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Screen Media and Innovation

Screen media plays a vital role in all of our lives. The various forms of content, including images, videos, and interactive experiences, that are displayed on screens such as those found on televisions, computers, tablets, smartphones, and other digital devices, hold immense significance in today's society, shaping our perceptions of the world. What is more, the continual emergence of new technologies facilitates novel forms of content creation, distribution, and consumption, fostering opportunities for fresh entrants into the screen media industry. This transformative landscape of the screen media industry wields substantial economic, cultural, and societal influence. The Screen Media and Innovation study program is for those who are eager to comprehend the current dynamics of screen media and explore the innovative potential within to address real-life societal challenges. Participants in this program engage in both academic research and critical analysis, as well as in hands-on project development within the dynamic realm of screen media innovation.

Study level Master's Studies

Duration of study 2 years

Language English

Study form Regular studies

Cost per semester 2100

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Screen Media and Innovation is the most innovative new study programme at Tallinn University. With us you will learn through practical, problem-oriented teamwork about the changes that ubiquitous screens, digitalisation, platformisation and datafication bring to media practices, participation, cultures, and industries.
Our pedagogical approach is novel and one-of-a-kind at Tallinn University.  We follow the project-/problem-based learning method, which means that students learn by actively working on meaningful projects intended to solve current problems pertaining to real world challenges. 
For our cohort that starts in September 2024, the overarching challenge to address is sustainability. The aim is to imagine, research, analyze, innovate, and design innovative screen media solutions that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (as defined by the United Nations).
After a semester of introductory courses on contemporary screen media, students assemble into mentored teams that work on projects for the majority of the study period.

Who are we looking for?

You are a good fit if you’ve previously studied or worked in the fields of media, technology, culture, or social studies; possess an independent and analytical mind; and are driven by a desire to innovate. 
Good command of English is needed. 

Why study with us?

Screen Media and Innovation is innovative to the core. Our pedagogy is based on what has been developed as “project- or problem-based learning” at the Harvard Teaching and Learning Lab, the Stanford d.school, and Aalborg University. Project-/problem-based learning is a step-by-step process in which teams of students respond to a challenge, focusing on a specific problem related to that challenge based on their interests, experiences, and ambitions, and design a project to solve that problem within a given timeframe (two semesters). They then work towards it by following specific phases similar to those used in design thinking. Tailored micro-courses (e.g. methods of prototyping, entrepreneurial thinking, AV, and transmedia storytelling) are offered during each phase.
Our teaching staff are internationally renowned experts of media research, and we regularly involve visiting professors from all over the world as well as local practitioners from media industries. The combination of professional instruction and creative project-based learning prepares successful graduates to confidently and knowledgeably solve complex problems and work in teams in media and creative industry jobs, research, and policy work, or as entrepreneurs.

Study support facilities

The Baltic Film, Media and Arts School (BFM) offers a multicultural, international learning environment, with students and teaching staff coming from all over the world. Our recently renovated, modern campus is in the center of Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia.

Course Outline

Screen Media and Innovation follows the process of project-/problem-based learning developed at the Harvard Teaching and Learning Lab, Stanford d.school, and Aalborg University. This means that each group of students is faced with a broad challenge, which they turn into projects solving specific problems based on their interests, ambitions, and experience. 
This year’s challenge is “Screen media innovations towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.

The most pressing challenge in today’s world is how to make our world more sustainable. A sustainable world, according to the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations member states, is a world characterized by a harmonious balance between environmental protection, social equity, and economic prosperity, with a commitment to leaving no one behind. It envisions a future in which humanity lives in harmony with the planet, ensuring the well-being of present and future generations. 
Considering the impact of screen media on the economy, culture, and society, along with its responsiveness to technological advancements, there is significant potential for innovative screen media solutions to effectively tackle sustainability issues across various levels and domains.
Hence, we invite students to imagine, research, analyze, innovate, and design innovative screen media solutions that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The process of addressing the challenge 

Students will work in teams to pinpoint a specific problem they are fascinated by within the broad realm of sustainability and create a project to positively address the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
This means that one team might experiment with a learning app for improving equality in access to education, another might work on hands-on solutions for green production in the screen media industry, and a third might work on screen media innovations, such as mobile apps, interactive storytelling, and gamification in order to address urbanization challenges. Or, you could do something entirely different depending on the interests and skills of your team.
Your project can focus on research, activist intervention, or imagining things leading to a better future. You and your team will have the luxury of two semesters, a mentor, and specifically designed micro-courses to help you through the steps of exploring, interpreting, ideating, prototyping, and evolving. 

The MA programme lasts for four semesters (two years). 
The 1st semester includes the following:  
Introduction, lectures, and seminars. Introduction to project-/problem-based learning and to topics necessary for understanding screen media—media innovation, media management and media economies, social media, transmedia storytelling, and intercultural communication. 
The 2nd and 3rd semesters include the following:  
Teams work on their projects with mentors. This work happens in five steps (exploring, interpreting, ideating, prototyping, and evolving). Each phase consists of teamwork and mentor meetings as well as micro-courses on specific topics relevant to the particular phase (e.g. methods of prototyping, entrepreneurial thinking, project management, critical thinking, practical innovation, methods for gathering or analyzing data, media regulation and media policies, social theory, professional communication, etc. Note, however, that this is not an MA program in programming/coding). The final semester is for thesis work. 

