Complex Systems in @tlNatural Sciences, PhD

Complex Systems in Natural Sciences, PhD

The study programme is aimed at those who are interested in various problems in the field of natural and exact sciences, life sciences and environmental sciences.

Study level PhD studies

Duration of study 4 years

Language Estonian English

Available places 1 junior research fellow, 1 doctoral student


The Complex Systems in Natural Sciences doctoral programme in natural sciences are based on the international practices and goals of doctoral studies in natural sciences and have been created by combining doctoral study programme's in analytical biochemistry, physics and ecology in an attempt to increase the points of contact.

Admission 2023 topics:

Learning Outcomes

The graduate:

  • has broad-based and systematic knowledge of complex systems in natural sciences (e.g. environmental ecology, analytical biochemistry, mathematical modelling of complex natural systems) and profound knowledge in the specific research field;
  • is able of independent and critical analysis of specialty-specific problems, as well as of stating research questions with scientific precision and planning the research independently or as team-member;
  • is able to evaluate his/her as well as other people’s actions in the light of science ethics as an expert in his/her field;
  • understands the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in community as well as the responsibility of scientists in application of research results;
  • is able to supervise and teach students in a university and to impart results of his/her own research by teaching and supervising.
  • Conferred degree: PhD (Complex Systems in Natural Sciences).

What Do We Expect from an Applicant?

The study programme is aimed at students who are interested in various problems in the field of natural and exact sciences, life sciences and environmental sciences.

It is a partially open study programme, which is suitable for graduates of natural sciences and exact sciences (for example, molecular biochemistry and ecology, environmental management, ecology, etc.).

Why Study Complex Systems in Natural Sciences at Tallinn University?

The study is mainly aimed at preparation of the doctoral thesis; participation in international research discussion is the criterion for assessment of doctoral thesis.

The study programme relies mainly on the academic staff of the Tallinn University's School of Natural Sciences and Health, but external supervisors have been involved from other universities as well. Cooperation with other research groups enables to involve researchers with very different backgrounds and high qualification in the field of natural and exact sciences as supervisors and consultants. There are 4 internationally evaluated research fields in the study field, the doctoral students are involved in the implementation of several research grants and international projects. The researchers of the field have extensive international connections; in order to acquire research experience participation in conferences, seminars, summer schools is enabled and students can study at foreign universities within doctoral study mobility programmes. Based on the doctoral study programme, an individual study plan is compiled for each doctoral student, which takes into account the subject of the doctoral thesis.

Have a look at our laboratories


Objectives of the Programme

  • to provide doctoral students with conditions that enable acquisition of broad-based, systematic and profound education in analytical chemistry and biochemistry;
  • to carry out independent research pursuing internationally recognized standards;
  • to promote development of doctoral students into highly-qualified lecturers, researchers and specialists who provide for sustainable development in the field.

See study programme

Admission Requirements

Admission 2023 topics:

Programme specific requirements:

  • Admission exam (discussion about the doctoral project; estimation of candidate's CV, publications and motivation letter) is based on the plan for the doctoral thesis that is agreed with the prospective supervisor (signed). The plan of doctoral thesis must be presented with the admission documents.
  • At the admission exam the candidate has 15 min to present the doctoral thesis project (PowerPoint presentation).
  • Required English level is B2.
  • 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.        

What are the Career Options After the Studies?

  • An internationally accredited doctoral diploma allows you to work as a researcher, member of teaching staff and top expert in Estonian, EU and international institutions at positions that require a doctoral level degree.

Contact us!

Professor, programme coordinator: Tõnu Laas
study counselor: Greete Horn


  • For additional guidelines regarding admission procedure please contact the international admission specialist
  • Skype: (Thursdays 10:00-12:00 GMT+2) NB! Please schedule for a Skype session via e-mail.

addressNarva mnt 25, 10120 Tallinn