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Postgraduate Study in Estonia

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PLEASE NOTE: As a result of Brexit, from Autumn 2021 postgraduate students from the European Union studying at a UK university will be charged the same tuition fees as international students. Meanwhile, UK students studying their postgraduate course at a European university are also likely to incur higher tuition fees than their EU counterparts. It is advisable to check with the individual universities in the UK and Europe for up-to-date information on tuition fees for all postgraduate programs.

Estonia is one of three Baltic states in Northern Europe – the others being Latvia and Lithiuania. It shares a land border with Latvia and Russia, and a maritome border with Finland.

5 great reasons to choose Estonia for your postgrad studies

E-society – pretty much everything is online in Estonia, with e-government and e-health, not to mention e-parking – it is a very forward-looking country.


Telecommunication – it's the home of Skype, so what better place could there be to study overseas and still maintain great contact with friends and family at home?


Clean & Fresh – as well as being technologically advanced Estonia is also a healthy place to live, with the World Health Organization recently ranking Estonia number one for air quality. 


Entrepreneurs' Paradise  – and did you know that current statistics reveal that there are more successful start-up companies per head in Estonia than in any other European country?


Satisfaction Guaranteed – and most importantly, Estonia was recently ranked 1st for student satisfaction, with an Erasmus survey showing that 90% of international students were satisfied with the studying and living standard in Estonia.


Estonia – a country of chic cities and charming islands

The capital city of Estonia is Tallinn – and this city is a great destination for those interested in culture, arts and history – as well as those who enjoy shopping, dining and nightlife. The medieval old town sits within close proximity of the modern business centre complete with skyscrapers, shopping centres and smart restaurants. Being a relatively small city with just half a million citizens (Estonia has an overall population of 1.3 million) it is a great place to explore and an easy city to feel comfortable in. Other cities in Estonia include Tartu, Pärnu and Viljandi – and these too all have their own special charm, and are also all rich in history and culture with vibrant student populations. For those interested in exploring and nature, Estonia features over 1,500 islands – including Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Ruhnu and Vormsi – these are really special places to visit especially for those interested in nature, plus they also offer a fabulous insight into the historical way of life in Estonia.

Estonia gained independence in 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed, and in just over two decades, it has gone on to become a major economic success among European Union countries. Estonia has anchored itself economically and politically to the West, joining NATO and the EU in 2004. Successive Estonian governments have been keen on privatising government-owned enterprises and introducing economic policies that encourage free market and liberal regulation. As we have already mentioned they have successfully implemented an e-economy meaning that Estonia has very fast broadband networks, its internet is widespread and free, and most government services can be accessed online.

Estonia joined the European single currency in 2011. 

Estonia universities and education

Estonia has many public and private universities and many of these universities offer postgraduate programs taught in English.

The University of Tartu is Estonia’s national university. It is not only the biggest university in Estonia; it is also the number one university in the country and one of the oldest throughout northern Europe. It offers 17 postgraduate programs fully taught in the English language - including some very unique choices such as Semiotics, Philosophy, and Wellness and Spa Service Design and Management. There are currently students from over 70 countries studying at the University of Tartu.

Tallinn University of Technology is Estonia’s second largest university and is a great institution for international students to choose – not least of all because it currently offers 22 postgraduate programs taught in the English language and welcomes students from more than 80 countries. The university has several international professors and cooperates internationally with other universities across the globe, including Stanford, Berkeley and Aalto. It also has ties with multinational companies like Samsung, Microsoft and Skype.  Tallinn University of Technology offers many interesting postgraduate programs including International Business Administration, Cyber Security, Computer and System Engineering and Healthcare Technology.

Just like Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) and the University of Tartu, internationalisation is also a major part of Tallinn University. This university also has postgraduate programs that are taught in English, and its exchange agreements incorporate more than 50 universities across the United States, Russia, Europe China and Japan. The postgraduate programs on offer here include Anthropology, Communication Management, Film Arts and International Relations.

A masters degree in Estonia takes two years to complete while a doctorate takes four years.

University tuition fees and funding

Tuition fees at universities in Estonia vary – and in some cases are actually free with the requirement that the student scores at least 54 ECTS credit points every academic year. Failure to attain the minimum credit points will mean that the student has to pay a certain amount of money for every credit point that they are short.

For the postgrad programs that you have to pay for at Tallinn University of Technology (TUT), tuition fees range from €2,500 to €3,300 per semester. However TUT does offer some tuition-fee free postgraduate programs so it is worth contacting them to find out about your particular area of interest.

At the University of Tartu postgraduate international students studying in English pay between €1,500 and €5,500 per semester based on the course being pursued – with Medicine being the most expensive at €5,500. The University of Tartu offers a tuition waiver for the best applicants in certain courses like Software Engineering, Business Administration and Semiotics. These scholarships cover the tuition fee only for full-time students. There are other scholarships programs including those based on country of origin. 

Living as a student in Estonia

The cost of living in Estonia is similar to that of many of the more reasonably priced European countries. A modest student budget would be between €200 and €250 every month and this would cover food and basic amenities. Housing is approximately €100 a month for a room in a dorm. A private flat could cost you around €350 or more a month.

Public transport is free of charge for students, and taking a taxi costs from €1.90. In many cases it the entrance to nightclubs is actually free of charge for students (provided they have an ESN card, ISIC or Euro 26 bank card), while a theatre ticket will cost around €12 and a movie ticket between €4.50 and €7. Joining a fitness club at an Estonian university costs €40.

Student visas and immigration

Any student coming from an EU member state is not required to have a visa to enter Estonia. Students from countries outside the EU are required to make an application for a residence permit if they intend to stay in Estonia for over three months.

Postgraduate students are allowed to come to Estonia with a visa and make an application for a residence permit upon arrival, although it is important to be aware that the university is not responsible for helping with your application.

If you intend to work while still pursuing your studies, you will not need to apply for a working permit. All the same, a working international student would only be allowed to keep working if the job does not interfere with their performance in their school work.


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