See the Study Programme

Academic Staff

Ulrike Rohn, PhD is Professor of Media Management and Media Economics. She has initiated and led various nationally and internationally-funded research projects. She has led the Horizon2020 project ScreenME on screen media entrepreneurship (2019-2023), and she co-initiated the HorizonEurope project CRESCINE on the international competitiveness of the European film industry (2023-2026). Ulrike Rohn serves on various academic editorial boards and has served as President of the European Media Management Association (emma, 2016-2021). Her recent and forthcoming publications include topics such as Web3, creator economy, user data analytics, public service media, film festivals, paradox theory in media management, entrepreneurship education, as well as the forthcoming De Gruyter Handbook of Media Economics. Ulrike Rohn also hosts the ScreenME Podcast on entrepreneurship in the screen media industry. Ulrike Rohn curates the Screen Media and Innovation study programme. 

Ulrike´s research profile on ETIS


Katrin Tiidenberg, PhD is Professor of Participatory Culture. She has published extensively on social media user cultures and her main research interests focus on the intersections of (visual) self-presentation and power. Her research topics include trust, deplatformization of sex, technology and wellbeing, visual research methods and digital research ethics. She is currently leading an international research project on digital visual trust in the context of wellbeing related content (TRAVIS project).

Katrin's research profile on ETIS

Indrek Ibrus, PhD is Professor of Media Innovation and the curator of BFM’s doctoral programme. He holds a PhD from London School of Economics and Political Science and a MPhil from the University of Oslo. His research interests include media innovation and evolution, datafication of media and the evolution of the new iteration of the internet. 
He is an author or editor of four books and is currently a co-editor of Baltic Screen Media Review, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to audiovisual cultures around the Baltic Sea. He is currently a leading an Estonian Government funded research project on how media industries can create public value with new data technologies.

Indrek's research profile on ETIS

Andres Jõesaar, PhD has a long experience in the media and telecom industries, especially on the management, content side and media research. In the 90s he was one of the founding members of the private television channel RTV and the general director of the commercial broadcaster TV3. From 2000 - 2011 he was the director for the content services in the Estonian branch of the Tele2. Between 2000-2012, Jõesaar has been the chairman of the Council of the Estonian Public Broadcasting. He has been a member and chair of several Council of Europe’s and OSCE expert groups and currently is also media advisor for the Ministry of Culture.
His main research interests are media policy, media economics, and audience studies. In his research, he has paid particular attention to the role and impact of media, including public service media, in different communities. Drawing on research on audiences’ evaluations of the public value, credibility, and importance of the media, he has advised policymakers on the design and implementation of media legislation. Jõesaar holds a PhD in Media and Communication from the University of Tartu.

Andres's research profile on ETIS

Anastassia Zabrodskaja is Professor of Intercultural Communication and Head of the Communication Management Master’s programme at Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media and Arts School (Tallinn, Estonia). She is Executive Director of the European Master’s in Intercultural Communication programme. Her primary research interests are identity, language contacts and linguistic landscapes. She teaches courses focusing on intercultural communication. Professor Anastassia Zabrodskaja is a Regional Representative (Europe) on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Language and Social Psychology. Professor Zabrodskaja serves as vice chair in the International and Intercultural Communication section of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). Anastassia Zabrodskaja is an expert in the social psychology of language. She has been involved in research projects on the development of the Estonian linguistic environment, bilingual speech and aspects of ethnolinguistic vitality, where her roles as a (main) project investigator have included scientific research to analyse language dynamics and change in Estonia. Her research has focused on identity dynamics and declared language behaviour and language ideologies among both ethnolinguistically mixed and ethnolinguistically monolingual families in Estonia in order to understand intergenerational language transmission processes. She explores the acculturation experience of international students in Estonia. She is experienced in using qualitative methods in the field of sociolinguistics and intercultural communication.

Anastassia's research profile on ETIS

Alessandro Nanì, PhD is an associate professor of Crossmedia. He teaches Crossmedia and Transmedia Storytelling both at BA and MA level. He is also Tallinn university’s principal investigator of Mapping Media for Future Democracies (MeDeMap), an Horizon Europe project.  From 2018 until 2023 he served as the chair and vice-chair in the Audience and Reception Studies section of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). Alessandro has a PhD in media and communication from the University of Tartu. His area of research focuses on audiences, transmedia storytelling and crossmedia production. As well as working in academia, Alessandro is currently producing and co-directing the documentary film Humans Remain shot in Sicily (Italy) and New York City and with the expected premiere in 2025.

