This MA programme combines comprehensive study of international relations as an academic discipline and political practice with in-depth understanding of particular geographic regions, including the European Union, Russia and Eurasia, and the Baltic Sea region. The programme is a good fit for all those aiming for a career with an international focus, be it in diplomacy, public service, private sector or with non-governmental organizations.
Hannah Schaper, student of International Relations and Regional Studies (Germany)
"Tartu is a meeting point of cultures from East and West. I personally came here to learn more about Russia and the post-Soviet space from an Eastern perspective, while many Russian students for example come here to learn more about the EU or even Russia from a more Western perspective. This creates a unique learning environment in which students benefit greatly from this international diversity."
How do states, international organizations and other actors pursue their interests, reinforce their identities and interact with one another in a complex and volatile international environment? How effective, adequate and fair are regional and global norms, rules, and institutions that regulate such interaction and how can these be upheld and improved?
The programme provides extensive knowledge about contemporary international relations, traditional and critical approaches to security, foreign policy analysis, conflict management and resolution mechanisms, international law, and politics, society, and international relations in the EU, Russia and Eurasia and the Baltic Sea region. These regions grow out of our faculty’s research interests and reflect Estonia’s historical experience at the border of Europe and Russia - experience which is highly relevant to other countries located in-between bigger powers.
Location: Tartu, Estonia
Duration: 2 years
Language of instruction: English
Degree awarded: Master of Arts in Social Sciences
Tuition fee & scholarships: €3200/year, tuition-waivers available
The curriculum consists of five parts:
Click here to read the descriptions of all courses
Whereas the Methods and IR Core modules ensure students have a solid backbone to their studies, the Specialization and Elective modules allow them to tweak their learning to suit their more specific interests or career goals.
This MA programme is a versatile programme that prepares students for a wide range of careers in international affairs, including work for national governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
The curriculum ensures that graduates emerge with a comprehensive understanding of international and regional issues, and have a wide variety of skills and competencies that enable them to effectively research, discuss, and address these issues.
The international dimension of the programme is enhanced by wide-ranging study-abroad opportunities. The Institute has numerous agreements which enable students to spend a semester at a foreign university. In addition, students admitted into the IRRS programme are eligible to join (on a competitive basis) a double degree MA programme jointly managed by the IGP at the University of Tartu (UT) and Institute for East European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Students attending the joint programme spend their first and second semester at Tartu and their third semester in Berlin and, upon graduation, receive a double degree: Master of Arts in Social Sciences «International Relations and Regional Studies» from UT and Master of Arts «Osteuropastudien» from FUB.
The learning outcomes of the IRRS programme include:
Our research and teaching in the field of IR is internationally visible and recognized placing us among the top IR schools in Eastern and Central Europe.
Our record of extensive international collaboration with universities in the U.S. (George Mason University, George Washington University), various universities in Europe, partner institutions in Russia (Higher School of Economics, MGIMO and others), and major international academic networks (e.g. PONARS-Eurasia, EISA, CEEISA) translates into excellent prospects for various partnerships in the realm of teaching.
We believe that in the current international context, learning about IR in one of the smallest EU member states which is situated at the centre of the Baltic Sea Region and on Russia’s doorstep has the potential to offer unique insights into international politics.
Since 1989, Estonia has been in the centre of democratic, economic and geopolitical change in Eastern Europe. The University of Tartu (UT) has played an active role in charting these developments.
In academic scoreboards, UT ranks among the TOP 3% of universities in the world (THE World University Rankings 2013–2014) and international students have rated Estonia as the #1 place to stay (Erasmus Student Network Survey).
The UT offers advanced study facilities, excellent libraries, well-equipped computer labs and modern residence halls. Interactive and innovative teaching and learning methods are widely used. There is a wide variety of opportunities to study abroad, including Erasmus agreements with a broad range of European partner universities.
Studying in Tartu is both attractive and affordable – it means high-quality education at a low cost in a country that is simultaneously both ancient and very modern, close to nature and technologically advanced, proud of its unique culture and traditions and open to the world (Estonia is a member of the EU and NATO and it belongs to the eurozone and the Schengen space).
Our faculty is highly accomplished, both in scholarship and in teaching, with wide-ranging expertise in international relations and regional studies. Our staff encompasses people from nearly a dozen nationalities, offering students a multi‐faceted perspective on international and regional developments and problems.
The faculty’s research themes include:
Tuition fee is EUR 3200/year and it covers tuition and some study materials. Altogether 25 students will be admitted to this programme. Based on the admission’s ranking list, 14 best applicants will be given tuition-waiver scholarship.
Tuition fee covers tuition and some study materials. Based on the admission’s ranking list, the best applicants will be given tuition-waiver scholarship. Students receiving this scholarship do not have to pay the tuition fee if they complete a full-time study load. Full time study load is completed if no more than 6 credits are missing from the 30 ECTS workload per semester. If students receiving this scholarship fail to complete full-time study load per semester, they have to pay for the credits not earned.
Click to read more about tuition fees at UTClick to read more about scholarships at UT
The total admission score will be calculated from the score of the motivation letter (weight 100%). The maximum possible score is 100. The application will be considered for the admission ranking if the applicant gains at least 66 points.
See the page of the programme in Estonian.
Submit the online application form (link available on the right-side menu) by April 15. You will receive an applicant code, which gives access to your account to track your application status. You will be asked to upload the electronic copies (xerox copies) of all the required documents to your online application.
Post the printed and signed application with all the required documents no later than on April 15 to: International Student Service, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18, Tartu 50090, Estonia.
* All copies of educational documents (Diplomas and Diploma Supplements/ academic transcripts) must be officially certified: bear an original seal and a signature of an authorized official of the issuing institution. Copies of education documents can also be certified with an Apostille. Some country-specific requirements also specify the way documents must be certified.
NB! Applicants graduating in 2016 and having their diplomas issued later than the application deadline, should send their most recent official Transcript of Records by the required deadline along with the rest of the required documents. Inform the International Student Service (ISS) when the final diploma will be issued. For detailed information contact the ISS.
Only complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee.
The university's Admission Committee will announce final admission results, including the information on tuition-waiver scholarships, at the latest by 10 June, but where possible, earlier. Admission offers will be sent by 10 June by e-mail. All admitted students must inform the university of their decision to accept or decline our offer by the deadline indicated in their admission notification.