Software Engineering

Andero Kalju

2 January

Application system opens

15 March

Application deadline

15 May

Admission results

4 September

Academic year starts

Admission requirements and deadlines for the 2024 intake will be published on our website in December, 2023.


Level of study
Study language
Duration and credits
2 years , 120 ECTS
Form of study
Regular study
Student places
Tuition fee
6,000 EUR/year
Tuition waivers
31 for citizens of EU/EEA/Switzerland, 10 for all citizenships
  • The University of Tartu is ranked in the top 200 universities globally in computer science (Rankings and Surveys). 
  • You will obtain degrees from two top-ranked universities in Estonia – the University of Tartu and TalTech.
  • You have an opportunity to spend half of your studies at a partner company and follow a personalised study plan.
  • International study environment - more than 50% of students are international students from all over the world.
  • After graduation, you can join the highly dynamic software industry worldwide. You can run your own business or work for international companies such as Google, Meta, Ericsson, Swedbank, Wise, Bolt, Kuehne + Nagel and Nortal.
  • Study at the University of Tartu Delta Centre, which brings together a vibrant community of students, researchers and innovators in computer science, business and economics, mathematics and statistics.

To get to know the programme and the admission requirements better, you can:

The international master’s programme in Software Engineering offers general software engineering and management skills and specialised skills in two major software application domains: enterprise systems and embedded real-time systems.

The programme is delivered jointly by Estonia’s two largest universities: the University of Tartu and TalTech. Students graduating from this programme obtain degrees from both universities.

The programme prepares students for high-end technical or managerial roles at the most respected technology companies. The programme is closely related to the tech industry, and the students get opportunities to receive practice at the partner companies.

Learning outcomes

You will acquire a skill set that enables you to perform integrative tasks, including the ability to successfully:

  • demonstrate a requisite understanding of the main body of knowledge and theories of software engineering;
  • apply essential concepts, principles, and practices in the context of well-defined scenarios, showing judgment in the selection and application of software engineering tools and methods;
  • produce work involving problem identification, analysis, design, and development of a software system, along with appropriate documentation;
  • identify proper practices within a professional, legal, and ethical framework.


50% of students will receive a tuition waiver for full-time studies.

Once admitted, you can apply for several additional monthly scholarships, including the Industrial Master’s Programme in IT scholarship.

Information about scholarships is available on the Institute of Computer Science webpage.

Further information


You can find a thorough description of the curriculum on the Institute of Computer Science website.

First-year students of the programme can apply to the Industrial Master's Programme in IT during the spring semester. Participants of the programme spend most of the second year of their studies at partner companies. There they will be involved in the development processes. The programme culminates with writing a master's thesis on a topic that is important to the partner in cooperation with a supervisor from the partner company. The programme provides an opportunity to challenge your technical skills and kick-start your career without jeopardising your graduation from the university. Participants in the programme receive a monthly scholarship of 750-1050 euros.

Upon completing the programme, students will receive a Master of Science in Engineering (Software Engineering) (MSc) degree.

The following version of the programme courses 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). 

University of Tartu Delta Centre

The studies take place at the University of Tartu Delta Centre, the university's most modern study environment.

The University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science traditions also include activities involving students, such as the Institute's annual day and Delta Career Day, where Estonia's most influential IT companies are always present. Students are also welcome to participate in Sandbox's digital product innovation programme.

We have organised data science seminars for many years, where representatives of universities and companies talk about their experiences.

In addition, the Institute has a vibrant student life, as the institute's official student organisation regularly organises events.

The programme prepares students for a career path leading to high-end technical roles (e.g. software analyst, architect or research engineer) and managerial roles (e.g. project/team leader or technology officer). Graduates of this programme are well equipped to join the highly dynamic software industry in the Baltics, Northern and Eastern Europe.

Our graduates are currently employed by companies such as Google, Facebook, Ericsson, Swedbank, Wise, Bolt, Kuehne + Nagel, Nortal, etc.

