Screen Media and Innovation
How relevant are screens in your life? Do you, like an average American, spend 12 hours a day with screens? Does it matter? Screen media is a crucial source of information, knowledge and entertainment for a huge segment of the global population, an increasingly significant economy, yet also a source of anxieties regarding health, wellbeing, culture and politics.
* The application deadline for applicants from Georgia, Japan and USA is May 1st, 2023. The deadline for EU/EEA citizens is June 1st, 2023. The deadline for Finnish, Latvian and Lithuanian citizens who have obtained general secondary education in Finland, Latvia or Lithuania for Bachelor level programmes is August 7, 2023. More info about the application deadlines.
Screen Media and Innovation is the most innovative new study programme at Tallinn University.
With us you will learn:
- through practical, problem-oriented team-work;
- about the changes that ubiquitous screens, digitalisation, platformisation and datafication bring to media cultures, practices, industries and participation.
Our pedagogical approach is novel and one-of-a-kind in Tallinn University. We follow the project/problem based learning method. It means that students learn by actively working on personally meaningful projects intended to solve timely problems pertaining to real world challenges.
This Year The Challenge Is “Brave New Web - Let’s Get Meta About The Future Of The Internet”.
After a semester of introductory courses on screen media of the 21st century, students assemble into mentored teams that work on projects for the majority of the study period.
Screen media is a key economy and a crucial source of information, knowledge and entertainment for a huge segment of the global population. Yet, it is also a source of anxieties regarding health, wellbeing, culture and politics of people worldwide. Are platform companies manipulating us? How to build a better social media? What is ethical design? Where does the future of the internet lie? I don't want to wear a clunky VR headset for a work meeting, do you? Join the Screen Media and Innovation program to learn to think, plan, research, design and innovate for a better future.
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, Stanford d.school and Aalborg University. Project/problem based learning is a step-by-step process where teams of students respond to a screen media challenge, focus on a specific, solvable problem within it based on their interests, experiences and ambitions, and design a project for solving that problem within a given timeframe (two semesters). They then work towards it by following specific phases similar to those in design thinking. Tailored micro-courses (e.g. methods of prototyping, entrepreneurial thinking, AV and transmedia storytelling) are offered during every phase.
Our teaching staff are internationally renowned experts of media research, 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, policy work or as entrepreneurs.
Study support facilities
The Baltic Film, Media and Arts School (BFM) offers a multicultural, international learning environment, where students and teaching staff come from all over the world. Our recently renovated, modern campus is in the center of Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. Tallinn University is ranked 301-400 in Arts by the World University Rankings. BFM students have access to a fully equipped TV/film studio. In 2020 BFM alumnus, director German Golub won the student Oscar (Student Academy Awards, international narrative category 2020).
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 “BRAVE NEW WEB - LET’S GET META ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET.”
You’ve heard about the metaverse, right? No, not the Facebook version of Second Life, we mean the broad conversations about the future of the internet going on between technology evangelists, screen media industry, researchers, policy makers, game designers and internet users. Metaverse is an old sci-fi metaphor broadly applied ideas about the technologies, governance, design and affordances of the next iteration of the internet (sometimes referred to via notions of Web3 or geospatial web). While the metaverse as a decentralized, technologically innovative, VR / AR saturated immersive experience does not yet exist, and many ask if it ever will, existing platform companies, hardware and software firms and game engines have been investing huge amounts of money to realize 3D virtual environments, VR and AR services, 5 and 6G connectivity, while activists contemplate the ethics of decentralization and digital twins, and researchers explore the implications of all of the above. This is a chaotic mess, you could say. This is an excellent opportunity for innovation, we say. We invite students to analyze, critique, imagine, innovate and design towards a better future of the internet.
Process: Students will work in teams to pinpoint a specific problem they are fascinated by within the broad realm of “FUTURE OF THE INTERNET” and create a project to solve it. This means that one team might work on policy recommendations for regulating blockchain based solutions in privacy management, another team on imagining an avatar based learning app to help combat school bullying via empathy and compassion training, while a third team might experiment with models of content moderation suited for geospatial virtual environments. Or, you could do something entirely different, it depends on the interests and skills of your team.
Your project can focus on research, activist intervention, or imagining things for a better future. You and your team will have the luxury of two semesters, a mentor, and specifically catered micro-courses to help you through the steps of exploring, interpreting, ideating, prototyping, and evolving.
The MA program lasts for four semesters (two years).
1st semester: 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.
II and III semester: teams work on their projects with mentors. This work happens in five steps (exploring, interpreting, ideating, prototyping, and evolving). Every phase consists of teamwork and mentor meetings as well as micro-courses on specific topics relevant for 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. however, this is not a programming/coding MA program). The final semester is for thesis work.
Katrin Tiidenberg, PhD is the curator of the Screen Media and Innovation MA Program and 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, deplatformisation of sex, technology and wellbeing, visual research methods and digital research ethics.
