About Faculty

History of the Faculty

Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications (Faculty of Liberal Education before March 9th, 2015) of Belarusian State University was established on March 11th, 2004.  Regular classes at the faculty began on October 1, 2004, so this date is considered its birthday, celebrated every year by academic staff and students alike.

Although the faculty is relatively new, its history is one of a dynamic institution that strives to keep up with contemporary trends and provides its students with innovative specializations that are currently in demand in our society. “Design” and “International Relations” were the first specialisations offered, and the faculty consisted of only two departments – the Department of Design and General Scientific Disciplines, which brought together teachers of foreign languages and teachers of social and humanitarian disciplines (as of March 9, 2015, it became known as the Department of Computational Linguistics and Linguodidactics). The faculty underwent extensive development and reorganisation during the ensuing years.

In 2005, the Department of General and Clinical Psychology and the Department of Psychophysiology were added to the faculty. The Department of Information Technology was established the next year, in 2006. In 2007, the Department of Management and Healthcare Organisation was transferred to the faculty (from March 9, 2015, – known as the Department of Management and Economics of the Social Sphere). The Department of Human Ecology was established in 2008 as a result of the merger of the University-wide Department of Health and the Faculty of Humanities’ Department of Psychophysiology. Additionally, the Department of Cultural Studies was included into the faculty in 2009 as part of the Faculty of International Relations’ reorganisation. The Department of Foreign Languages served as the foundation for the creation of the Department of Theory and Practice of Translation the same year. In 2013, the Department of German Language was transferred to the faculty. The Department of Fashion Design, as well as the Department of Art and Environmental Design, were added to the faculty in 2018 as part of the State Institute of Management and Social Technologies’ restructuring. In 2018, two departments within the Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications were reorganised: Department of Social Management and Economics was relocated to the Faculty of Economics, and the Department of General and Clinical Psychology was relocated to the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences.

Faculty Specifics

Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications is the newest and unquestionably one of BSU’s most promising faculties, which offers exceptionally high-quality professional training at an unprecedented level. As the role of computers and technological tools in organising the work of any professional is currently as important as ever before, students of all specialities are becoming proficient in computer technologies. The faculty is equipped with a state-of-the-art media library and a language lab. The processes of globalisation and the need to intensify collaboration with foreign partners determine the great attention the Faculty pays to the study of foreign languages.

Teaching provided at the Faculty is in line with modern educational standards. A comprehensive set of sciences constitutes humanitarian knowledge. Students acquire fundamental theoretical knowledge as well as scientific and practical research skills, using professional software, among other things. Practical experience is an essential part of our specialists’ education.

The faculty has developed its own special school of training qualified specialists, the basis of which is the involvement of young people in scientific research, practical developments, social life, including student volunteering. University education is characterised by its comprehensiveness, allowing graduates of the Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications to be competent and freely navigate all aspects of modern life.

Graduates can continue their studies at the Faculty’s scientific Master’s programme in Art History, Media Design, and Cultural Studies. Admission to the Master’s programme is carried out on a competitive basis. Graduates of the Master’s program who have demonstrated an enthusiasm for research can pursue postgraduate program of the Department of Cultural Studies.

Extensive theoretical training as well as the active practical and research work under the direction of lecturers makes the graduates of the faculty competitive in the current job market. Numerous options for employment are varied and extensive, including positions in the public sector, state-owned companies, industrial corporations, IT companies, banks, travel agencies, mass media, research organisations, and academic institutions.

Teaching provided at the Faculty is in line with modern educational standards. A comprehensive set of sciences constitutes humanitarian knowledge. Students acquire fundamental theoretical knowledge as well as scientific and practical research skills, using professional software, among other things. Hands-on experience is an essential part of our specialists’ education.

Students’ active participation in research and practical development at the Faculty serves as the foundation for the Faculty’s own school of educated specialists, which is a fundamental aspect of the University. University education is characterised by its comprehensiveness, allowing graduates of the Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications to be competent and freely navigate all aspects of modern life.

Faculty Structure

Today, the Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications includes 11 departments, representing contemporary fields of humanities, social work and design. Including:

The academic staff of the Faculty is represented by over 150 people. The percentage of individuals holding an academic rank or degree within the faculty academic staff 43%. The average age of the Faculty’s lecturers is 45 years old. There are more than 1,100 students in total.

