Educational Innovation and Leadership

Educational Innovation and Leadership

Educational Innovation and Leadership master’s programme aims to inspire educational entrepreneurs all over the world. The study programme examines different innovative learning strategies; data-driven decision making and evidence based development as well as innovative leadership methods in the field of education. Our students will be the future architects of innovative education systems!

Study level Master's Studies

Duration of study 2 years

Language English

Study form Cyclical studies

Cost per semester 2400 €

Educational Innovation and Leadership is an open master’s programme, meaning we do not set previous educational background criteria for candidates. We aim to have students with various qualifications, whose future is connected with the field of education. This is a research-focused programme, which aims to

  • develop leadership skills;
  • support teachers and educational leaders careers with one of the best evidence-based knowledge in the world by developing practical skill-sets;
  • increase student’s insight on political strategies in education, mapping changing social agency through empowerment and emancipation;
  • introduce methodological approaches and research methods suitable for evidence-based development in education;
  • advance the ability of designing implementation and possible consequences of education policies, reforms and practices, at national and international level.

Graduates of the curriculum are able to set clear development goals, successfully analyse problems in education, and make evidence-based decisions in their work.

Why study with us?

Estonia has transformed its educational system to one of the most advanced ones in the world being a role model for digital education. Estonian pupils ranked first in the PISA 2018 results among the European countries in all three domains and fifth among the OECD countries. Results come with a high satisfaction in student’s lives, on average 70% (OECD 67%). Additionally, according to CEPS Estonia is rated as being the most prepared country in Europe for digital lifelong learning. How did this transformation happen, what does it mean? And how can other countries learn and benefit from this experience? These questions will be answered during the studies.

Tallinn University has been the leading teacher-education institution in Estonia since 1919, previously known as Tallinn Pedagogical University and Tallinn Teachers' Seminary. Our academic staff consist of the top leaders in education, who have helped to design the current educational system at school’s and state level. We collaborate with our partners from Estonia and other countries in order to provide our students with the highest level of professional competences. 

Study programme

Course Outline

During the first two semesters students are expected to be in Estonia, as most of the first year’s courses are in seminar format and several study visits are organised. The third semester is about implementing the action plan, may it be in Estonia or the student's home country, with few contact sessions also in Tallinn. In the last semester students write and defend their Master’s thesis.

The Educational Innovation and Leadership study programme has been divided into three modules, with emphasis on the connection between education and psychology, as well as on educational technology. Main modules and courses:

Educational Innovation (24 ECTS)

  • Learning and Development
  • Global Educational Change
  • Innovation in School and Classroom
  • Teachers Profession and Professional Development

Research and Analytics (24 ECTS)

  • Methodology in Evidence Based Development in Education
  • Educational Technology and Learning Analytics
  • Research seminar 1
  • Research seminar 2

Leadership and Management (18 ECTS)

  • Learning Culture and Leadership
  • Innovation in Leadership
  • Personal Educational Development Project

Study process: From idea to application of innovative ideas.

If you want to get a short glimpse of the idea of the study programme, then you are welcome to participate in Tallinn Summer School course of Educational Innovation: What is behind PISA results.

Study programme

Academic Staff

Professor Eve Eisenchmidt, the head of the curriculum, has been a teacher, head of Tallinn University College in Haapsalu, Vice-Rector of Tallinn University and now a professor of educational leadership. Her field of knowledge is in the area of teacher education, leadership and quality assurance. She is a highly valued evaluator of higher education programmes and institutions around Europe and educational policy adviser in Estonia. 

Eve Eisenschmidt in Estonian Research Information System

Professor Mati Heidmets has been in higher education since 197​9​, working in the field of social sciences, psychology and of course education. He has been an adviser for the Estonian Prime minister​ and has been awarded with the Order of the White Star and the Order of the National Coat of Arms. Today he leads the ​Centre for Innovation in ​Education​, being also a professor of social psychology. 

Mati Heidmets in Estonian Research Information System

Anneli Veispak is a young and inspiring scientist, expert in the field of special education. With a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from University of Amsterdam and a PhD in Educational Sciences from University of Leuven, she is bringing a lot of international experience to the programme. Today, Veispak is a visiting lecturer for Tallinn University School of Educational Sciences and the head of Special Education BA curriculum. 

Anneli Veispak in Estonian Research Information System

Terje Väljataga holds a Doctor of Science in Technology from Tampere University of Technology, Finland. Her background is in science teacher education (MSc, Tallinn Pedagogical University, Estonia) and telematics application in education and training (MSc, University of Twente, The Netherlands). Terje has been involved in various educational innovation, research and development projects both local and international since 2004. Her projects have always been related to innovative technological solutions and strategies one way or the other. 

