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

Number of studies 7

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 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.

Admission

Current admission is open for project-based research (5) and open topics (2). It is possible to apply to the following research topics:

  • Adoption of evidence-driven school development (supervisors Senior Researcher Kairit Tammets and Professor Eve Eisenschmidt)
  • Implementation of Inclusive Education in Estonian Schools (supervisor Professor Katrin Poom-Valickis). NB! The candidates are expected to have good knowledge of the Estonian language.
  • Leadership practices in school innovation processes (supervisors Professor Eve Eisenschmidt and Senior Researcher Kairit Tammets)
  • Competence Identity Replaces Professional Identity - The Development of the Competence Identity of a Vocational Special Needs Teacher  (supervisor Professor Krista Loogma). NB! The candidates are expected to have good knowledge of the English and Finnish languages.
  • The Development of Clinical Skills of Nursing Students in E-learning (supervisor Senior Researcher Kairit Tammets). NB! The candidates are expected to have good knowledge of the English and Finnish languages.

Also other topics related to educational sciences are in focus (open competition). Read more about the fields of research, study areas of the School of Educational Sciences and people involved here.

Admission deadlines

  • 13.05.2019–01.07.2019 –  applying via DreamApply
  • 03.07.2019 11.00–16.30 (room M-649) – admission exam (the exact time will be sent to each candidate individually)
  • 26.08.2019 – beginning of the studies

Required Documents

NEED TO BE SENT BY POST AFTER FILLING IN THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM:

  • 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

The main aim of the PhD position is to understand the strategies and methods to support schools to adopt evidence-driven practices in school development process. PhD research will focus on investigating different factors that can promote or hinder effective data use in classroom and school level and aims to contribute to an understanding of what constitutes a suitable environment where analytics will be adopted at school. Scientific outcomes of the project will introduce: 1) practice-embedded teacher professional development practices that make use of the data-driven processes in classroom and school level; 2) adoption of LA-enhanced practices supporting  schools to monitor change management and use evidences efficiently in school-development process.

  • Kaasava hariduse rakendamine Eesti koolides (supervisor Professor Katrin Poom-Valickis). NB! The candidates are expected to have good knowledge of the Estonian language.

The education system in Estonia has taken a definite direction in the implementation of inclusive education in the documents regulating education, but the results of the study conducted in 2016 show that the attitudes, knowledge, and skills of the parties restrict the implementation of inclusive education in schools, although readiness to expand inclusion seems to be predominant (Räis, Kallaste & Sandre, 2016).
The question is how to support and broaden teachers' perceptions and the development of competences. How to take into account the needs of all learners and how do create a school-level network around a learner.
In Estonia, there are several interventions in schools that support students' self-regulation, learning or communication skills. At the same time, we have little knowledge of the impact of interventions in schools (including pupils with SEN) and their potential for implementing inclusive education. 
Within this theme, we will see two broader research topics:
a) Teacher and school environment factors in implementing innovative practices/intervention programs in the context of inclusive education
b) The impact of different school intervention programs (self-regulation, communication, social and learning skills, such as VEPA, Step by Step, etc.) on the development of pupils' skills and coping in the context of inclusive education. 
NB! The candidates are expected to have good knowledge of the Estonian language.

The main aim of the PhD position is to understand how leadership practices are actualised in change processes and to strengthen leadership competences at schools. One of the main practical outcome of the PhD project is developed school development framework (methodology) to support evidence-driven teacher leadership in cross-boundary settings. Scientific outcomes of the project will introduce: 1) how the teacher leadership practices are influencing the school development in the change processes; 2) how school leaders leadership practices create conditions for teacher leadership and 3) how teacher leadership supporting co-design of the new practices in cross-boundary settings.

  • Competence Identity Replaces Professional Identity - The Development of the Competence Identity of a Vocational Special Needs Teacher (supervisor Professor Krista Loogma)

The aim of the study is to describe the development process of a vocational special needs teacher’s competence identity. The competence identity is observed during education as well as at work as a special needs teacher. The aim is to explore the development process of competence identity during the transition from the old professional identity to the new competence identity, and to find out what possible formula the development process of competence identity follows in such a case. The study also searches for answers to how competence identity is built.
Requirements
The ideal candidate has a sound background and experience in special pedagogy and vocational special needs teacher’s education. The applicant is required to have a formal special need teacher qualification and graduate degree in education. Work experience in vocational special needs teachers training at University of Applied Sciences level is considered to be an advantage for the applicant. The applicant is expected to have experience of special needs teacher’s work requirements and competence. Good command of English is prerequisite. Finnish language skills are required because of the field studies and research material. The research is implemented in Häme University of Applied Sciences in Hämeenlinna Finland.

  • The Development of Clinical Skills of Nursing Students in E-learning (supervisor Senior Researcher Kairit Tammets)

The aim of the study is to evaluate the clinical competence of nursing students and related factors when an e-learning platform is used to provide the method of learning. The purpose of the study is to provide information about the suitability of e-learning in nursing and subsequent potential for development of e-learning in this area. 
The ideal candidate has a sound background and experience in nursing, nursing education and nursing students’ clinical competence development. The applicant is required to have a registered nurse qualification and a formal teacher qualification. Work experience in nursing and experience in teaching clinical skills at university level is considered to be an advantage for the applicant. The applicant is expected to have experience on the use of e-learning methods and integration of e-learning into the curriculum in nursing education. Good command of English is a prerequisite. The research is implemented in Häme University of Applied Sciences in Hämeenlinna Finland. Finnish language skills are required for successful management of the research process.
Besides the preparation of the doctoral dissertation, doctoral candidate is expected to finish relevant courses for 60 ECTS credits, participate in teaching and collaboration with the project team and the research group.

Contact us!

  • Specific questions regarding the programme should be directed to the School of Educational Sciences:
    Elina van der Toorn
    Doctoral Studies Coordinator
    Phone: +372 6199 767   
    E-mail: elinba@tlu.ee
  • For additional guidelines regarding admission procedure please contact the international admission specialist.
    E-mail: admissions@tlu.ee