Process

How to register for a course?

Choose a course or several courses, register by filling out an online form. As the number of “seats” on the course is limited, describe your aspirations in taking the course in as much details as possible. The decision on the outcome of your application is based primarily on the seriousness of your intentions to participate in the course.

Within 7 days from the date of submitting the form you will be notified about the status of your application.

If your application is approved, you will receive an email with a contract and the payment details (we use the payment system PayPal). You must submit the payment within 7 days of receiving the invitation to participate in the course. If payment is not made within the specified time, your place will be given to another applicant.

Applications will be considered on first-come, first-serve basis.

If for any reason you wish to discontinue your participation after the start of the course, we fully reimburse the amount paid within 7 calendar days from the start of the course, and 50% of the amount paid within 14 calendar days. After 14 days, no refund can be issued.

What does the course structure look like?

Our courses are built like regular university seminars. You can listen to the “lecture” (presented in written or video format), read texts or materials on the subject, located on the course’s page, participate in online discussion with the instructor and other participants of the course on the forums, or talk with the instructor live via a chat or a webinar.

We offer two formats of participation in the course. Within the “Taught” format you have access to the materials and lectures, and you can participate in forum discussions with other students. The “Research” format, in addition to all of the above, includes homework assignments (these vary for each course) and intructor’s feedback on your performance.

What is a “course”?

As a rule, each course consists of multiple components: lectures or short background pieces on the subject, reading materials, discussion forums and chats. Below you can see several screenshots of some of the course elements taken from our previous courses. Please note that these shots are used for illustration only. The course content may vary.
coursediscussion-soc102

Basic Academic Writing in English Course Home Page

coursemain-vis101

Visual Data for Social Scientists Course Home Page

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Sociology of the Internet Course Home Page

Coursenews-soc102

Sociology of the Internet Course News Page

coursediscussion-soc102

Sociology of the Internet Discussion Page

Do I need special language skills or particular course materials to take part in a course?

Our courses (i.e., lectures and discussions), unless otherwise specified, are conducted in Russian. Reading materials for most courses may be both in Russian and English. Some reading materials will be available online after registration. Others will have to be purchased separately. Our instructors are committed to minimizing the additional costs the students may encounter when it comes to obtaining required reading materials.

Will I get a certificate upon completion of the course?

Upon completion of a course, each student will receive a certificate stating the name of the course, the number of course hours, the name of the instructor and the dates of the course. To obtain the certificate (except where noted) students must complete at least 70% of course assignments. The certificate is sent in an electronic format. You can print it, put a link to it on your resume, or share it on your social media profile (e.g., LinkedIn).

Please note:
University Without Borders is an NOT an accredited educational institution. Unless specifically stated otherwise, University Without Borders is not formally associated with universities or organizations, where our instructors work. The courses offered are personal initiatives of the instructors.

Why aren’t your courses free?

Our courses are taught in real time, in small classes, where there is a constant interaction between the instructor and the students. Free courses offer but a recording of a lecture and do not provide a student with a chance to interact with instructor or get a personalized feedback on the student’s work.

Are you any different from Coursera?

Our courses are different from Coursera and other MOOCs (massive open online courses) in the same way as listening to a live music concert is different from listening to a record. Because our courses take place in real time, there is a chance for the so-called “teaching improvisation”. The instructor takes into account your level of training and is able to respond in real time to any issues that emerge in the course, and organize the course materials accordingly from week to week. Live interaction also contributes to the fact that you can always get an “extra” (idea, reference, line of thought) which is impossible with a course that is recorded in advance.

How much time should I allocate for a successful completion of a course?

The successful participation in the course involves intensive work. Our students spend an average of 8 to 10 hours a week on studying and participation in the course. We recommend that you plan your time in advance as your participation directly affects your personal success, as well as the success of the course.

I have a question for a course instructor. Can I contact him/her prior to the beginning of the course?

Yes. This can be done on a demo-course website or, if such does not exist, you may leave your questions on the forum under the appropriate topic.

Can I take part in the forum without joining one of the courses?

Absolutely! Our forums are designed for intellectual exchange, as well as for the exchange of useful information for researchers.