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Estonian Studies

Estonian Studies is a unique MA programme, teaching Estonian language, culture, history, societal and political topics using English.

Study level Master's Studies

Duration of study 2 years

Language English

Study form Cyclical studies

Cost per semester 830

E

stonian Studies enables not only to get a broad-based and interdisciplinary postgraduate degree but enhance the ability to see both the uniqueness and specifics of Estonia, and place Estonia in a global context. Estonian Studies is in many respects the calling card of Estonia and is aimed at everybody who is interested in various aspects of Estonia and wish to acquire a related academic education.

Our main target group are people who are interested in the Estonian language, culture, history and society but who do not have Estonian as their first language. 

Our study programme is suitable for you

  • if you have been learning the Estonian language and culture in one of the universities in the world that teach these subjects, you are interested in Estonian culture, history and society but your Estonian is not good enough to study in Estonian. Estonian Studies will help you to enhance your knowledge on Estonia and develop your language skills.
  • if your BA is in any other field but you are interested in Estonia and you wish to know how Estonian society functions, what is unique to the culture and wish to develop your Estonian language skills up to intermediate level.
  • if you are interested in Estonian literature, you have some knowledge of Estonian language and you wish to translate Estonian literature into your native language in the future.

START YOUR APPLICATION

Why study with us?

  • Estonian Studies provides knowledge of Estonian language, culture, society, politics and history, as well as opportunities to learn the Estonian language and enhance skills of translating literature.
  • Nowhere in the world can one get better quality knowledge on these topics than in Estonia, taught by the most distinguished scholars in their field.
  • The MA programme suits not only those who have only passing knowledge of Estonia but also those who have more detailed prior knowledge and wish to enhance their knowledge and skills.
  • All our students will be able to develop their Estonian language skills. Estonian B1 is the minimum requirement for graduation, although the people admitted with higher language level will be able to enhance their skills even further.
  • The learning outcomes of the programme guarantee that by the time of graduation the students have received necessary academic competences in Estonian language, culture, history and society.

Course Outline

Cycle studies

Lectures will be usually held from Thursday to Saturday.

Core course components

During their studies the students must pass a compulsory module of Introduction to Estonian Studies, which consists of courses like Estonian Regional Studies, Estonian Contemporary Culture, Language and Society, Estonian Politics and Society. 

The study programme provides opportunities for practical activities like Research Project in Speciality and Master Seminar; the Estonian language level will be enhanced.

Within the electives of Estonian Language, Culture, History and Society students will have a choice of courses:

  • History and Memory, 
  • Contemporary Issues of Estonian Society, 
  • Estonian Literature, 
  • Translation of Fiction and others.

During the whole two year study period the students will be able to enhance their Estonian language skills and the students specialising in translation of fiction have opportunities to develop relevant skills.

 

Study programme 2018/2019

Study Support Facilities

  • The Estonian Studies programme is housed within the School of Humanities and utilises all the facilities made available by Tallinn University. The university campus houses a study library, the main university library situated within easy reach in the city centre. The National Library of Estonia is also in the city centre.
  • Before applying to the programme, one can learn more about Tallinn University while participating in Tallinn Summer School. It is a 3-week programme running in July, combining a wide range of courses with a rich, diverse cultural programme and attracting participants from all over the world. More information here. 
  • Take a walk around our campus via the virtual tour!
  • Students will have ample opportunities to participate at various literary and cultural events held in Tallinn, including Literary Wednesdays held at the Tallinn Writers' Union, book presentations, Literature Festival HEADREAD, concerts, art exhibitions, visit Estonian museums and other culturally significant places of interest. There are various seminars and conferences.
  • Our main partners for this study programme are the Estonian Literature CentreEstonian InstituteEstonian Writers' Union and the network of Estonian Language teachers in the higher education establishments around the world.

Funding

Academic Staff

Piret Viires is the Professor of Estonian Literature and Literary Theory at Tallinn University and the Head of the Estonian Language and Culture Study Area. She received her doctorate degree in Estonian Literature in 2006 from Tartu University. She has published books on Estonian Literature and postmodernism. The most recently published is Postmodernism in Estonian Literary Culture (2012, Peter Lang Verlag). In addition, she has published many articles, edited scholarly publications, organised conferences. She is a member of various scholarly organisations and editing boards. Her teaching assignments and research have taken her to the University of Turku (Finland), Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), Ohio State University (USA). Piret Viires is a member of the board of the Estonian Writers' Union and has published fiction.

Main research interests: Modern Estonian Literature, postmodernism and post-postmodernism, relationships between literature and technology, digital literature.


Marek Tamm is the Professor of Cultural History and senior research fellow at the School of Humanities in Tallinn University. He is also Head of Tallinn University Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies and of Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts.  Graduated in history and semiotics at the University of Tartu (1998), he earned his master degree in medieval studies from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1999) and his doctorate degree in medieval history from Tallinn University (2009). Author of five books, of some seventy scholarly articles published in Estonian, English and French, and editor of dozen collections of articles.

