Educational Innovation and Leadership

Educational Innovation and Leadership

The Educational Innovation and Leadership master's programme is all about improving what matters the most – education. And doing it not according to some inner feeling, but on the basis of evidence and research. We believe that education is the foundation of everything, may it be citizenship, economy or governance. Our students are expected to be the co-creators of their learning process, if not the main leaders of it. Because they are the leaders of the 21st century, the leaders of the future!

Study level Master's Studies

Duration of study 2 years

Language English

Study form Cyclical studies

Cost per semester 2250€

We are looking for true stars, because only the best are suitable for leading education. This is an open master’s programme which means we don't set any criteria to the field of a student’s former education. We are waiting for students whose work (or future work) is connected to education – school leaders, teachers, policy makers, representatives from non-formal education etc. The most important thing is the will to make a difference, to improve the current situation they come from.

Why study with us?

Estonia has managed to transform its education in 25 years from the regular Soviet schooling to one of the world's best – look at the results of PISA 2018! How did this transformation happen, what does it mean? And how can other countries learn and benefit from this experience?

During the program, students will have the opportunity to take a look at the kitchen side of Estonian education, analysing and comparing it to their country of origin. Estonia truly is a leading country in the field of education and Tallinn University is the leading teacher-education institution in Estonia. You do the math! The leading force of educational knowledge has found its home in the School of Educational Sciences, in our research centre and innovation hub.

This really is the one and only place to become an expert in educational innovation and leadership. We do a lot of collaboration with other institutes in Tallinn University and also with the University of Helsinki, in order to combine highest level professional competences and in-life examples.

Course Outline

During the first year of the programme, the students are expected to live in Estonia as most of the first year courses are in seminar format and require a lot of interaction between students and teachers. The third semester is in general about implementing the action plan, may it be in Estonia or the student's home country, with few contact sessions also in Tallinn. During the last semester the students prepare to present and defend their MA thesis.

We have divided the courses into three modules - Educational Innovation, Research, Leadership. There is a big emphasis on the connection between education and psychology, as well as on educational technology. With very systematic approach we introduce the development process of new initiatives and how to evaluate their efficiency. As entrepreneurial way of thinking is what leads the way to future, the contemporary trends in leadership, including teacher-leadership, are in focus.

Main modules and courses

Educational Innovation

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

Research and Analytics

  • Methodology in Evidence Based Development in Education
  • Educational Technology and Learning Analytics

Leadership and Management

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

If you prefer a more practical approach in order to get familiar with this domain you are welcome to participate in Tallinn Summer School course of Educational Innovation: What is behind PISA results.

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 management and policy. 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 insitutions 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

Tobias Ley is ERA Chair Professor for Learning Analytics and Educational Innovation and he leads the Center of Excellence in Educational Innovation at Tallinn University. He leads a team of scientists who work together with schools to form „Living Labs“ by introducing new forms of online data collection tools and helping teachers make their everyday work more research-based.​ He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, and has been a Programme and General Chair for the European Conference on Technology-enhanced Learning (EC-TEL).

Tobias Ley in Estonian Research Information System

Admission Requirements

General requirements

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

First round

  • Online application in DreamApply and an essay/motivation letter

Your essay should not be longer than 3 pages and include:

Please use APA style referencing!

Second round (for those who qualify)

You will be given a statement that you have to agree or disagree with, bringing references to the provided texts and graphs. ​You will be given the link to do the assignment on examination day. There is limited time to complete the assignment.

Third round

The interview will be carried out by the main professors of the MA programme with a goal to clarify any questions that rose from the first two rounds, to test your spoken English, to make sure you are motivated to study and graduate the programme. 

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.

Tuition fee

For the three top applicants there will be reduced tuition fee (up to 40%). Ranking will be done on the base of entrance exams. 

Postgraduate Destinations

As we are just starting with our programme, so there are no notable alumni jet. But we believe that a person who has truly followed the programme is very capable of leading school level innovations, beeing an innovative head for an educational institution, designing different level educational policy.

Of course we encourage all of our students to continue their research in their everyday life. And even though it is a combination of theoretical and practical academic studies, we expect some of our students to carry on their work in PhD level. As we have strong connections with educational psychology and educational technology, the graduate may find it interesting to go for another master's degree in the some other specialisation.

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.

The School of Educational Sciences is the oldest academic subunit in Tallinn University, with our doctoral school being the largest teacher education and educational sciences institution in Estonia on a doctoral level.

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. 

Study support facilities

Although Tallinn is a small capital compared to many others in the world, it still offers a wide variety of things to explore, places to learn from, networks to be a part of. Tallinn University with its city centre campus welcomes all the students with a modern learning environment, committed professors and vivid student life. The educational science centre and innovation hub offer an opportunity to be part of making history with their new interventions and inventions.




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


Postal addressUus-Sadama 5, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia

Telephone+(372) 6199 700


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