Curriculum structure

Study happens at university on the basis of curricula. The curriculum is a document which defines the conditions required for graduation: which courses and how many you need to study, to what extent it is possible to choose subjects, what the nominal study duration is, etc. The volume of studies is measured in credits, which a student obtains by completing courses.

The volume of each course is set in the course information. One credit is equivalent to 26 hours of student work, and takes into account in-person studies, independent work and practical experience, and the evaluation of learning outcomes. The curricula are prepared on the assumption that a student will accumulate 60 credits in one academic year.

The curricula consist of different types of modules, which may be either compulsory or elective. Modules bring together courses into goal-orientated collections. The courses are divided into compulsory, elective and optional courses: a compulsory course is one which must be passed in order to complete the curriculum; an elective course can be chosen from a defined list of courses or from an elective module; an optional course is one which can be freely selected from your own or some other curriculum.

Volume and nominal duration of study

The volume of the bachelor’s curriculum is 180 credits (ECTS) and the nominal expected time required to complete it is three years.

The bachelor’s curriculum consists of:

  • two base modules, 24 ECTS credits each
  • two narrow field modules, 24 ECTS credits each
  • two specialisation modules, 24 ECTS credits each
  • at least one elective module, 12 ECTS
  • optional courses, 6–18 ECTS
  • bachelor’s exam or thesis, 6–12 ECTS

 

Selecting modules

Bachelor’s students must select the modules for their major specialisation in the Study Information System by the end of the first semester at the latest - two base modules, one field module, one specialisation module and an elective module (unless a later deadline for choosing the major specialisation is not specified in the curriculum).

Students are required to select all the modules necessary for completing the curriculum in the Study Information System by the end of the autumn semester of the second year of study. Bachelor’s students need to choose all the necessary modules for completing the curriculum from the bachelor’s curriculum.

  Instructions on how to select modules in SIS

The nominal duration of the professional higher education curriculum is 3–4 years, with a volume of 180–240 ECTS credits. The curriculum consists of:

  • at least two base modules (24 or 30 ECTS), plus compulsory or elective modules according to your specialisation
  • at least 12 ECTS credits’ worth of elective courses
  • at least 6 ECTS credits’ worth of optional courses
  • an internship, which accounts for at least 15% of the curriculum volume
  • a final examination or thesis (6–15 ECTS credits)

The professional higher education curriculum also includes courses or modules taught in foreign languages, as well as courses which aim to improve verbal and written communication skills in Estonian.

 

Selecting modules

If the professional higher education curriculum includes elective modules, then it is necessary to submit one’s choice of modules by the end of the first semester.

The nominal duration of the master’s curriculum is 1-2 years and the volume is 60-120 ECTS credits. The curriculum consists of:

  • master’s study modules (at least 45 ECTS credits’ worth in the case of a curriculum which is less than two years or up to 105 ECTS credits’ worth in the case of a two-year curriculum). The modules can be either compulsory, or a mixture of compulsory and elective modules, depending on your specialisation.
  • master’s examination or thesis (15 ECTS credits in the case of a curriculum which is less than two years or at least 15 ECTS credits in the case of a two-year curriculum).

The master’s curriculum also includes courses or modules taught in foreign languages, practical training and optional courses.

 

Selecting modules

If the master’s curriculum includes elective modules, then it is necessary to submit one’s choice of modules by the end of the first semester.

The nominal duration of doctoral studies is four years and the volume is 240 ECTS credits. The curriculum consists of:

  • doctoral studies - 60 ECTS credits (including module of specialisation courses, module of university-wide elective courses, optional courses and practical training)
  • research - 180 ECTS credits

Doctoral curricula to be opened from the 2022/2023 academic year are called doctoral programmes. The standard duration of a doctoral programme is four years and the total volume of a programme is 6,240 hours. In the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, the volume of a doctoral programme equals 240 ECTS. A doctoral programme consists of

  • a study module (780 hours in total)
  • a module of research, development and creative activities (5,460 hours in total)

 

 Selecting modules and registering for courses are two separate things. It is necessary to register for courses in SIS separately by the start of the relevant semester. Modules can be selected in the SIS in advance if there are courses which have not yet been passed, or retrospectively if some of the courses have already been completed.

Based on the selected modules and completed courses, the percent of curriculum completion is calculated. The degree to which the curriculum has been completed is checked by the university for a) determining the study load (part time or full time), b) when making a decision on the reimbursement of study expenses (for tuition-waiver student places and for curricula taught in Estonian), as well as c) when applying for stipends or study allowances. More info about curriculum completion and stipends and allowances.

 

 At the University of Tartu the structure of the curricula is defined by The Statutes of Curriculum. The curricula for medicine, dentistry and pharmacy are prepared in accordance with the relevant framework requirements established by the Government of the Republic of Estionia, and the curricula for primary school teachers according to the teacher traning framework requirements established by the Government of the Republic of Estionia.

 

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