The academic unit (i.e. an institute or college) organises studies in a way that would enable every student to complete their university studies during the standard period of study stipulated in the curriculum (for example, the standard period of study for bachelor studies is 3 years, for master studies 2 years). The standard period of study is calculated as 60 European credit points annually, on average 30 European credit points per semester. Studies are planned so that the workload during the period of study is distributed evenly and students are able to take all compulsory subjects in contact study form.

  • The course description provides a brief introduction to the subject in Estonian and English, accessible on the university website. The course description informs students of the aims and study results of the subject; it also contains a list of substitute literature, on the basis of which it is possible to complete the subject. 
  • The course programme is a document defining the content of a subject and the prerequisites for study. In addition to the information given in the course description, the course programme outlines the requirements for entry to and participation in exams and pass/fail assessments, defines topics and participation requirements for seminar work, lists compulsory reading and recommended reading that substitutes lectures, describes the content of the course and provides other necessary information for taking the course and completing the subject.  
Scheduling compulsory subjects and electives

When scheduling studies, it should be considered that not all subjects offered in the curriculum are taught in the form of contact studies. Most compulsory subjects are taught in contact study form, but this is not always the case for electives and open electives.

When selecting open electives, the student shall consider his/her development needs and whether his/her language proficiency and computer skills correspond to university requirements or not. Open electives include all subjects offered by the university on which no limitations of prerequisite subjects have been imposed. 

As a rule, a student shall select his/her open electives from the subjects at the same level. If it is necessary to improve certain areas of knowledge by taking subjects at a lower level (when, for example, at master’s level one needs additionally to study subjects at bachelor’s level), the student shall coordinate this with the director of the relevant curriculum and submit a written application to the head of studies of the respective academic unit.

Study programmes

A study programme is comprised of a set of modules. The module of introductory courses (general subjects in Master’s studies) provides students with a general overview of the subject area. Speciality modules focus on providing students with speciality knowledge. Students can also choose a minor, which will give them an overview of interesting specialisations other than their major. The credit points obtained from passing a minor shall be included in the optional courses module. Modules consist of compulsory subjects and/or elective subjects.

Subject and course

A subject is a set of knowledge and skills (competences) dealing with issues in a particular discipline or area or providing a broader view of them. Passing a subject is marked by performance. A course is a contact method of teaching a subject.

Subject categories:

  • compulsory subjects: subjects that students must acquire within a curriculum;
  • elective subjects: subjects that can be selected from the list of subjects provided in the curriculum;
  • open electives: subjects that can be freely selected from the subjects listed in different curricula of the university. As a rule, open electives are selected from the curricula of the same level. Optional subjects include both minors and supporting subjects (language and computer studies).

Subjects and their descriptions are available in the Studies Information System.