may consult the Faculty and Student Support Office.
Aside from annual paid leave, HSE faculty and staff can take unpaid leave upon the agreement of the head of their department.
Please keep in mind that unpaid leave exceeding one month can cause difficulties related to your immigration status. Please consult the Faculty and Student Support Office for details of your individual case.
*Pursuant .to Article 139 of the Labour Code of Russia the average salary/wage of an employee (full-time or part-time) is calculated based on his/her actual salary/wage and actual hours worked during 12 calendar months preceding the period when the employee is entitled to retain his/her average salary (leave, business trip, etc.). A calendar month covers the period from the 1st up to and including the 30th (31st) day of each month (up to and including 28th (29th) day in February). Average daily wage payable for leave is calculated by dividing the amount of employee's salary/wage covering the previous 12 months by 12 and 29.4 (average number of calendar days in each month).
The HSE Look
is an English supplement to the University bulletin "Okna Rosta" published regularly since April 2013 and aims at providing an English-speaking environment for discussing academic life at HSE. The HSE Look issues can be viewed and downloaded in PDF format as well as viewed (and shared) as news via The HSE Look tag. Our archive is available in PDF.
The HSE Look's Editorial Board always looks for interesting topics - if you have any suggestions, please, contact us email@example.com