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Projects in Student Curriculum

What is a project in the curriculum?

According to HSE University’s educational standards (ES), since 2014 the curricula of undergraduate degree programmes include project and research work. The total volume of a curriculum’s elements shall come to 48 credits distributed among years of study.

Unlike lectures and seminars, a project represents a student activity, carried out under the guidance of a project supervisor and aimed at finding a solution to a problem relevant to certain practice or theory.

Projects, as well as academic disciplines, may be:

- mandatory, i.e., fixed in the curriculum and implemented as part of a degree programme;

- optional, i.e., available for individual selection by a student from a list approved by the programme’s academic supervisor.

What do projects give students?

Project activities allow students to acquire, consolidate or develop the practical knowledge and skills necessary for future career pursuits, as well as cultivate self-discipline. A project’s practical significance and a student’s independence can increase in tandem with their level of education.

Project activities are not necessarily tied to a curriculum timetable. In fact, they may be organized throughout the academic year and take up a limited time period, or can be split into different periods shared out among a student’s academic and vacation time.

Where can I see how many credits are granted for project activities in the current academic year?

The volume of projects for the current academic year is indicated in the programme curriculum, which can be found in the ‘Documents’ section on the website of each degree programme.

Where can I select projects?

Students may select projects through HSE University’s ‘Project Fair’ service (a link can be found in the ‘Students’ tab on respective programme homepages and in the ‘Education’ section). Other approaches to organizing projects, as offered by faculties and degree programmes, including LMS services, are permitted. For more information about other ways of pursuing projects, please contact your study office.

Students may select optional projects independently based on research interests and availability of opportunities. HSE University’s ‘Project Fair’ helps students apply for any projects from the list offered for their degree programme.

If a student has applied to do a project, which is not recommended under his/her programme, this project can be credited only if he/she has applied, as an optional project in addition to the regular load of the programme.

The project supervisor may reject the student's application if he/she does not meet the requirements stipulated in the project offer. If an application is rejected, an automatic notification will be sent to the student's corporate e-mail.

Students can suggest a project to the Project Fair if their supervisor is a HSE staff member interested in this effort. Information about lecturers’ academic interests and contacts can be found on their personal pages on HSE University’s website (portal).

What projects are available?

There are different types of projects at HSE University. The following types of projects may differ in terms of their aims and results:

- Research projects. This kind of project should result in an article, a publication, a report, an analytical review or a note, an application for a research grant, a methodological guide or another type of research product;

- Applied projects should focus on solving an applied or commercial problem. The project should produce a qualitative and well-founded solution, as well as consider a specific business plan or case; or a custom-made product;

- Service projects should solve service-related tasks or enhance HSE University’s current activities. The project results may include a student’s involvement of the organization of any events (e.g., conferences, competitions, excursions, open days, and enrolment campaigns) or the implementation of organizational processes (e.g., communication between lecturers and students, feedback activities, preparation of materials, assistance in organizing classes and lectures, systematizing of databases, etc.).

The total number of service projects is limited and cannot exceed 25% of the specified total number of credits granted for project activities under any degree programme.

How to sign up/unsubscribe for project work?

Submission of student applications for participation in a project is open, from the project’s publication at a Project Fair until the end of the established application period.

Students must submit an electronic application to take part in a project, using his/her login and password for HSE University’s internal electronic system - LMS. When filling out the application, the student must write a motivation letter of no more than 200 words, answering the question ‘Why would you like to participate in this project?’, and attach his/her CV (recommended but not required). After submitting the application, the student shall receive an e-mail notification.

Within 7 calendar days after the deadline for project application, the project supervisor will check the submitted applications and contact all students selected for participation. If an application hasn’t been approved by the project supervisor, the student will receive a refusal notification via e-mail.

Students who, for any reason, haven’t filled in the e-form, but have been opted to participate in project activities, should receive a written confirmation of their participation and a copy of the project application from the appropriate supervisor. Then, the student shall submit a written confirmation of their participation to the study office of his/her educational programme within a week.

If the application has been approved, but for any reason, the student cannot participate in the project, he/she needs to inform the project supervisor about his/her inability to take. After that, the application must be canceled by the manager of the Project Fair system. The student will be notified about the cancellation via corporate e-mail. The student shall then apply to the study office of his/her programme with a notification to remove the project from his/her individual curriculum in LMS.

Do I need to coordinate my participation in a project with my academic supervisor?

Projects presented at HSE University’s ‘Project Fair’ are subject to preliminary approval by academic supervisors and are recommended for a limited number of degree programmes. Projects found or proposed by a student on their own require the approval of the academic supervisor to include them in main project activities.

Students may work on optional projects, which are not approved by their academic supervisor. The results of such projects can be credited optionally in addition to standard credits. In such situations, the student has the right to decide whether to participate in an unapproved project on an optional basis or choose another project, which will be approved by the academic supervisor in order to gain credits under the given degree programme.

Who assesses projects and how?

Each participant’s project shall be assessed by a supervisor according to pre-defined criteria in the given project proposal. A project (not mandatory one) will be assessed by its supervisor using an evaluation sheet without registration of the statement. The project supervisor shall also sign the project report filled in by the student. The completed evaluation sheet and report are then sent to a degree programme manager in order to make assessments as per individual curricula, as well as via the student’s electronic portfolio.

Project supervisors have the right to reduce the total number of credits granted to a student when the project is implemented, if he/she unable to fulfill all obligations assumed for the assumed objective (e.g., illness, internship) or for subjective reasons.

The current rating will not consider the assessments of optional projects.

When would a student face academic failure in their project activities?

A student shall be responsible for selecting projects for the number of credits provided by the curriculum for the entire period of study. Academic failure in project activities may be declared in two instances:

- unsatisfactory assessment of a project included in a student’s individual curriculum;

- inability to implement the project in order to receive the total number of credits recommended by the programme curriculum by the time of the state final certification.

Unlike other educational activities, projects may be carried out in any year of study. If a student has not completed his/her optional projects in order to receive the total number of credits specified in the curriculum for the current academic year, a programme manager shall notify him/her about their need to complete their projects over subsequent years of study. In other words, a student may engage in optional projects as per any convenient schedule without facing academic failure.

Where can I read more about project activities?

You can read the Regulation ‘On Project and Research Activities and Internships of Students under Core Degree Programmes at the Higher School of Economics’.

For all issues related to project work, please contact us at: project@hse.ru.