Is digital transformation taking over the society? How are governments tackling secure data exchange and cybersecurity? How is and how should data analytics be employed in politics and governance? Are governments and public institutions allowed to profile citizens? Could digital transformation lead to greater discontent with politics and renewed authoritarian tendencies? How can democratic political leaders govern with higher efficiency whilst respecting citizens’ data privacy?
These are important challenges to tackle, especially in the digital era. The MA programme in Politics and Governance in the Digital Age offers you the knowledge and skills for this enquiry.
This MA programme integrates key fundamentals of governance, digital transformation and data analysis as essential aspects of political developments in the contemporary world. Understanding digital governance is key for building a successful career in modern government, digital civil society, politics or international organisations.
The programme provides in-depth knowledge about core topics of political science such as modern political institutions, elections, political behaviour and ethics, combined with data-driven governance, e-democracy and critical thinking in the digital society. This is reinforced by training in data analytics, research methods and quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques.
Political science and international research among the highest-ranked specialties of University of Tartu by the “QS World University Rankings by Subject” in 2021 (range 151–200).
A career in government and politics requires three things:
The MA programme in Politics and Governance in the Digital Age 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:
Your 5 reasons:
Politics and Governance in the Digital Age deals with questions that have characterized the social and political transformation in Estonia over the last two decades. Estonia is the leader in e-government, internet-based voting and other governance fields. 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.
The MA programme in Politics and Governance in the Digital Age is based on learning from this success story against the backdrop of global theories and trends in politics. We believe that Estonia is the place to study how digital governance can be implemented in today’s world of globalization and digital transformation.
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 both has traditions and is very modern, is close to nature as well as technologically advanced, is proud of its unique culture and traditions as well as open to the world (Estonia is a member of the EU and NATO and it belongs to the eurozone and the Schengen space).
One option is, of course, to run in the next elections and become a parliamentarian, 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.
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 analysing data as well as presenting the findings. In addition, digital competencies are now essential to the skill set that is required in every field of life. The MA programme Politics and Governance in the Digital Age will help to achieve this personal integrity and professionalism for future employment, wherever it may be.
Our graduates have gone to work as experts in think tanks, government offices, and NGOs both in their native countries or in international hubs like Brussels. Some have opted for academia and continued in doctoral studies.
The tuition fee is 3,800 euros per year. Altogether 20 students will be admitted to this programme. Based on the admission’s ranking list, 10 best applicants will be given the tuition waiver. There is 5 tuition waivers available for EU/EEA/Swiss applicants and 5 tuition waivers for applicants with other citizenships. Applicants do not have to apply for the tuition waiver separately, as they will be considered for the competition automatically.
NB! Applicants who are not citizens of the member states of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and do not hold a long-term residence permit in any of these countries are required to pay half of the semester fee after they have been informed of the admission decision (offer) via DreamApply. The official admission letter (necessary for visa application) will only be issued once the University of Tartu has received this payment. The second half of the semester fee is to be paid after the studies have started, by 20 September.
Information about the rules and conditions for tuition waivers as well as tuition fee payments is given here. Information about other scholarships is available here.
Courses in Politics and Governance in the Digital Age MA programme.
The MA programme in Politics and Governance in the Digital Age 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, Central European University). Our staff encompasses people from nearly a dozen nationalities, offering students a multi-faceted perspective on politics and change.
Research themes include:
"This 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."
Adrian Nikolov, alumnus of Democracy and Governance (Bulgaria)
"After I completed my bachelor, I got the opportunity to intern with an NGO which got me interested in learning more about how civil society, the third sector and the state work together. By being part of the Democracy and Governance programme, I could explore the relationship between governments, civil society and the private sector in democratic as well non-democratic countries.
The study programme offers a great overview of how policymaking and governing in general works and how it has changed over years. I was further interested in joining this MA programme as it allows me choose electives from a great pool of fascinating classes which means that I can create my own study profile."
Jasmin, International Student Ambassador from Germany
Contact International Student Ambassadors to ask about life in Tartu or read their blog.