Faculty's functioning laboratories:

  • Student scientific & practical group “School of Volunteers”;
  • Student research group “Litera”;
  • Student research laboratory “Computer Design”;
  • Student research group “Labyrinth”;
  • Student research group “CL&L (Computational Linguistics and Linguodidactics)”;
  • Student research group “Deutsch ohne Grenzen”;
  • Student group “Design Studio “Style”;
  • Student research group “Science FAMCS Club”;
  • Student research group “English Science Club”;
  • Student research group “D-Lab”.

Faculty offers training in the following specialities:

1. Design (Major: “Design of Subject-Spatial Environment”)

Specializations:
– Exhibition Design;
– Interior Design.

Study period: 5 years.

Qualification: designer.

2. Communicative Design

Study period: 5 years.

Qualification: designer.

3. Applied Information Science (Major: Web-programming & Computer Design).

Study period: 4 years.

Qualification: computer scientist, specialist in computer-aided design and web application development.

4. Cultural Studies (Major: Applied Cultural Studies)

Specializations:
– advertising and public relations management;
– management of international cultural relations.

Study period: 4 years.

Qualification: cultural expert, manager.

5. Modern Foreign Languages

5.1 Modern Foreign Languages (Major: Teaching)

Specializations:
– Computational Linguistics;
– Computer-assisted Language Teaching.

Study period: 5 years.

Qualification: linguist, teacher of two foreign languages (languages specified).

5.2 Modern Foreign Languages (Major: Translation)

Study period: 5 years.

Qualification: linguist, interpreter of the English and German languages.

Communicative Design

Over the course of its work, the Department of Design at the Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications developed an original training approach for specialists in the field of design education. A distinct vision of professional goals, objectives, methods, and means of activity defines every aspect of the school of design that has evolved over time, all of which are guided by the original concept of training highly qualified designers. The fundamental difference between the position held by the department is the rejection of a normative, applied and purely pragmatic approach to training highly qualified design specialists.

The capacity to integrate the concepts of scientific, technological, and creative innovation is essential for graduates of the “Design” speciality to succeed in their professional endeavours. This allows them to adapt independently in difficult conditions of increased competition in the labour market, as well as work in any field of design, having high flexibility, the ability to generate ideas and look for novelty in design activities. For many people in our country, the three significant words are: “state” – as a guarantee of quality, “humanitarian” – as a versatility of world-view, “design” – as creativity of intellect. This is the meaningful statement graduates of BSU Design Department take great pride in.

Design (Major: Subject-spatial Environment)

The idea behind educating students in this speciality is to combine professional training in computer modelling, design-engineering, and contemporary visual strategies with the application of virtual and current design strategies, environmental imagination, and creative vision development. Combination of classical and contemporary design strategies with both national and international artwork and design techniques comprises the original style of the Department. Students study modern world design and creative industries, technologies and constructions (wood, metal, glass, synthetic materials, nano-materials, etc.), theory and history of world and Belarusian art and design, design engineering and modern fabrication. In their senior year, students major in interior and urban design, exhibit design, and art-design. Leading design educational institutions, workshops, furniture stores, and showrooms offer student internships. Course and diploma projects reflect both imaginative and futurological topics related to modelling of the future environment and new design concepts, and “real” topics – design of urban environment, interiors of individual residential houses and apartments, office spaces, visual and graphic communications in the environment, design art objects.

Modern Foreign Languages (Major: Teaching)

Specializations: “Computer Linguistics”, “Computer Assisted Language Teaching”.

The Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications at BSU offers specialised training in modern foreign languages that is unparalleled in the Republic of Belarus. Students pursuing the specialization “Computer Linguistics” receive knowledge on formalization of any natural language in order to facilitate human-computer communication and enable the development of artificial intelligence systems. The knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired can be applied in the creation of information retrieval systems, machine translation systems, expert and dialogue systems, among other things. Given that computational linguistics is a relatively new area of study, there are a lot of remaining inquiries in it, which provides an abundance of potential for further research and learning.

Specialists in the field of computer-assisted foreign language teaching will be adept at using modern software and information technology in education settings, alongside advanced instructional computer technologies, to teach foreign languages. Graduates of the specialty are employed by IT companies, production organisations, and a variety of academic and scientific institutions.