Main research interests: cultural history of medieval Europe, Estonian historical culture, theory and history of historiography, and cultural memory studies.


Karsten Brüggemann is the Professor of Estonian and General History at the School of Humanities of Tallinn University. He received his PhD in history from the University of Hamburg in 1999 with a study of the Russian Civil War in the Baltic region: Die Gründung der Republik Estland und das Ende des ‚Einen und Unteilbaren Rußland‘ (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2002). In 2013, he defended his habilitation at the University of Gießen with a study on the perception of the Baltic provinces in Russian imperial culture that is scheduled to be published in 2017 under the title Licht und Luft des Imperiums. Legimitations- und Repräsentationsstrategien russischer Herrschaft in den Ostseeprovinzen im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz). He is the author of an analysis of musical mass culture in the USSR in the 1930s, Von Krieg zu Krieg, von Sieg zu Sieg (Hamburg: Kovač, 2002), a history of Tallinn, co-authored with Ralph Tuchtenhagen (Tallinn. Eine kleine Geschichte, Köln: Böhlau, 2011; in Estonian published as Tallinna ajalugu, Tallinn: Varrak, 2013) and numerous articles on Baltic and Russian history. Together with Ralph Tuchtenhagen he is the editor of a three-volume history of the Baltic States. He is co-editor (with Mati Laur) of the journal Forschungen zur baltischen Geschichte and member of the editorial board of Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung. Since 2011 he serves as Vice President of Baltische Historische Kommission.

Main research interests: connected with Russian and Soviet history include the history of the Baltic States, civil wars and wars of independence, the cultural history of Stalinism and Late Socialism, national narratives and memory cultures as well as the history of sport and tourism.


Anna Verschik is the Professor of General Linguistics at Tallinn University. Her scholarly interests inculde topics like Estonian-Russian language contacts, multilingualism on the internet, sociolinguistics in the Baltic countries, contacts of Yiddish in the Baltic area and sociolinguistic situation of post-Soviet countries in a comparative perspective. She teaches subjects related to her research field.

Main research interests: contact linguistics and multilingualism.

 

 

 


Anne Lange is Associate Professor of Translation Studies at Tallinn University. She is the author of the biography of Ants Oras (2004), an influential Estonian translator and cultural critic of the 1930s–1960s. Her main research interests are in Estonian cultural history and the history of translation with a view to consolidating a historical perspective for Translation Studies and a relevance of Translation Studies for history. She has published in Estonian and in English and she co-edited the volume Between Cultures and Texts.Itineraries in Translation History/Entre les cultures et les texts: Itineraries en histore de la traduction. With an Introduction by Theo Hermans, (Peter Lang, 2011) and the special issue of Methis. Studia Humaniora Estonica on the history of translation in Estonia (2012). Her Tõlkimine omas ajas [Towards a Pragmatic Understanding of Translation in History] (Tallinn University Press, 2015) provides an outline of Estonian translation history.

 


Tõnis Saarts is the Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at Tallinn University. He comments regularly on topics related to politics in Estonian media and is therefore one of the best known Estonian politologists for the wider audience. His research interests focus on comparative perspectives of Estonian parties and democracy and approaches Estonian political developments in a broader Central and Eastern Europen context. Saarts has been a guest lecturer in University of Vienna where he lectured on the politics and society of the Baltic States.

Admission Requirements

General requirements

Entrance exams

  • Motivation letter and statement of research interests (should be uploaded to online application system DreamApply in .pdf format)
  • Interview
  • Student candidates who wish to specialise on translating Estonian literature should also upload a two page sample of a translation (from Estonian into their native language and the Estonian original)

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.

Assessment of the candidates

1. Letter of Motivation and statement of research interests: 40 points (min. required 28 points)
2. Interview: 60 points (min. requirement 42 points)

For candidates specialising on translating

1. Letter of Motivation and statement of research interests: 40 points (min. required 28 points)
2. Sample of a translation 15 points (min. requirement 10,5 points)
3. Interview: 45 points (min. requirement 31,5 points)

Important! Only applicants receiving minimum of 20 points for the first round (letter of motivation) will be invited for an interview.

Find more information about the deadlines here.

Postgraduate Destinations

Graduate career options

Our graduates will have a balanced knowledge on Estonian language, culture, history and society and have acquired Estonian language at least at B1 level. Such knowledge provides pre-requisites for working in ones home country or in Estonia in the fields of cultural, economic or business relations, as a diplomat, export culture or engage in any type of creative industry. Our graduates will have necessary skills to start translating Estonian literature into foreign languages.

Further study opportunities

Our graduates will be able to continue their studies at PhD level either in Estonia or abroad.

Contact Us!

  • Specific questions regarding the programme should be directed to the School of Humanities:
    Maris Peters
    E-mail: maris.peters@tlu.ee
  • For additional guidelines regarding admission procedure please contact the international admission specialist.
    E-mail: admissions@tlu.ee

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