The European Languages and Cultures master's programme trains students to be cultural mediators (translators, administrators, editors, etc.) by providing knowledge and skills in a modern or classical language and culture. You can choose one of the following specialities:
Classes in the speciality module are taught in the respective language (except for Classical philology, which is taught in Estonian). If you are specialising in English language and literature, your classes are in English, but if you are specialising in French language and literature, they are in French, etc. At the time of admission to the programme, being proficient in the language of the chosen speciality is expected and written as well as spoken language skills are to be demonstrated in the entrance exams (the essay is written and the interview conducted in the language of the speciality).
Students can combine elective courses and practical training module according to specific future career paths. For example, somebody who wants to work in an international organisation can pick an elective module in international relations and do an internship in an international organisation; somebody who wants to become an editor in a publishing house can pick an elective module in translation studies and do editing training. Graduates will be ready to continue their studies at PhD level in all languages of specialisation.
After completing the programme, you:
The curriculum consists of 6 modules:
To graduate, students must complete one speciality module, one graduate school module, one elective module, one optional courses module, and either the MA thesis or MA project module.
Students are recommended to spend one semester (and complete 15 ECTS worth of coursework) in a university where the language of the speciality is spoken as the first language.
The following structure of the programme applies to the current academic year. To view the most updated version, please visit the University of Tartu Study Information System and choose the next academic year (if available).
The teaching staff of the Institute of Foreign Languages and Cultures includes leading Estonian scholars in literary research (American, British, French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Scandinavian literature), classical studies, linguistics, and translation studies. The institute is responsible for several major national and international research grants. Many staff members are also practising translators and active in Estonian cultural life. The institute's staff is international and brings a diversity of viewpoints to the classroom. In addition to academic staff, students meet alumni and other professionals from different fields to get a more hands-on experience with life after university.
The University of Tartu Institute of Foreign Languages and Cultures is situated in a recently renovated building on the historic campus of the University of Tartu. This places students in the very centre of cultural and social life.
The graduates will be competitive candidates for careers in professions that require excellent proficiency in foreign languages and cultural competence in state institutions, universities and research institutions, IT companies, museums, publishing houses cultural exchange organisations in Estonia and abroad.
bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification (the degree must be obtained by the end of July) – please see our country-specific document requirements
English language proficiency – please see our acceptable tests and exempt categories
proficiency in the respective language of the chosen specialty (will be assessed during entrance exams)
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 40% of the final score)
the score of the essay (yields 40% of the final score)
the admission interview (yields 20% of the final score)
The motivation letter is used to evaluate the applicant’s motivation to study on the programme. The motivation letter (2400-3000 characters with spaces, written in English) must be added to your online application by the application deadline (March 15).
In the motivation letter the student candidates describe:
Aspects considered in assessing the letter of motivation:
Maximum score for the motivation letter is 100 points and minimum positive score is 51 points. The applicant needs to receive at least 51 points for the motivation letter, in order to have the essay assessed.
Essay and texts for translations
The essay (required in the specialities of English language and literature, Russian and Slavic philology, French language and literature, Spanish language and literature, German language and literature and Scandinavian languages and literatures) is a 7200-9000-character text in which the student candidates in a structured manner discuss a problem related to the specialty. The essay is written in the language of the specialty (English, Russian, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Norwegian or Danish).
Essay topics will be made public by February 15.
Aspects considered in assessing the essay:
The essay has to be the author’s original work and has to be written within the time given. The deadline for submitting the essay is 15 March (application deadline). The results of the essay can be used on admission to the Foreign language teacher curriculum (see Entrance requirements for the Foreign language teacher curriculum).
In the speciality of classical philology, student candidates prepare an independent translation with their commentary of either a Latin or Ancient Greek text excerpt of an intermediate level of difficulty into Estonian. This means that applicants to the classical philology specialty are expected to be proficient in Estonian. The length of the text is 150-200 words. Excerpts will be made public on this page on 15 February at the latest. The deadline for the translation is 15 March (application deadline).
Aspects considered in assessing the translation:
Maximum score for the essay/translation is 100 points and minimum positive score is 51 points.
The oral exam in the chosen specialty is an interview in the language of the speciality. In the case of classical philology, the interview will be conducted only in Estonian. The interview will focus on the
student candidates’ plans and their expected studies at the University of Tartu. In other words, it will give the student candidates the chance to expand on their letter of motivation and essay or translation. The interview also demonstrates the student candidates’ skill of expressing themselves orally in the language of the speciality.
The oral exam is conducted online. The interviews will take place on April 15 and April 19, 2024. The interviews will be scheduled in cooperation with qualifying candidates in April.
Aspects considered in assessing the oral exam:
Maximum score for the motivation letter is 100 points and minimum positive score is 51 points.
General information regarding the online admission interview
The University of Tartu uses different video communication programs to conduct an online interview (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype). The admissions committee will notify you, which software program will be used and when does the interview take place.
The applicant needs the following for the online interview:
At the online interview:
It is possible to apply for up to two specialities. Applicant who wishes to apply for more than one speciality will have to write only one motivation letter which has to explain their study motivation for both specialities. They have to write a separate essay (or, in the case of Classical philology, produce a translation with a commentary) and also take a separate oral exam for each speciality they are applying for.
For each evaluation criteria, the maximum score 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 have the essay assessed. Only the candidates who receive at least 51 points from both written assignments, will be invited to the interview. After the interview, the final admission score is calculated. The maximum final score is 100 points. The application will be considered for admission ranking if a final score of 66 points or higher is achieved. For further information on assessing candidates´ academic performance and calculating admissions´ score see here.
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 that 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).
All admitted students are required to present their original qualification certificates upon arrival (unless these were sent directly from the issuing institution).
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/residence permit at an Estonian embassy.
Once the admission letter is issued, accepted students may proceed further with arranging their arrival. All non-EU students should first consult information on the process of visa and temporary residence permit application to be sure, as where and when the relevant documents need to be applied. Note that housing at the UT dormitories can be applied during a limited period of time, unless specified otherwise on the website.
NB! Admitted students who are not citizens of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland need to make sure they obtain the Estonian long-term visa on time in order to be able to participate in the orientation programme for international students held in the last week of August. They are also required to visit the Admissions Office in person to complete their arrival registration by September 2, 2024, at the latest. Failure to do so will result in the revocation of their admission decision and visa.
For housing alternatives please find further information on Tartu Welcome Centre website.
Travel information can be found here.
Based upon common queries, the most important information has been summarised into a pre-arrival information website UT Getting Started.