Modern Foreign Languages (Major: Translation)

For more than 15 years, the Department of Theory and Practice of Translation has been training specialists in the specialty “Modern Foreign Languages (Translation)” at the first level of higher education. Graduates of the Department pursue careers in research, business communication, management, and large international companies. They go on to complete postgraduate studies in the Republic of Belarus and abroad, have the opportunity to choose a career as a scientist, master the skills of practical work in the specialty, business communication, research work.

An interpreter’s responsibilities encompass organising and coordinating tours to cultural & historical sites for foreign visitors, interpreting at presentations and business meetings, escorting Russian-speaking groups travelling overseas, translating fiction and technical texts, and teaching.

Cultural Studies (Major: Applied Cultural Studies)

Specializations: “Management of Advertising and Public Relations”, “Management of International Cultural Relations”

For the first time in Belarus, the Faculty recruited and trained future specialists in applied cultural studies in the specialisations of “Management of Advertising and Public Relations” and “Management of International Cultural Relations” in 2013. This specialty is new and promising for the University. The specialty has an interdisciplinary character and provides a unique opportunity to choose professional activity in different areas of sociocultural sphere. The responsibilities of public relations specialists include creating a “positive image” of an organisation, business, or individual; planning and carrying out PR campaigns; interacting with the media (newspapers, radio, television, Internet), clients, partners, and competitors; and working with the authorities. They also involve writing articles, press releases, blogging, participating in social networks, and coordinating information campaigns.

Graduates are able to obtain career as public relations (PR) specialists in government agencies, private enterprises, the travel industry, advertising, PR firms, and as experts in the fields of international cultural relations and art management.

Applied Computer Science (Major: Web-programming and Computer Design)

Specialization: Web-design and computer graphics

The specialty of “Applied Informatics” holds a steady position in the field of IT expert training. Graduates of the specialisation are business application developers, system analysts, and specialists in information systems and information resources. They can find employment in both software development businesses and organisations that use and manage information and communication technologies. The purpose of specialisation “Web-design and computer graphics” is to train qualified specialists capable of creating a web-resource, including all stages of its development: concept, design, web-technologies and its promotion on the market.

Scientific-research Work at the Faculty

Faculty education is unthinkable without a close connection with science. Students are actively involved in scientific research conducted in the departments of the Faculty or in scientific laboratories.

As a result, students develop competences in the field of research work, which encourages cognitive research activity and interest in conducting scientific research, form the motive of independence in carrying out this kind of work.

Scientific activities are conducted in accordance with the specialisation of the departments and the interests of the students. Among the prioritised areas of research are the following:

  • Research and development of software products in the field of computational linguistics and linguodidactics.
  • Study of the formation of the grammatical structure and lexical fund of modern Roman, Germanic and Slavic languages in the context of historical and social development.
  • Development of a comprehensive research concept reflecting current problems of grammar, lexicology, syntax, stylistics, as well as promising methods, technologies and concepts of teaching modern foreign languages in the context of linguocultural discourse.
  • Research of the process of intercultural communication (Belarusian, Russian, Polish, Jewish, Tatar, etc. cultures) and study of paradigms of American, German, Jewish cultures.
  • Scientific-theoretical and educational-methodological aspects of conceptual design in the educational system.
  • Study of the range of programming languages used in the creation of websites.

In order to engage students in scientific work and optimise their research activities, the following research laboratories have been set up at the Faculty:

  • Student scientific & practical group “School of Volunteers”;
  • Student research group “Litera”;
  • Student research laboratory “Computer Design”;
  • Student research group “Labyrinth”;
  • Student research group “CL&L (Computational Linguistics and Linguodidactics)”;
  • Student research group “Deutsch ohne Grenzen”;
  • Student group “Design Studio “Style”;
  • Student research group “Science FAMCS Club”;
  • Student research group “English Science Club”;
  • Student research group “D-Lab”.

In addition, the Faculty works extensively in the area of research and development coordination. This includes work on international scientific conferences, seminars on issues related to the designated areas of scientific and innovative activity, and problem-solving within the scientific school that is being established in the structural subdivision.

