The innovative one-year master's programme in Digital Administration (MDA) aims to train top public servants, professionals and IT specialists in leading a comprehensive digitalisation of the public sector based on Estonia's experience in building a digital state and related technology business ecosystem.
This programme will answer questions like:
The MDA differs from other similar programmes in four important ways:
The MDA curriculum is unique in that it combines four elements: (1) global reach and executive focus; (2) practical orientation; (3) multidisciplinarity with its "future skills" toolbox aimed at digital leaders; (4) entrepreneurial focus; and (5) online format of study.
Based on Estonia's experience in developing Europe's number one digital public services governance system, as well as its related technology business ecosystem, the goal of this world-class and innovative one-year master programme is to train senior public servants, professionals, and IT specialists to be leaders in the comprehensive digitalisation of the public sector.
According to the DESI digital public services scoreboards for 2022, Estonia is the world leader in digitalising public services. Estonia is also a great place to develop a start-up and be an entrepreneur, and it leads Europe in start-ups per capita. Ten unicorns were founded or are based in Estonia, a small country with a little over one million population. Estonia is well-known for e-residency and e-voting and is also a leader in digital governance. Taking everything into account, Estonia is the best and most digitally developed country to learn about the digitalisation of the public sector and its services.
Taking into account Estonia's success and extensive experience as a leading "digitiser" in Europe and the world, as well as the growing interest of foreign governments in adapting Estonia's digital solutions, the Digital Administration master's programme addresses the need for modernising the public sector and equipping civil servants and IT professionals worldwide with the necessary skill set to integrate and implement digitalisation strategies in their respective home countries.
The sponsors support the participation of Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the former President of Estonia, in the programme.
|Andres Viisemann – Co-Founder of LHV Bank, Member of the Supervisory Board in LHV Bank, Fund Manager of active funds in LHV Bank|
|Jaan Tallinn – Co-Founder of Skype, Co-Founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Co-Founder of the Future of Life Institute|
|Sten Tamkivi – Co-Founder of Teleport, Co-Founder of Plural Platform, Former General Manager of Skype|
|Taavet Hinrikus – Co-Founder of Wise, Co-Founder of Jõhvi Coding School, Former Director of Strategy at Skype|
|Priit Alamäe – Founder and CEO of Nortal|
The Digital Administration master's programme comprises three main modules:
The programme ends with a capstone project, and there is no requirement for a master's thesis. The goal of the capstone project is to apply the knowledge acquired during the study to the sample solution of a selected problem, together with the necessary team creation and management.
The study programme consists of ten specially designed courses. Every course is four weeks long, with the fifth week for evaluation. Live meetings will take place once a week, on Thursdays, for six hours. Each session will be divided into two courses and the capstone project preparation.
The MDA programme courses are the following:
Students will have access to high-quality video lectures, practice labs, guided projects and assignments, and prompt technical support and personalised guidance to ensure a smooth learning experience.
The master's programme in Digital Administration is among very few that offers the possibility to complete a full executive degree in a 90% online format. The programme begins with a week-long meeting in Estonia at the end of August but is otherwise entirely online. Students are invited to return to Estonia at the end of the programme to present their capstone projects to an international evaluation committee and network with potential partners.
The Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies is located in the heart of Tartu. The institute's degree programmes have been created to develop students' academic competence and personal growth. To achieve this, the institute's international team is focused on knowledge-based research, quality education, and active learning.
The institute hosts the Center for EU – Russia Studies, the Centre for Applied Social Sciences, and various other research units to achieve a better and deeper understanding of society.
The master's programme in Digital Administration provides a unique opportunity to learn from the top experts and to draw inspiration from the digitalisation experience of the world's leading digital nation!
It goes without saying that not all aspects of Estonia's digital solutions can be directly implemented, as each country has certain peculiarities that must be considered. Our MDA programme, however, addresses that issue. Upon graduating from the master's programme in Digital Administration, students will acquire a comprehensive digitalisation toolbox, which can be customised according to their countries' specifics, needs, and requirements and used to implement the strategies respectively. The owner of such a priceless toolset has the potential to be a great change-maker in this era of rapid digitalisation.
The increasing need to modernise the public sector and to equip civil servants with up-to-date skills should not be feared by those with a lack of knowledge in the field of IT – our master's degree programme is designed for both IT and non-IT professionals as the tangible digital transformation is only possible through collaboration between these two groups.
In today's world, the ability to adapt and acclimate to new changes and challenges is critical; it is exactly from these changes and challenges that development and evolution emerge. However, it is a personal decision for all of us whether to fear or seize all possible opportunities to overcome them while also growing and thriving.
Upon graduating from the MDA programme, students will also have a network of expert colleagues to help them pursue a career in the field. Another benefit of the master's programme is the opportunity to meet like-minded people who are not afraid to admit to themselves that they do not know everything and are eager to learn and grow, which are rare and most definitely valuable traits.
Master's degree and at least 3 years of professional experience as an industry specialist or senior manager in the field of digitalization. For assessment of professional experience, you are required to upload your CV. For this programme, we implement the same country-specific document requirements as for applicants of doctoral studies. Please see our country-specific educational document requirements.
