Kasvatusteaduste doktoriõppekava

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 6

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.


Summer 2024 admission is open for open topics. More detailed information is added below. 

Summer Admission Deadlines (open topic positions)

May 20th till July 1st 2024 at 15:00 – submission of applications in SAIS or DreamApply.
July 2nd 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.

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.
  • 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 and is approved by the prospective supervisor. Exam points are formed as a result of the points given by all committee members.

You can also find general admission information here

Open topics (4 junior research fellow positions and 1 doctoral student without a contract position)

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.

Doctoral Student without a contract:

  • The doctoral student does not have an employment-related contractual obligation linked to doctoral studies. 
  • The period of the studies is 4 till 8 years according to the individual study and research plan.

Technology-supported Language Learning in Estonian as second language in Early Childhood and Primary Education (1 Doctoral student without a contract)

Expected focus of research projects applying for the position:

Monitoring the transition to Estonian-language education in preschools and schools of the use of technology to support Estonian as a second language learning. 

The research may focus on the following directions: 

Teachers' and/or leaders' understandings, attitudes, practices, and their challenges and development opportunities regarding technology-supported Estonian as a second language learning (TESL) in primary and early childhood education, the effectiveness of TESL implementation. Ideas for addressing the topic longitudinally and/or experimentally are especially welcome, but various intervention and mapping studies are also suitable.

Practical Information for the Doctoral Students

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

Estonian Doctoral School

The Estonian Doctoral School supports cooperation between universities to improve the quality and attractiveness of doctoral studies. The school enables Estonian doctoral students to make interdisciplinary and international research contacts and use self-development opportunities. A separate series of events aims to support the development of supervision skills.

The doctoral school events are open to all doctoral students and their supervisors at Estonian universities who are interested. Within the doctoral school, cross-disciplinary knowledge is shared, and future skills are developed with the support of external experts. Among other things, the doctoral school allows doctoral students to broaden their research horizons and expand their professional network and collaboration opportunities.

Doctoral School events can be found here.

Contact us!


Postal addressUus-Sadama 5, 10120 Tallinn

Telephone(+372) 619 9767


Specific questions regarding the programme should be directed to the School of Educational Sciences: Elina van der Toorn, elinba@tlu.ee, Doctoral Studies Coordinator.