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Health Behaviour and Wellbeing

Nominal duration of the study programme: 4 years (8 semesters)
Tuition fee:
Language of Instruction:
Estonian, English
Field of Study: health, wellbeing
Conferred Degree: PhD (Health behaviour and wellbeing)

Detailed study programme is available here.

Wellbeing and its administration is a growing economic sector, founded on evidence-based theories of healthy lifestyle and prevention of diseases.
The goal of the doctoral study programme is to promote scientific work providing support to healthy lifestyle with the aim to reduce economic and social costs caused by decline in wellbeing and quality of life, which have been brought along by suboptimal work arrangements and other contemporary social processes due to technological development.
The basis of the doctoral study programme lies in the interdisciplinary studies of people’s health awareness, work ability and wellbeing which tackle neurological, biochemical, physiological, mechanical, behavioural, environmental, social and creative activity related aspects of physical and mental ability and wellbeing. Studies and research carried out with the aim to maintain and improve the state of health and wellbeing will take into consideration the contexts of population’s different target groups and needs, such as school, work environment, sports and physical activity, active lifestyle, creative hobbies etc. During the programme, the students are taught the principles of carrying out research and its practical application to pursue a career in higher education, research and development institutions and in health care system by integrating knowledge with health technologies that meet present-day expectations, taking into account the peculiarities of health administration.

Objectives of the Programme
  • To create conditions for the acquisition of broad-based and systemic in-depth education in health behaviour and wellbeing, and for independent scientific research at an internationally recognised level.
  • To develop the capacity to act as a researcher or lecturer in the field of wellbeing and health sciences, and to acquire global, holistic and sustainable ideology.
  • To support the development of scientists with independent research skills into highly qualified lecturers, researchers and experts for research and development institutions, higher education institutions and agencies in the sector of health.
Learning Outcomes

The graduate:

  • has broad knowledge and systemic overview of health behaviour and wellbeing, and thorough knowledge of one’s research area
  • knows how to use research and data analysis methods, how to formulate research questions and hypotheses of relations between health, behaviour and environment, how to manipulate them independently in a critical and creative manner and how to form generalisations
  • is able to critically assess the meaning and scope of knowledge and research methods within and outside the field of health behaviour and wellbeing, as well as the practical applicability of research results
  • knows how to analyse arguments and is capable of presenting and reasoning his/her research results to professionals as well as to the public at large
  • has management and teamwork skills and can take creative and strategically sustainable decisions 
  • knows how to write a scientific article and finds publication opportunities
  • understands the need for continuing education and professional development, is capable of passing on his/her learning outcomes through supervising and teaching
What Do We Expect from an Applicant?

We welcome people who hold a Master’s degree in a study area related to health and wellbeing, or have higher medical education, and who have a clear vision of their doctoral thesis available in the form of a plan and have a prospective supervisor.

Why Study Health Behaviour and Wellbeing at Tallinn University?

The Estonian Health Development Trends 2020 state that the development of the field of health is influenced by the aging, decrease and relocation of population within Estonia and globally; increase of incidence and chronic diseases; society’s growing demands as regards the quality and availability of services; free movement of people (labour force, patients); limited resources (competent personnel, public financing) as compared to the increase of health care costs.

In addition to health care services, there is an increase in health services, such as counselling services, aimed at the prevention or indignation of risk behaviour, including the early detection and indignation of addiction disorders (e.g. alcoholism), prevention of diseases and also at increasing one’s subjective wellbeing.

PhD diploma in the area of health behaviour and wellbeing enables working as a researcher, lecturer or top-level expert at employment positions that require a doctoral degree. The graduates have a high potential to find employment in various fields in educational institutions, hospitals, private sector, as well as in local governments and state governance.

Defended doctoral theses

Please see the defended doctoral theses here.

Admission Requirements
  • General admission requirements can be found here.
  • Programme Specific Requirements:
    Admission exam is based on the submitted documents and is carried out in the form of an interview on the basis of the motivation letter, CV and plan for the doctoral thesis that is agreed with the prospective supervisor (the list of existing publications for the planned doctoral thesis can be added by request).

HEALTH BEHAVIOUR AND WELLBEING_Vastuvotutingimused ja protseduur _2018 (2).pdf (135 KiB)More info about Programme Specific Requirements HERE.

For further information, please visit also the School of Natural Sciences and Health webpage.

For the purposes of identity verification at the admission procedure the Admission Committee has the right to take a screenshot during the oral part of the admission exam carried out via video bridge.

Contact details
  • Specific questions regarding the programme should be directed to the School of Natural Sciences and Health:
    - Airi Värnik MD PhD, Professor of Mental Health
      Head of Study Programme
    - Sirje Vaask
      School of Natural Sciences and Health, Head of Studies
      E-mail: sirje.vaask....at....tlu.ee
  • For additional guidelines regarding general admission procedure please contact the international admission specialist:
    E-mail: admissions....at....tlu.ee
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