A number of major international scientific events have been organised by the Departments of the Faculty within the scientific topics being researched:

  1. International Scientific and Practical Conference “Advanced Topics of Modern American Studies (Cultural Aspect)” (April 2007).
  2. International Scientific and Practical Conference “Belarusian-Jewish Dialogue in the Context of World Culture” (April 2008).
  3. International Scientific and Practical Conference “International Language Forum” (April 2011).
  4. First International Scientific and Practical Conference “Cross-Cultural Communication and Modern Technologies in Language Research and Teaching” (October 2011).
  5. International Scientific and Practical Conference “Universal and National Aspects of Culture” (April 2012).
  6. Republican scientific-practical seminar with international participation “Innovative technologies in the modern paradigm of language education” (October 2012).
  7. Second International Scientific and Practical Conference “Cross-Cultural Communication and Modern Technologies in Language Research and Teaching” (October 2013).
  8. International Scientific and Practical Conference “German Culture in the Context of World Culture” (April 2014).
  9. III International Scientific and Practical Conference “Linguistics, Linguodidactics, Linguoculturology: topical issues and prospects of development” (March 2019).
  10. II International Scientific and Practical Conference “Foreign Languages: Innovations, Research and Teaching Perspectives” (March 2019).
  11. IV International Scientific and Practical Conference “National Cultures in Intercultural Communication (New Paradigm of Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage)” (April 2019).
  12. III International Scientific and Practical Conference “Advanced topics of design and design-education” (April 2019).
  13. II International Scientific and Practical Internet Conference “Modern issues of promoting a healthy lifestyle among student youth” (April 2019).
  14. VI Scientific and Practical Conference “Advanced topics of Humanitarian Education” (October 2019).
  15. V International Scientific and Practical Conference “Linguistic identity and effective communication in the modern multicultural world” (October 2019).
  16. ІІI Republican scientific-practical conference named after I.O. Akhremchik “Me in the World of Art” (November 2019).
  17. IV International Scientific and Educational Forum for Young Translators “Linguistic Identity and Translation” (November 2019).
  18. III International Scientific and Practical Conference “Foreign Languages: Innovations, Research and Teaching Porspects” (March 2020).

Based on the materials of the scientific conferences, numerous collections of articles were published.

The topics of students’ research work at the Department of Cultural Studies cover a wide range of problems, which include: intercultural dialogue; determination of the peculiarities of national cultures and their value complexes; genesis and dynamics of culture; development of modern civilization and its information space; specificity of forms and artifacts of culture; literature and art as a cultural marker and a number of others. The range of scientific research of students is expanding due to the opening of a new specialisation “Cultural Studies (Applied)”. The organisation of the educational process and the development of scientific-innovative competence at various training levels for the form of control over students’ involvement in research activities are based on the beginning of students’ autonomous creative work using field and distance research methods, hermeneutic analysis, and familiarity with the most recent advancements in the sciences and cultural studies. All the international conferences, organised by the Department of Cultural Studies, have featured papers presented by its students.

Within the Department of Computer Science, students engage in active scientific projects that involve developing educational software programmes and Android mobile applications. Among them are the following: “Fundamentals of Higher Mathematics,” an interactive electronic educational and methodical complex for the specialisations “1-19 01 01 Design (specialisations)” and “1-19 01 01-04 Design (communicative)”; “Higher Mathematics (Part I),” an interactive electronic educational and methodical complex for the specialisation “1-26 02 02 Management”; and “QualiMe,” an interactive educational environment.

The Department of Communicative Design organises a permanent exhibition of the most noteworthy diploma projects of its graduates. In 2013, students of the Department participated in international contests, focused on the visual design of international championships’ insignia.

Various forms of student involvement in research and development were employed within the implementation of the aforementioned specialisations. These included participation in the annual scientific conference of BSU postgraduate and undergraduate students, international scientific and practical conferences, Republican competition of scientific works and BSU scientific works competition, publication of scientific articles, and involvement in the work of scientific creative laboratories and associations. Research and development can be organised using a variety of methods, including round table discussions, heuristic conversations, scientific tours, defence of artistic and scientific projects, commercial project preparation, and the creation of scientific and educational materials.

Students of the Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications actively participate in the annual scientific conference of BSU undergraduate and postgraduate students.

There are 2 student scientific research laboratories (SSRL), 2 scientific and creative groups, 1 scientific and creative club, 1 scientific and creative association, 1 studio of professional self-development “Phoenix”.

The Department of Translation Theory and Practice‘s student research group “Litera” conducts scientific seminars on a variety of topics related to linguistic research, including national and cultural variations in speech patterns of linguistic personalities, contemporary scientific advances in cognitive linguistics, discourse, stylistics, literary studies, translation, and text interpretation. The fundamental outcome of the research programme is to maximise the training of specialists at the primary professionalisation stage.

