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 5

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.


Summer 2020 admission is open for the project-based topics (2) and open topics (3) related to educational sciences. 

Project-Based Research Topics (2)  

It is possible to apply to the following research topics:

Open Topics (3) 

In order for you to be able to find a supervisor, please first look at Study Areas of the School of Educational Sciences. Under each Study Area's description there are people involved listed. Please look through our potential supervisors list below by clicking on their names and look in their ETIS account. Important things to look for in the account are Fields of research, Projects in progress and Publications.

If the field of research matches your personal research interest, please contact that potential supervisor by sending your draft of the plan 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.

Potential Supervisors by the study areas

Study Area: Teacher Education and Educational Science 
Katrin Poom-Valickis (the leader of the study area) 
Grete Arro
Maria Erss
Airi Liimets
Rain Mikser
Inge Timoštšuk
Maire Tuul
Aino Ugaste
Marika Veisson
Terje Väljataga
Tiia Õun

Study Area: Non-formal Education and Lifelong Learning  
Larissa Jõgi (the leader of the study area)
Tanja Dibou
Krista Loogma
Halliki Põlda
Meril Ümarik

Study Area: Inclusive Education  
Piret Soodla (the leader of the study area)
Mari-Liis Kaldoja
Riin Seema
Paul Seitlinger

Study Area: Educational Leadership and Innovation  
Eve Eisenschmidt (the leader of the study area)
Tobias Ley
Luis Pablo Prieto Santos

More detailed information about the admission exam and composing the plan for the doctoral thesis will be shared at the Pre-School of Doctoral Studies.


    Admission deadlines

    • 11.05.2020-01.07.2020 –  applying via DreamApply
    • 10.07.2020  – admission exam (the exact time will be sent to each candidate individually)
    • 24.08.2020 – beginning of the studies

    Required Documents


    • 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

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