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.
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.
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."
Location: Tartu, EstoniaDuration: 2 yearsLanguage of instruction: EnglishDegree awarded: Master of Arts in Social Sciences (Democracy and Governance)Tuition fee and scholarships: €3400/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.
The tuition fee is 3400 euros per 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. Applicants do not have to apply for this scholarship separately, as they will be considered for the competition automatically.
Students receiving this scholarship do not have to pay the tuition fee if they meet full time enrollment requirements. 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. The price per credit point is 58 euros.
Click to read more about tuition fees at UTClick to read more about scholarships at UT
The applicants are ranked based on the following indicators:
The maximum overall score is 100 points. The application will be considered eligible for the admissions ranking if a score of 66 points or higher is achieved. Further information on assessing candidates' academic performance and calculating admissions' score.
Applicants who have completed or are about to complete their bachelor´s studies in Estonia should apply via the National Admission Information Systems (SAIS) – further information is available here.
Applicants with Estonian citizenship who have graduated or are about to graduate abroad as well as international applicants should submit their application using the DreamApply system as instructed below.
Guide to applying online (step 1)
Submit the online application via the DreamApply application system. Please be sure to fill in the form correctly with all of the requested information and make sure to submit your application. You are required to upload the electronic copies of all the required documents (please see below) to your online application by March 15. Please keep in mind that the electronic copies must be made of the original educational certificates that have been stamped and signed by the issuing institution. Incomplete applications or those submitted by email will not be considered by the University.
International candidates are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of EUR 50, unless they have completed the previous study level in Estonia. An application will only be processed after the fee has been received by the University. Read more about paying the application fee.
Applicants will receive feedback, notifications and official admission offers through the DreamApply system to their email. Once applying, you should ensure that you have access to your DreamApply and email accounts. The decisions on the applications will be made based on the electronic copies that have been added to the DreamApply system by the applicants. If needed, the University has a right to request the applicant to send application documents by post immediately after providing the scanned copies.Guide to paper submission (step 2)
All the applicants who have been admitted are required to send all the application documents by post to: Student Admissions, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18-133, Tartu 50090, ESTONIA. Please note that the documents are expected to be mailed to the University only by those receiving the admission offer (unless instructed otherwise by the admissions staff). Please make sure the documents reach the University within 3 weeks from the announcement of the offer. For example, if the admission offer is announced on April 1, the hard copies of the application documents must be received by the University by April 21. You will be informed when the documents have arrived.
The official admission letter will be sent to the accepted students by email only after reviewing their hard copies of the application documents. Once you receive the admission letter, you may proceed further with arranging your arrival (flights, accommodation and residence permits/visas when applicable). If your application documents do not reach us in 3 weeks, the University has a right to withdraw the admission offer.
NB! Applicants graduating in 2018 and having their diplomas issued later than the application deadline, should electronically submit their most recent official Transcript of Records by the required deadline along with the rest of the required documents.
All copies of educational documents (diplomas and diploma supplements/academic transcripts) must be officially certified. Certified copies should bear an original signature and seal of the authority certifying that these are true copies of the original. The documents can be certified: 1) by an authorized official of the issuing institution; 2) by a notary; 3) with an Apostille attached. The University does not accept simple copies of already certified copies.
Some country-specific requirements also specify the way documents must be certified: important information for non-EU applicants is available here.
The University's Admissions Committee will announce final admission results, including information on tuition waiver scholarships, by May 15 at the latest. Admission offers are sent through the DreamApply system. The offer may be conditional or unconditional. If the offer is conditional, we will set out the conditions in the offer you need to fulfil in order to be admitted to the programme. If you do not fulfil the conditions or inform your admissions coordinator of your decision by the stipulated deadline, we reserve the right to withdraw the conditional admission offer.
Furthermore, we may withdraw or amend any offer or revoke your matriculation as a student of the University, if we discover that your application contains fraudulent information or if you are found to have omitted key information from your application.
Please note that the University cannot grant admission deferrals to accepted candidates who wish to postpone the beginning of their studies to the next academic year.
All admitted students are required to present their original qualification certificates upon arrival (unless these were sent directly from the issuing institution).