With a decade of activity at the Department of Cultural Studies, the scientific student group “Labyrinth” promotes the formation and development of scientific knowledge about culture, professional competencies, and creativity. Its activities are not limited to research tours and excursions nationwide as well as worldwide, brain-rings, the development of cultural projects, meetings with the country’s intellectual elite, and the preparation and organisation of student exhibitions. In 2010, Labyrinth won BSU competition as the best student project.

Student scientific research laboratory “Computer Design” (Department of Computer Science) participated in the development of modules of educational resources (web-resource “Qualime”), organised and held an exhibition of student computer graphics projects “Minsk through the eyes of a student: past, present, future” (May – December 2013, BSU, Department of IT, participants – 1-2 year students of the Department of Design). The projects were shown in the student exhibition “Art-Design” organised by the Department of Design in BSU Scientific and Research Centre (May 2013, Minsk Municipal Library No. 5, Kozlov St.). Student scientific research laboratory members participated in the discussion panel of the XIII Student International Scientific and Practical Conference “SibAC” (October-November 2013) and at the International Congress on Informatics “Information Systems and Technologies (CSIST’2013)” (Minsk, 4-7 November 2013).

The Department of Communicative Design has a student research laboratory, the findings of which are used to organise annual design sections at the undergraduate and graduate conferences at BSU. The visual design of the insignia for the two international sports championships held in Minsk was created, integrating students’ scientific and creative work. The students’ works win in competitions for the best photo and the best design of BSU calendar.

With the assistance of students, a programme has been developed to hold regular events promoting the faculty’s specialties as well as offer career guidance to students in both urban and rural schools, defining the benefits of studying at BSU in general and the Faculty of Sociocultural Communications in particular.

Faculty Public and Student Activity

An active social life is one of the advantages of being a student of the Faculty. Our students are among the volunteers at world championships, as well as participants of international festivals and forums. As well as the university’s and the faculty’s concerts & creative activities. Many are laureates of various festivals and TV projects.

The Student Self-Governance Council of the Faculty of Social and Cultural Communications is made up of the heads of the following youth organisations: Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRYU), BSU Student Union, student trade union organisation, Student Council for Quality Education, Council of Student Group Monitors, editorial board of the newspaper “Gumka”. The faculty has designated a separate room (#709), which will help to create the necessary conditions for these youth organisations to function. Information on the activities of the organisations is presented on the info stands of the Faculty and on the Internet.

The committee’s project “Share the warmth of your soul” started the volunteer movement. Students frequently work with children in unstable homes in the Moskovsky district of Minsk, in addition to visiting orphanages and organising charitable activities. They also support the implementation of programmes designed to aid in the early recovery of children with mental health issues.

The Department of Translation Theory and Practice initiated its volunteer activity in 2009. In September 2009 Brest Rowing Canal hosted the European Rowing Championships. It was the first time our students took part in the preparation and organisation of such a large international event. The soon-to-be interpreters were given the chance to fully demonstrate the skills and expertise that they had acquired over the years. Following the championship, our students were invited to assist with the planning and execution of the World Rowing Championship for athletes under the age of twenty-three, demonstrating their capability as all-around experts capable of offering professional assistance in all spheres of international activity. This offer was the best reward for their diligence and quality work.

Additionally, in 2013, the faculty’s students competed in the European Junior Rowing Championship, European Junior Boxing Championship, European Junior Triathlon Championship, Open Championship of the Republic of Belarus in Pentathlon, and the Olympic wrestling cup, all of which were held for prizes provided by the Olympic champion Alexander Medved’.

The Department of Translation Theory and Practice is currently setting ambitious objectives for its international initiatives.

The Faculty frequently hosts Days of Psychology, History and Law. Students of the Faculty of Sociocultural Communications take an active part in the year-round BSU Spartakiade in the following sports: women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, university cross-country, women’s karate, arm wrestling, mini football, table tennis. Students of the Faculty are provided with their own rooms in the Dormitory No. 10 on 8 Kurchatov Street in Minsk.

The main objective of the joint educational endeavours of the Student Self-Governance Council and the Dean’s Office is to establish the conditions essential for the nurture of a morally developed, intellectually and physically mature student personality. This personality is inherent in social activity, civic responsibility and patriotism, commitment to university traditions and values, readiness for professional self-improvement, and active participation in the nation’s sociocultural and economic life.