Doctoral studies

Educational Sciences

Our doctoral programme is all about creating conditions for achieving professionalism in the field of educational sciences and conducting independent research on an internationally recognized level. We support doctoral students in becoming highly qualified university teachers, scientists and experts in the field of education.

Study level PhD studies

Duration of study 4 years (8 semesters)

Language Estonian English

Available places 1

Cost per semester Free

Come and study with us if you have a Masters level education in educational sciences or in a related field and if you want to acquire a high level qualification in the field of educational sciences. The School of Educational Sciences offers knowledge which is related to education, teacher training, learning, adult education and teaching in general and/or in a specific way. A rapid development of the School of Educational Sciences is based on drawing on expertise from a large partner network, utilizing EU funding, encouraging the empowerment of staff members as well as on applying a holistic approach, integrating dynamic teaching, research and development activities. The school is located in a brand new building and offers excellent working conditions for visiting academics, students and post-doctoral students.

Course Outline

The graduate:

  • is able to ground the solutions to problems in educational sciences from the broader point of view of social sciences;
  • is familiar with the modern approaches to the methodology of research;
  • is able to plan a study and use research methods and data analysis methods;
  • is able to effectively work with scientific texts and to create these themselves;
  • is ready for scientific communication and cooperation with other researchers.

Detailed study programme information can be found here

What are the career options after the studies?

Graduates are able to follow a number of career options depending on their personal interests. For example they can work as researchers, university lecturers or experts in the field. In any case they are very well equipped to develop a sound professional career based on visionary thinking and critical knowledge of the field.


Autumn 2021 admission is open for project-based (1) place. More about suggested topic can be found below. 

Admission deadlines

  • 11.10.2021 - 25.10.2021 –  applying via DreamApply
  • 08.11.2021  – admission exam (the exact time will be sent to each candidate individually)
  • 31.01.2022 – beginning of the studies

Required Documents


  • Application cover printed from the online application system.
  • Copy of a bachelor’s degree certificate or equivalent + transcript of records (translations are requested if documents are not in English); both copies and translations must be attested by a notary.
  • Copy of a master’s degree certificate or equivalent + transcript of records (translations are requested if documents are not in English); both copies and translations must be attested by a notary.
  • Plan for the doctoral thesis signed by the prospective supervisor.
  • Proof of English Proficiency
  • Copy of the identification page of passport.

Admission exam (interview) is based on the plan for the doctoral thesis that is agreed with the prospective supervisor.

You can also find general admission information here

Project-based topics (1 place)

Project-based topic for the autumn admission is:

Development of an educational intervention model to prevent social exclusion of young people at risk (supervisors Senior Research Fellow Terje Väljataga, Associate Professor Meril Ümarik, Professor Krista Loogma).

The doctoral project is related to the research project “Vocational education and workplace training enhancing social inclusion of at-risk young” (EmpowerVET). 
The aim of this doctoral project is to develop and validate a sustainable model of educational intervention in a vocational education institution targeted to prevent risk behavior of young people, to develop key competences, including digital competences, and to support social inclusion.
Stages of the doctoral project:
1. conceptual and theoretical analysis and analysis of existing intervention models and good practices in VET institutions;
2. adapting the educational training laboratory model to the context of vocational education;
3. individual and focus group interviews with different stakeholders (school management, teachers, learners, etc.) to map the specific needs, challenges and expectations;
4. development of intervention design in cooperation with VET teachers and support professionals. Adapting existing methods and tools to the context of vocational training;
5. piloting an intervention in a vocational school;
6. assessment of the impact of the intervention based on a previously developed methodology;
7. development of an educational intervention model.


Open topics (0 places)

there are no open topic places available for additional admission.

Contact us!

  • Specific questions regarding the programme should be directed to the School of Educational Sciences:
    Elina van der Toorn
    Doctoral Studies Coordinator

    Telephone(+372) 6199 767

  • For additional guidelines regarding admission procedure please contact the international admission specialist.