English language proficiency – please see our acceptable tests and exempt categories
NB! Citizens of the Russian Federation who, under the legislation of the Republic of Estonia, cannot apply for a long-stay visa or residence permit to study or do not have a valid legal basis to stay in the Republic of Estonia until the end of the curriculum’s standard period of study are not eligible to apply to the University of Tartu in the 2024/2025 academic year.
According to the current legislation, citizens of Belarus can apply for Estonian long-term visa or temporary residence permit for studies and are therefore eligible to apply to the University of Tartu.
the score of the motivation letter (yields 50% of the final score)
the admission interview (yields 50% of the final score)
The motivation letter (in English, up to 4000 characters with spaces) should address the following points:
Each letter will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
The maximum score for the motivation letter is 100 points and minimum positive score 51 points. The applicant needs to receive at least 51 points for the motivation letter, in order to be invited to the interview.
Admission interviews take place on: 1-5 April 2024
The interview is a follow-up to the motivation letter.
It will last about 30 minutes and will be held electronically. The invitation with the online link will be sent to the candidate a few days prior. In the interview, the candidate should be ready to discuss their motivation to take up studies in the MDA programme. The candidate should be also able to describe their research interests in relation to the study programme as well as the practical knowledge they hope to get out of the programme. We will also inquire about the candidate's preparedness to adjust to an intensive online study program.
The maximum score for the interview is 100 points. Each interview will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
For each assignment, the maximum score is 100 points and minimum score 51 points to be considered for admission. The applicant needs to receive at least 51 points for the motivation letter, in order to qualify for the admission interview. After the interview, the final admission score is calculated. The total admission score will be the weighted sum of the score of the motivation letter and the interview. The maximum number of final points is 100. Only applications which receive 66 points and above as a combined score from both indicators will qualify for admission.
Further information on assessing candidates´ academic performance and calculating admissions´ score.
The following information applies to international students and Estonian students who graduated abroad:
Application system opens on 2 January and closes on 15 March. The following documents must be submitted electronically via DreamApply by 15 March:
Submitted applications can not be edited. It is only possible to upload new documents (e.g. graduation certificates). Applicants will receive feedback and notifications through the DreamApply system to their e-mail. Incomplete applications or those submitted by e-mail will not be considered for admission.
The evaluation of applications will be made based on the electronic copies added to DreamApply. A general ranking list will be formed based on the electronically submitted applications and admission results (including offers) will be announced to all applicants personally via DreamApply by April 30 at the latest. Admitted candidates are expected to accept or decline the offer in DreamApply in 7 days. If the decision is not communicated to UT via DreamApply by the stipulated deadline, UT reserves the right to withdraw the admission offer.
NB! It is not possible to postpone the beginning of studies to the next academic year.
Terms and conditions of the admission offer
Admission offers are conditional. This means that there are conditions in the offer which the applicant needs to fulfil in order to be admitted (e.g. sending application documents by post; obtaining the required level of education). If the conditions are not met, UT has the right to withdraw the offer. Also, UT reserves the right to withdraw or amend any offer or revoke the matriculation of a student, if it becomes evident that the application contains fraudulent information, the qualification does not provide access to the chosen study programme or the student is found to have omitted key information from the application. Should such circumstances occur, UT will not be liable for any material or immaterial loss which the student may suffer as a result.
Once the admission results have been announced, all admitted students are required to send the application documents by post to: Student Admissions, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18-133, Tartu 50090, ESTONIA.
The documents are expected to be mailed only by those receiving the admission offer (unless instructed otherwise by the admissions staff). The documents must reach the university within 3 weeks from the announcement of the offer. If the application documents do not reach us by the deadline, the university has the right to withdraw the admission offer. Applicants will be informed when their documents have arrived.
Requirements for educational documents
All copies of educational documents (diplomas and Diploma Supplements/transcripts) must be officially certified. By certified we mean that the copies should bear an original signature and seal of the authority certifying that these are true copies of the original document(s). The copies can be certified either 1) by an authorised official of the issuing institution, or 2) by a notary, or 3) with an Apostille attached. NB! Country-specific requirements may also specify the way documents from certain countries must be certified.
Please note that UT does not accept simple copies made on the basis of already certified copies (primary copies are needed).
Paying the tuition fee (applicable to those receiving a fee-based study place offer)
The official admission letter will be sent to admitted students electronically via DreamApply only after the admissions office has received and reviewed hard copies of the application documents, and received the tuition fee pre-payment (if a pre-payment was required, please see step 3 for more details).
NB! The electronic admission letter is also sufficient for non-EU students for applying for visa at an Estonian embassy.
The program offers the possibility to complete a full executive degree in a 90% online format.
Please note that in this programme, students are expected to participate in the contact session in Tartu for one week at the beginning of the program and one week at the end of the program. For non-EU students, short term (Schengen visa or C visa) is sufficient. Please see our visa application process.
Based upon common queries, the most important information has been summarised into a pre-arrival information website UT Getting Started.