Terje Väljataga in Estonian Research Information System

Anna-Liisa Jõgi is an Associate Professor in Research Methods. She started her academic career as a high school biology and psychology teacher. Her doctoral studies focused on students’ motivation and learning in primary school math classes. Her postdoc research interests in University of Jyväskylä, Finland, were teachers’ and students’ well-being in schools and, most of all, employing physiological data in educational research. Now, Anna-Liisa is mainly focused on designing and teaching research methods courses and participating in various studies from recreational and sports psychology to special education and educational leadership, being responsible for more complex quantitative data analyses.

Anna-Liisa Jõgi in Estonian Research Information System

Admission Requirements

General requirements

Application process

Applicants need to successfully pass each round in order to be listed as a student in Educational Innovation and Leadership MA programme. If you do not pass one of the rounds, then you will not be proceeding to the next stage. Each application processes is described below: 

First round

Online application - submitted online in DreamApply.

Essay - should include your previous personal experience, where you feel an innovative approach in education might have solved the situation. The essay must include at least one reference on Education Strategy 2021-2035 (please use APA style referencing). The essay should not be longer than 3 pages and must be submitted through DreamApply.

Second round 

Written argumentation - you will be given a statement that you have to agree or disagree with, bringing references to the provided texts and graphs. There is limited time to complete the assignment. The assignment will take place online and the link will be provided to you on examination day.

Third round 

Interview - aims to talk about your study motivation, clarify questions that arose from the first two rounds and to test your spoken English. Online interviews will be carried out by the main professors of this programme. ​For the purposes of identity verification at the admission procedure, the Admission Committee has the right to record or take a screenshot during the oral part of the admission.


Tallinn University School of Educational Sciences’ project “Scholarship to create study opportunities at Tallinn University Educational Innovation and Leadership study programme” enables third-country educational specialists to obtain a Master's degree in Educational Innovation and Leadership study programme at Tallinn University. The project is supported from the development cooperation scholarship programme by ESTDEV - The Estonian Centre for International Development.

The project covers the tuition fee for 10 full-time students for academic year 2023/2024 and contributes to payment of living expenses (400 euros per month for 10 months). The tuition fee for the second year of their studies (academic year 2024/2025) will not be covered by the programme.

After the admission process, candidates who have gained the minimum enrolment threshold (at least 70 points out of 100) and are from eligible countries (please see below) must send an application/consent form to apply for the scholarship and confirm that they are fully aware, that the scholarship will only cover the first year of their studies, and prove the possibility/readiness to cover their tuition fee and living expenses for the second year. The form with the submission deadline will be provided by a representative of the School of Educational Sciences. 

The following countries of destination (residence and citizenship) are eligible to apply for the scholarship: 

  • Armenia
  • Botswana
  • Georgia
  • Kenya
  • Moldova
  • Namibia
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine

Scholarship will be given to the top 10 candidates, who have sent the signed application/consent form by the deadline given to them. The rankings are based on the entrance exam scores.

We may offer several places for the candidates from Ukraine free of charge.


Why School of Educational Sciences?

The School of Educational Sciences is a unit in Tallinn University, which is responsible for coordinating the teaching, research and development activities in the field of education. We are also responsible for the academic sustainability in the field of education both in Tallinn University and Estonia in general.

Why study with us?

  • The School of Educational Sciences has almost 100 years of experience in teacher training.
  • Our study programmes have a deep impact on the future of education. 
  • Our study programmes are amongst the most practical in the university. Studies involve lots of practical work in Estonia and abroad.
  • There are 17 internationally recognized study programmes in the School of Educational Sciences, which provides a wide array of opportunities to make the best choices for the future.
  • There is an open-minded, supportive and study-orientated atmosphere in the School of Educational Sciences.  
  • Our values in teaching and learning include individuality, playfulness and setting high aims. 
  • Our academic personnel are the best in their field and the designers of Estonian education. In addition to inspiring their students, they also do world-class research.
  • The School of Educational Sciences has various partner universities, which enable students to gain experiences all over the world. 
  • There are more than 1400 students on all three higher education levels in the School of Educational Sciences.
  • In the School of Educational Sciences, you have the opportunity to further develop education – you get the chance to take the 21st century studying and learning experience to your own organisation. 

Graduates are ready to work as managers of various educational and training institutions and as education officials, specialists in municipalities, state institutions and other organisations in the field of education, in order to support evidence-based management.




Postal addressUus-Sadama 5, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia

Telephone+372 640 9233


Supported by

ESTDEV – Estonian Centre for International Development

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