Alessandro's research profile on ETIS

Andres Kõnno, PhD is a researcher and lecturer at Tallinn University, BFM. Currently his research is focused on the analysis of Estonian Public Broadcasting archive with the means of linguistic models. Also, importantly - studying the ways in which its metadata could be employed as an open data source for public use in general. Andres is a curator and lecturer for the Contemporary Media MA program. Also he lectures for the BA students of Crossmedia and Journalism both (media and communication theories, cultural analysis and contemporary media). Andres defended his PhD in 2016, his background is in semiotics and culturology (MA) and he has worked as a media analyst and a consultant in the media industry.  

Andres's research profile on ETIS

Arko Olesk is a lecturer and a PhD student in the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School at Tallinn University. He is also the science advisor for the President of Estonia, Alar Karsi. He holds a MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London. In his PhD project Arko studies the interaction between scientists and media under the conception of mediatization of science. As a journalist. he has been twice awarded the national award for the popularization of science. Arko is the chair of the advisory board of the national science communication programme TeaMe+. As a researcher, he also works on the topic of environment communication.

Arko's research profile on ETIS

Alar Pink is an experienced marketer, trainer and speaker. He is a specialist in his field with over twenty years of marketing management experience. Alar has extensive international marketing management experience. He has successfully introduced more than 600 new products to the market together with the team. Alar has thorough knowledge of modern marketing methods and technologies. 

Alar's research profile on ETIS 

Madis Järvekülg (PhD, Tallinn University) is a research fellow and lecturer at the Baltic Film, Media and Arts School (BFM) in Tallinn University. His research interests include the social dynamics and evolution of digital culture with a special focus on social media entertainment and music industries. Madis has experience as a visiting researcher from University of Leeds and Queensland University of Technology. Prior to his academic career, Madis served as an editor and music critic for Estonian Public Broadcasting.

Madis’ research profile on ETIS

Ermo Säks is a visiting research fellow and PhD student at the Baltic Film, Media and Arts School (BFM) at Tallinn University, Estonia. His primary focus of research revolves around cinematic virtual reality (CVR), alongside interests in media, communication, emerging technologies, and the metaverse. He is also the coordinator of Tallinn University’s interdisciplinary cooperation cluster MINT (Mind the Metaverse) and co-author of Tallinn University’s monthly multicam production talk show EXU Academy which introduces and displays collaboration between the university and public & private organizations. He has worked at Estonian Public Broadcasting and has altogether more than 15 years of experience in directing and producing in television.

Ermo’s research profile on ETIS

Admission Requirements

General requirements

Please see the complete overview of admission and application requirements for Master's level applicants.

Application Deadlines and Requirements

Entrance exam (100%)

The entrance exam consists of two parts:

  • Motivation letter (50%)
  • Interview (50%)

Guidelines for motivational letter are found here

The committee can give a maximum of 50 points for the motivation letter and maximum 50 points for the interview. The committee will assess both parts and total score in consensus after the interview. 

Evaluation criteria for the motivation letter
1.        Both parts are done in expected word count (1. Why you want to study Screen Media and Innovation at Tallinn University, 2. brief analytical reflection and speculative discussion screen media industries in terms of attaining sustainability)
2.        The structure of the motivation letter is appropriate and logical
3.        Both parts of the motivation letter meet the criteria set out in the guidelines
4.        The language use is appropriate for academic setting and demonstrates good command of English, the letter is proofread and edited
5.        The author dialogues with / references at least 3 texts in the second part of the motivation letter
6.        The author's justifications for studying Screen Media at TLU are indicative of an informed choice 
7.        The author's ideas regarding the connection between the screen media industries and sustainability are informed of the state of the art and indicative of an innovative mindset

Evaluation criteria for the interview
1. A clear interest towards studying Screen Media and Innovation at TLU
2. An understanding of, curiosity towards and inclination for project and problem based learning
3. Skillful and persuasive communication 

CV and motivation letter as two separate files. Please follow the guidelines from here for your motivation letter. 

Candidates may apply for further clarification of their results at screenmedia@tlu.ee.

Career opportunities

We prepare innovators. You will understand key trends and dynamics of the screen media ecosystem, have the analytical prowess to pinpoint problems, and the ability to turn them into opportunities. You will have extended experience with project management, teamwork, design thinking, and practical innovation.
This is a profile of someone with a successful international career as an innovator, developer, consultant, analyst, specialist, manager, or entrepreneur within media-, and creative economies, or an expert consultant within the public or NGO sector.

Why BFM?

Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media and Arts School (BFM) focuses on professional hands-on training designed for international careers. BFM has over 800 students, about 230 of them are international students from more than 50 countries worldwide.

The teaching staff are internationally recognized researchers and practitioners in their respective fields. 

The university provides students with a state of the art facilities and equipment. BFM building houses Estonia’s first 4K cinema hall, film and sound studios, and editing rooms.
BFM has over 30 partner universities in Europe and Asia, which offers a truly exciting mix of cultures that creates an invaluable professional network for your later career.


BFM offers a 100%  tuition fee reduction for two students of the Screen Media and Innovation curriculum from the first semester of study. The grant is applied for at the beginning of each semester and is paid on the basis of the best entrance exam results in the first semester and the best study results thereafter.


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