Katrin's research profile on ETIS
Indrek Ibrus, PhD is professor of media innovation and head of Tallinn University Centre of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture. He holds a PhD from London School of Economics and Political Science and a MPhil from the University of Oslo. He recently served for two years as the audiovisual advisor at Estonian Ministry of Culture and as Estonia’s representative at the audiovisual working group of the European Council, at European Commission’s AVMSD Contact Group and at the Council of Europe’s Steering Committe for Media and Information Society. Currently he serves as the member of Estonia’s Digital Cultural Heritage Council.
He is a co-editor of Baltic Screen Media Review, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to audiovisual cultures around the Baltic Sea. He has edited also special issues of the International Journal of Communication and International Journal of Cultural Studies. Together with Carlos A. Scolari he co-edited Crossmedia Innovations: Texts, Markets, Institutions, published by Peter Lang in 2012.
Indrek's research profile on ETIS
Ulrike Rohn, PhD is a professor of Media Economics and Management at the Baltic Film, Media and Arts School (BFM). She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Media Business Studies (Taylor & Francis), and Co-Editor of the Springer Series in Media Industries. Previously, Ulrike was a Researcher at the Arcada University in Helsinki (Finland) and the University of Tartu (Estonia). She has been a guest researcher and lecturer at universities in the UK, Sweden, China, and Austria. She has worked in leading media companies in Germany, Japan, India, and the US.
Ulrike received her PhD in 2009 from the University of Jena. Her MA comes from the Freie University of Berlin (both Germany). Her research and teaching includes topics on audiovisual industries, European audiovisual policy, (international) media strategies, media business models, media branding, and cross-cultural audience demand.
Ulrike'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.
Andres's research profile on ETIS
Anastassia Zabrodskaja, PhD is a Professor of Intercultural Communication, Head of the Communication Management master’s programme at the Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School, and in charge of the management of the European master’s in Intercultural Communication programme in Tallinn University. She has taught a number of courses in Intercultural Communication, Sociolinguistics, Language Contacts, Multilingualism, etc. She is a Management Committee Member of the "European Family Support Network Cost Action: A bottom-up, evidence-based and multidisciplinary approach" (2019–2023). Her research deals with identity, intercultural communication, code-switching and linguistic landscape. She has published a monograph and numerous articles on identity and language contacts.
Anastassia's research profile on ETIS
Alessandro Nanì, PhD teaches Crossmedia and Transmedia Storytelling both at BA and MA level. He is also the project manager of Cross Motion (CM), an Interreg Baltic Sea Region project and EU Policy Area Culture Flagship project which aims at bringing together digital cultural heritage and gaming in the service of other sectors. Alessandro has a PhD from the University of Tartu which focuses on television, audiences and crossmedia.
Alessandro's research profile on ETIS
Andres Kõnno, PhD has been teaching media and communication theories, cultural analysis and contemporary media at BFM since defending his PhD in 2016. His background is in semiotics and culturology and he has worked as a media analyst and a consultant in the media industry. His research focuses on longitudinal studies of media and culture and he works on international media pluralism monitoring projects
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
Katrin Aava is BFM's Associate Professor of Communication Studies.
Her main areas of research include:
- Discourse construction in society and interpersonal communication
- Education innovation, higher education didactic, support and development of educational culture
- Discourse analysis, including critical discourse analysis of media texts
- Media Studies
Katrin'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
- Completed Bachelor's degree
- Proof of English Proficiency
Please see the complete overview of admission and application requirements for Master's level applicants.
Application Deadlines and Requirements
Entrance exam (100%)
- Motivation letter (maximum length 1000 words (please do not exceed the word limit), Times New Roman 12, 1.5 lines spacing). Please follow these guidelines, when preparing the motivation letter. - 50%
- Interview - 50%
The committee can give 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
- Both parts are done in expected word count (1. Why you want to study Screen Media and Innovation at Tallinn University, 2. brief analytical speculation (on the future of the internet).
- The structure of the motivation letter is appropriate and logical
- Both parts of the motivation letter meet the criteria set out in the guidelines
- The language use is appropriate for academic setting and demonstrates good command of English, the letter is proofread and edited
- The author dialogues with / references at least 3 texts in the second part of the motivation letter
- The authors justifications for studying Screen Media at TLU are indicative of an informed choice
- The authors ideas regarding the future of the internet are informed of the state of the art and indicative of an innovative mindset
Evaluation criteria for the interview
- A clear interest towards studying Screen Media and Innovation at TLU
- An understanding of, curiosity towards and inclination for project and problem based learning
- Skillful and persuasive communication
Updated on March, 2023
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.
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.
For additional guidelines regarding admission procedure please contact the international admission specialist
Specific questions regarding the programme should be directed to the Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media and Arts School Study Councellor and Specialist:
addressNarva mnt 27, 10120 Tallinn
Baltic Film, Media and Arts School
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