Higher education in Russia
Structure of higher education in Russia:
- Level 1. Bachelor's Degree (Bakalavr) - four years of study;
- Level 2. Specialist Degree (Spetsialitet) - five to six years of study;
- Master's Degree (Magistr) - two years of study;
- Level 3. Postgraduate Studies (Aspirantura) - at least four years of study.
Level 1. Bachelor's Degree
This is a complete higher education course. Individuals who have completed education equivalent to Russian general secondary or vocational secondary education can enrol in a Bachelor's Degree course. The course lasts for 4 years and gives general fundamental training. At the end of the Degree, students defend their thesis. If successful, the student is awarded a Bachelor's Degree certificate (BA, BSc). The certificate grants the student the right to work according to profession or to further their studies on a Master's Degree course.
Level 2. Specialist Degree
Unlike Bachelor's Degrees, Specialist Degrees are more focused on practical work in industry according to the selected discipline. These programmes are offered to individuals who have education equivalent to Russian general secondary or vocational secondary education. The course lasts for a minimum of 5 years. Based on the examination results and thesis defence. Graduates of a Specialist Degree may work in industry or further studies on a Master's or other postgraduate course.
This allows in-depth specialisation in the student’s chosen field. Bachelor’s and Specialist Degree holders can enrol in Master's Degree courses. The course lasts at least two years and involves training students for research work. Students defend a thesis which, if successful, leads to a Master's Degree certificate and the qualification of Master.
Level 3. Postgraduate Studies
A postgraduate course is a form of training for academics. Graduates of a Master's or Specialist Degree can enrol in a postgraduate course. The course includes study, teaching, hands-on experience, and research. Postgraduate students select a research field and subject of research for their dissertation. Full-time study lasts at least 3 years, while part-time study lasts at least 4 years. A graduate is awarded a postgraduate certificate with the corresponding qualification. Depending on the result of the dissertation defence, a Candidate of Sciences Degree is awarded, which is the first Degree to confirm the status of scientist. Candidates of Sciences proceed to their Doctoral Degree (the second Degree to confirm the status of scientist), which is awarded following successful defence of their doctoral dissertation.
Second Higher Education
Russian legislation grants Russians just one free higher education (of levels 1, 2, or 3), while subsequent study must always be paid for. Foreign citizens who have graduated from a university outside the Russian Federation may enrol in a second higher education course both on a commercial and state-funded basis (subject to successful completion of the selection process). This can be done as part of a Bachelor's (up to 4 years), Specialist (up to 6 years), or Master's (at least 2 years) Degree.