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Higher education

There is the multilevel system of training of specialists with higher education in Russia and the following levels of higher education are set:

Bachelor degree (240 credit units) is conferred after a four-year course of study. Bachelor programmes cover wide range fields of study. The function of Bachelor degree is to provide a more academically rather than professionally oriented education. Bachelor degree is a prerequisite for admission to Magister studies. State final attestation includes the defense of a thesis prepared over a period of four months and State final examinations. Following a successful attestation, a state Diploma is issued attesting conferral of Bachelor degree.

The qualification of Specialist Diploma (300-360 credit units) has two functions. It opens access to professional practice (e.g., to engineers, teachers, chemists, etc.), and it is also the traditional prerequisite for admission to doctoral studies likewise master’s degree. The qualification of Specialist Diploma is conferred after studies lasting not less than five years. The diploma is awarded predominantly in technical fields of study (specialities). The State final attestation for a Specialist Diploma covers the defense of a project or a thesis and State final examinations.

Master programme (120 credit units) is a two-year course focused more on research activities in comparison with Specialist programme (up to 50% of student’s workload). But above all, this is a profound analytical and practical training of professionals in a particular field of study and practice. State educational standard defines only general requirements for Master educational programmes and not the requirements regarding the content of education. HEIs are free to make their own decisions regarding the contents of Master programmes. The State final attestation for a Master degree covers the defense of a dissertation and State final examinations. Access to Master studies is open for holders of Bachelor degree. HEIs themselves set up admission procedures (examinations, interviews, etc.) for applicants. Those holders of HE degrees wishing to pursue Master programme in different field of study must pass an additional tests which reflect the requirements for the chosen Master programme.

Doctoral Programmes. The hierarchy of advanced scientific degrees in Russia traditionally includes Doctor’s degrees of two levels: Candidate of Sciences (Kandidat Nauk) and Doctor of Sciences (Doktor Nauk). The Candidate of Sciences degree normally requires three years of study after the award of Specialist or Master degrees. The Doctor of Sciences degree can be earned after a period of further study following the award of the Candidate of Sciences degree. In reality, to earn a Doctor of Sciences degree requires five to fifteen years beyond the award of the Candidate of Sciences degree.