The Chair of Modern and Contemporary History of the Institute of History of Saint-Petersburg State University
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Saint-Petersburg State University

The Chair of Modern and Current History is engaged in studying history of the countries of Western Europe and America of XVI-XXI centuries. This period of world history is extremely interesting and rich with events and processes, especially important for understanding of modern development. Staff of the Chair has experts in history of almost all countries of Western Europe and America – France, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, countries of Northern Europe, Spain, the USA and the countries of Latin America, and also in the field of the international relations.

Specialization at the Chair of Modern and Current History begins (as it is accepted at the Faculty of History) from the first course, and lecturers try to combine teaching students with transfer of skills and methods of scientific researches. This is the basic principle of university teaching. From the very beginning of studying students are engaged in serious scientific researches, that allows them to develop all their abilities and to realize themselves in the sphere of historical science.

A number of special lecture courses, devoted to the major problems of Modern and Current History, are read at the Chair. They cover some crucial questions, concerning the general development and historiography of different countries, and also various aspects of the international relations, military, social, economic history and culture during the period of Modern and Current History. They are read both by the members of the Chair, and also by experts from other faculties of the university, employees of some scientific institutions and educational institutions of St.-Petersburg. The Chair supports wide and fruitful contacts with scientific and educational organizations of Russia and foreign states.

The Chair also provides learning the second foreign language (French, German or Spanish). Students improve their knowledge during regular seminar employment on the key themes of history of the countries of Western Europe and America. Under the Chair the scientific organization of young historians – «Novist» – operates. Its aim is to provide help for university historians to improve their professional skills and to find their way to science.

In 2010 the Chair of Modern and Current History set a two-level system of education. The Chair offers a 4-year Bachelor’s Programme which gives the students knowledge, skills and competence in the history of Western Europe and America (XVI – XXI centuries). A lot of attention is paid to the historic processes, which characterize the present situation in Western Europe and America. Moreover students are given an in-depth knowledge of economic, social, political and cultural development of the western world. Another very essential aspect is languages – learning them provides better way of researching different issues of history and international relations.

In 2012 the Chair began to offer a 2-year Master’s Programme. It introduces students to more serious studies of the modern history of Western Europe and America and gives them high-level skills in historic and educational research. This is the only Programme at the Faculty of History providing studies in the course “World History”.

The Master’s Programme puts an emphasis on the problems of formation and development of the contemporary Western world. Students will have opportunity to research the issues of historic transformations of Western countries in complex. That system of education helps to estimate the processes and systems in economic, political and cultural life of Western Europe and America. Students will learn how to see the historical processes holistically. Also the Master’s Programme provides students with knowledge of educational traditions of the Faculty of History of St. Petersburg State University. The studies of the professors of the Department in the course of the Programme are devoted first of all to the creation of innovative methods of the studying process. The key aim of the Programme is to teach students taking into account contemporary methods of historic education and at the same time basing the educational process on the best traditions of the Faculty of History of St. Petersburg State University.

Graduates of the Chair become professionals, capable to work in the field of preparation of historical works, to be highly skilled teachers-researchers, to carry out functions of consultants and advisers in the state and other departments, to work in leading libraries, museums, archives and in mass media.

The chief of the Chair is professor Vladimir Nikolayevich Baryshnikov – the doctor of historical sciences.