Is democracy conquering the world as the single most accepted model for political and social development? Or is it being overwhelmed by globalization, popular discontent with politics and renewed authoritarian tendencies? How can democratic political leaders govern and retain legitimacy in the world today? These are the most important challenges to tackle as a professional in this field. The MA programme in Democracy and Governance offers you the knowledge and skills to be a part of this search for solutions.
Adrian Nikolov, student of Democracy and Governance (Bulgaria)
"The Democracy and Governance MA programme is precisely what I wanted from my studies – sufficiently long as to allow me to properly dive in the depth of social science, methodologically rigorous and demanding so that I can develop the research skills crucial in the field and in the same time providing a friendly environment which makes a student really feel appreciated and helped, whenever necessary."
This MA programme integrates empirical and theoretical understanding of democracy and governance, the two essential parameters of political development in the contemporary world. Understanding them is the key for building a successful career in modern government, civil society, politics and international organisations.
The programme provides in-depth knowledge about the history of democracy, modern democratic institutions, public policy and governance, elections and political behaviour, ethnopolitics, and ethics. This is reinforces by training in analytical logic, quantitative and qualitative research techniques, written and oral English skills.
Location: Tartu, EstoniaDuration: 2 yearsLanguage of instruction: EnglishDegree awarded: Master of Arts in Social Sciences (Democracy and Governance)Tuition fee and scholarships: €3200/year, 14 tuition-waivers available
The curriculum (120 ECTS) is based on the following modules:
- Methods module (18 ECTS)- Core Competencies module (36 ECTS)- Specialization module (30 ECTS)- Electives module (6 ECTS)- MA thesis (30 ECTS)
Click here to read the descriptions of all courses
Whereas the Methods and Core Competencies 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.
A career in government and politics requires three things:
- knowledge about contemporary democracy and governance;
- analytical insight and method;
- outstanding communication skills.
The MA programme in Democracy and Governance delivers these objectives by integrating the study of politics with the rigors of analytical thinking and training in effective communication. In addition, you can complement your studies with a semester abroad as the Institute has numerous exchange opportunities.
Our learning outcomes include:
- comprehensive knowledge of modern democratic institutions and their political processes;
- the ability to identify and analyze key problems and processes of democratic governance, involving both government institutions and civil society;
- proper research skills to perform policy analysis and contribute to policy formation;
- solid writing and oral presentation skills to be effective in a professional career;- an international perspective that will enrich career prospects both at home and globally.
Democracy and Governance are at the heart of the social and political transformation that has characterized Estonia over the last two decades. For years, Estonia has been ranked as one of the most dynamic reformers in Europe, while at the same time maintaining a stable democracy and social environment. It’s a leader in e-government, internet-based voting and other governance fields.
The MA programme in Democracy and Governance is based on learning this success against the backdrop of global theories and trends in politics. We believe Estonia is the place to study how democracy and governance can be combined in today’s world of globalization and change.
The MA programme in Democracy and Governance is taught by a young and diverse faculty trained at some of the world’s best universities (Columbia, Cambridge, European University Institute, University of Arizona, Free University Berlin). Our staff encompasses people from nearly a dozen nationalities, offering students a multi-faceted perspective on politics and change.Research themes include:
- varieties of democracy (Vello Pettai)
- internet voting (Kristjan Vassil)
- legislative studies (Mihkel Solvak)
- history of political thought and political theory (Eva Piirimäe)
- the politics of history (Eva-Clarita Pettai)
- public governance (Kristina Muhhina)
This MA programme will provide you with all the essential skills and knowledge of the comparative political scientist. Political scientists study the structure and theory of government and seek practical and theoretical solutions to political problems. After graduating our programme many possibilities for applying your skills and knowledge will open up.
One option is, of course, to run in the next elections and become a parliamentarian and shaping policy. However, much more often the expertise and analytical skills of political scientists are enlisted by electoral candidates to ensure (re-) election. They thus become political aides or consultants, helping in electoral campaigns or with analyzing and interpreting legislative issues and constituencies once the candidate has been elected; they also often work in ministries and other state institutions (both on the national and supra-national levels) to ensure the implementation and monitoring of specific policies and laws.
Yet, many political scientists choose to stay outside the halls of power and state administration and become political commentators on TV and radio or write columns for newspapers, online portals or blogs; others may employ their analytical skills as policy analysts or public opinion pollsters in think tanks and other non-academic research institutes. Finally, political scientists are well-prepared to work in the so-called third sector – as issue-related civic activists, consultants or managers of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and initiatives concerned with public accountability, equality, minority rights, refugee support or other crucial components of a functioning liberal democratic state and society.
What is crucial in all of these different jobs is the political scientist’s ability to set aside his/her own prejudices and remain objective in gathering and analyzing data as well as presenting the findings. The MA programme Democracy & Governance will help to achieve this personal integrity and professionalism for future employment, wherever it may be.
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.