Join ARMACAD Today

Join over 100,000 researchers, students and professionals.

Subscribe and get new opportunities every day.

Sign Up

Master’s Programme 'Comparative Social Research' 2017, HSE National Research University, Russia

National Research University Higher School of Economics


May 01, 2017

Opportunity Cover Image - Master’s Programme 'Comparative Social Research' 2017, HSE National Research University, Russia

This programme provides students with the theoretical and methodological skills they need to investigate and analyze the similarities and differences among nations, cultures, and other social groups in order to understand how contemporary societies, social issues, and conflicts around the globe evolve.

Graduates are well-equipped for international careers in academia or research. Many of our students go on to doctoral programmes at our partner universities (or at HSE). Others begin their careers as research associates at international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, OECD, UNESCO, and UNICEF.

Comparative Social Research

In our globalized world of today a huge variety of nations, cultures and societies comprised of an even bigger variance of political, ethnical, religious and other groups, are interconnected and develop in relation with each other. That is why it is of utmost importance to find solutions to contemporary problems and conflicts, which take into account the characteristics and conditions of all societies and social groups concerned. But in order to judge if policies around the globe are successful in solving today´s problems, we need to understand and explain, how societies in their plural existence evolve and why they do this in a particular way. To do so, is the approach of comparative social research!

Our Program´s Approach

The aim of our program is to provide the theoretical and methodological instruments in order to shed light on the differences between nations, cultures and other social groups. In the seminars and lectures our students investigate social problems and issues in today´s world from a perspective of interconnectedness between the social action of individuals at different levels of collectivity, such as, for example, societies and cultures. Our programs provides in-depth insights into how the individuals approaches to social reality, using either quantitative methodology for investigating norms and values, or qualitative methodology for accessing the individuals interpretations of their life-world.

Our Study Plan

Our 2-year study plan is focused on training our students to conduct theory-orientated and methodologically rigorous empirical research in comparative perspective. The first year is dedicated to acquiring advanced and applied knowledge in statistical data analysis as well as in methods of analyzing textual, such as interviews or policies. At the same time, students get educated in comparative sociology, in issues of social inequality and welfare, and in a wide variety of topics which they can choose from according to their interests, such as, for example, social networks, migration processes, care and body practices, or mass communication.

The second year is fully dedicated to exercising research work. Our students will undertake a research internship at one of our many partner institutions in Russia or abroad. They will collect their data and conduct their analysis for their MA thesis under the supervision of international experts, which are involved in our program through close relations to West-European partner institutions and to the International Laboratory of Comparative Social Research here at the Higher School of Economics.

Our program is entirely taught in English. The teaching staff comprises of lecturers from all over the world. They either work at HSE or are invited research fellows from your partner universities. Our students benefit greatly from discussions with these international experts and their advice on coursework and MA thesis. Our international lecturers bring about a global atmosphere of learning, which is highly demanding and participatory at the same time.

Our Students

Our students come from a variety of disciplinary background, such as sociology, political science, anthropology, economics, and history. They come from a great variety of cultural backgrounds, e.g. from India, the USA, Pakistan, Chile, Latvia, and, of course, Russia.

Professional Perspectives

Since our program is strongly research orientated, it prepares students to pursue an academic career in social science. Our graduates are well-prepared to enter a PhD-program in Western Europe or the US, or stay at HSE to do so.

But our graduates are in general experts in the field of applied research analysis, which equips them excellently to have a work for international organizations and companies, or in think tanks and other institutions providing research results for policy development.

Why Studying in Russia?

Comparative sociology requires to come out of your comfort zone and see the world from new and different angles. You have to learn to look beyond your own nose and expand your horizon. Russia and in particular Moscow is a great place to do so, where a immensely rich culture and history meet a great variety of ethnical and social groups exposed to serious social and political challenges.


All documents submitted as a part of your application should have English-language translation and preferably converted to PDF or JPEG format. We kindly ask you to merge multiple page scanned copies into one document. Also, please put your surname in the file name e.g. Smith_BADiploma.pdf or Ivanov_Passport.jpeg.

Each applicationportfolio should include:

1. Curriculum Vitae

Candidates should submit a standard CV, including, at a minimum, their educational achievements, work and research experience, publications (if any), and language knowledge.

2. Letter of motivation (one page limit)

This letter should describe the candidate's motivation for applying to this Master Program, in the context of the candidate's background and long-term career goals.

