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

Degree awarded Doctor of Philosophy

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.

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.


Winter 2024 admission is open for a doctoral position with a topic "Sign Language Education in Estonia: Learning, Teaching and Assessment" (1). More detailed information is added below. 

Winter Admission Deadlines (project-based place)

December 6th till December 20th 2023 - submission of applications in SAIS or DreamApply
January 12th 2024 - admission exam (the exact time will be sent to each candidate individually)
January 29th 2024 - beginning of the studies

Summer Admission Deadlines (open topic positions)

May 20th till July 1st 2024 - submission of applications in SAIS or DreamApply
July 1st till July 11th 2024 - admission exam (the exact time will be sent to each candidate individually)
August 26th 2024 - beginning of the studies

Required Documents

Proposal for the Doctoral Thesis signed by the prospective supervisor needs to be added while applying to the programme. Please contact prospective supervisors by sending them a draft of your proposal. This should be done several months before the deadline of submitting your application, as writing a good proposal takes time.


  • 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.
  • Proof of English Proficiency
  • Copy of the identification page of passport.

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

You can also find general admission information here

Sign Language Education in Estonia: Learning, Teaching and Assessment (1 place for the Winter Admission)

One full-time and funded PhD junior researcher position expected to do research on Estonian Sign Language Education. The prefered research topics include: 
- Estonian Sign Language Curriculum for L2 Learners
- Assessment of Estonian Sign Language: Comprehension, Production and Interaction
- Early Education in Estonian Sign Language
- Estonian Sign Language as a Subject for L1 and L2 learners
- Teachers' Qualifications in the Field of Estonian Sign Language Education

Suitable candidates should have an educational background in the field of linguistics and/or in education. Candidates are required to have a very good command of Estonian, Estonian Sign Language and English.

The PhD student will be a member of the Estonian Sign Language Research Lab and will be involved in the daily activities as described and assigned by the Lab Coordinator (data management, dissemination activities, translations etc.)

The admitted candidate will be enrolled in the PhD programme in Education.

Open topics (4 places for Summer admission)

In Summer 2024 it is possible to apply with your own preferred topic after getting approval from one of our supervisors.

In order for you to be able to find a supervisor, please look at our supervisors' fields of research in ETIS and our Study Areas.
If the field of research matches your personal research interests, please contact that potential supervisor by sending your draft of the proposal for the doctoral thesis. Please send your draft at least a couple of months before the admission deadline. You can submit your application only with an approved plan.

Doctoral Student - Junior Research Fellow positions:

  • The doctoral student will sign a Junior Research Fellow contract (fulltime workload with a salary of 1700 euros per month and will become an employee of the School of Educational Sciences
  • The period of the studies is 4 years.


Practical Information for the Doctoral Students

Main documents, forms and regulations can be found here and here.

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.