3. Statement of research interests and methods knowledge (one page limit)

This statement should consist of at least one paragraph describing the candidate's research interests and another describing their experience in using different specific social science research methods (such as regression analysis, cluster analysis, factor analysis, expert interviews, narrative interviews, focus groups, experimental design, etc.) and computer packages that can assist in analysis (such as SPSS, STATA, R, INVIVO, ATLASti).

4. Two short letters of recommendation (at least one should be academic) (two-page limit)

Two short letters of recommendation (at least one should be academic).
These two letters should be submitted to the admissions office directly by the recommender by email
( or in a sealed envelope. Each letter should specify how the reference knows the student (and for how long) and should address the student's qualification for this program and for further academic study in general. At least one of this letters must be from a current or former teacher (or senior academic colleague) of the student."

5. For non-native English speakers, TOEFL, IELTS, or CAE test results must be submitted, less than two years old at the time of the application submission,

Native speakers of the English language, and students who have completed an entire degree exclusively in English do not need to submit proof of their English ability. All other applicants should submit test results no more than two years old.


 Minimum score


 score of 6 or above

 TOEFL IBT (Internet Based)

 score of 80 or above

 TOEFL PBT (Paper Based)

 score of 500 or above

 CAE, BEC Higher, CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) 


6. Diplomas and/or academic transcipt

All applicants must include up-to-date BA (or equivalent) transcripts even if the candidate is not yet complete with his/her degree. These transcripts should be official copies, stamped or approved by the study program's Director of Studies. Students with also a higher degree (such as another MA), should submit both transcripts within their application. 

7. GRE results (if available)

These are optional. But students who have taken the GRE may submit their results in support of their application.

How to Apply?

For International applicants

There are three application rounds. We encourage you to apply as soon as you feel that your application is ready. Please note that only applications received in the first and second rounds (by May 1, 2017) will be considered for scholarship funding.

1. Create a Profile
On HSE’s online application form, click “Get login and password”. You will be asked to enter your personal details (full name, date of birth, gender, email address, and mobile phone number) and what type of programme you are applying to.

Your login and password will then be sent to the email address that you have provided.

2. Log In

Once you have received the email containing your login and password, you can return to the online application form and log in.

3. Complete Application Form
After logging in, you will immediately see the application form. Please fill out the form. There are several attachments (portfolio) that you should be ready to upload:

a) Scan of the first page of your passport

b) Abstract of your undergraduate thesis

c) Scan of your diplomas and academic transcripts (if you have not yet received your Bachelor’s diploma, please include an official copy of your most recent academic transcript)

d) Letter of motivation (describing your reasons for applying in the context of your long-term career goals and background, 500 words)

e) Resume/CV (including information about your education, professional, and research experience, as well as language proficiency and other skills)

f) Exam results confirming language proficiency (optional)

Please upload all attachments as PDF files and include your last name in the filename (for example, Smith_Diploma.pdf)

Under “Field of study”, please select the two programmes that you wish to apply to. Your first choice and second choice programmes must be different. To select a programme, click on the box so that it turns green and the list collapses. Several programmes offer full tuition scholarships. If the “Tuition-free (quota) education” box is already checked, it means that if you apply to this programme you will automatically be considered for a full-tuition scholarship. If you would consider studying at HSE without the support of a full-tuition scholarship, please check the “Tuition-based” box.  If the “Tuition-free (quota) education” box is not checked, this means that full-tuition scholarships are not available for this programme.

When you have fully completed the application form, click “Submit application” at the bottom of the form. Please note that this action is final and cannot be reversed, so make sure that you have correctly entered all of your information. After you have submitted your application, you will see the following message: “Congratulations! Your application has been successfully submitted and is currently pending review.”

4. Tuition fees
Estimated annual tuition fee for the enrolment 2017-2019 is 290 000 rubles per year (subject to final confirmation).

5. Scholarships
Tuition-free scholarships are awarded to highly qualified applicants to this programme. All applicants will automatically be considered for tuition-free scholarships.
If you have any questions about the application or the deadlines please contact International Admission.

6. Deadlines


Round 1

Round 2

Round 3


February 1, 2017
(eligible for scholarships)

May 1, 2017
(eligible for scholarships)

July 1, 2017 
(ineligible for scholarships)


February 28, 2017

May 31, 2017

July 15, 2017

Beginning of academic year: September 1, 2017.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
February 23, 2017


Subscribe to our newsletter

and receive information about international academic and professional opportunities

scholarships, summer schools, conferences, grants, fellowships, trainings

Sign Up