Admission requirements for Software Engineering

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification (must be obtained by the end of July) in information technology, computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, information systems or a related field – please see our country-specific document requirements

    Applicants with a bachelor`s degree in Mathematics or Natural Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Business or Economics are eligible if they have completed at least 24 ECTS of courses in information technology, including courses in programming, database technology and software engineering
  • 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 2023/2024 academic year. 

According to the current legislation, citizens of Belarus can apply for Estonian long-term visa and temporary residence permit for studies and are  therefore eligible to apply to the University of Tartu.

Applications are evaluated based on:

  • the score of the motivation letter (yields 50% of the final score)
  • average grade of the previous study level (yields 50% of the final score)

Please write a brief motivation letter (in English, maximum of 6000 characters with spaces) based on the following points:

  • Why do you like to become a full-time student in the Software Engineering master's programme at the University of Tartu?
  • Which of the two specializations of this master's programme ("Enterprise Software" or "Embedded Software") would you like to choose and why?
  • What technical and non-technical skills do you have that prepare you well for the Software Engineering Master's programme? When describing your technical skills, please indicate what programming languages and development tools you are most familiar with, and how you assess your level of mastery of these programming languages and development tools? When describing your nontechnical skills, explain why you think these skills are important for successfully working in the software industry.
  • What is/are the most complex software engineering task(s) or project(s) that you have completed? If the output of these task(s)/project(s) are open-source or can be made opensource, please provide the link(s) to the public code repository.
  • Have you participated in programming challenges or contests, informatics Olympiads, hackathons or code camps, or have you completed open online courses or extra-curricular courses in software engineering or related fields? If so, please describe your record of participation in such extra-curricular activities?

Evaluation criteria:

  • fit between the student's background and goals, and the study programme (75%)
  • clarity, logical structure, writing skills and fluency in written English (25%)

The maximum score for motivation letter is 100 points and the result is positive only if the applicant gains 51 points or more.

For further information on assessing candidates´ academic performance and calculating admissions´ score see here

How to apply


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 electronic documents must be submitted via DreamApply by 15 March:

  1. online application
  2. motivation letter
  3. official certified copy of the bachelor's diploma or its equivalent and Diploma Supplement (transcript) in the original language (must include description of the grading scale).
    NB! Applicants graduating in the upcoming spring/summer and having their diploma and final transcript issued later than the application deadline should electronically submit their most recent official transcript by the application deadline. The transcript should be supplemented by an official statement from the issuing institution indicating current enrollment and expected graduation date. Admitted candidates are required to post certified copies of their graduation documents as soon as these have been issued (no later than by the end of July).
  4. official translation of the bachelor’s diploma and Diploma Supplement (transcript) into English, translation certified
  5. proof of English language proficiency
  6. copy of the passport page stating the applicant’s personal particulars
  7. confirmation/receipt of application fee payment (if applicable). All international applicants are required to pay the application fee EUR 100, unless they have completed the previous study level in Estonia. An application will only be processed after the fee has been received by the UT.

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.

Guide to submitting electonic application on DreamApply.

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 May 15 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 18-132, 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 the 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 applicants who receive a fee-based study place offer)

• EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are required to pay the fee for the first semester once they arrive in Tartu (by 20 September at the latest after signing the fee contract, please read more here).

• Admitted students from other countries are required to pre-pay half of the first semester's tuition fee. The invoice along with the pre-payment deadline and payment details will be sent to applicants via DreamApply after they have accepted the admissions offer and the University has received the hard copies of the application documents. Second part of the fee is due on 20 September. NB! The official admission letter (necessary for visa application) will only be issued once the University of Tartu has received the pre-payment.

NB! Once you have been offered a fee-based study place, be aware that it will not be changed into a fee waiver study place. By transferring the pre-payment to the university, you confirm that you have informed yourself about the process of the visa and temporary residence permit application and you are able to arrive in Estonia by the start of the academic year. If you have any questions please contact

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 in Estonian embassies.

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. 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.

Estonian applicants should apply via National Admission Information Systems (SAIS). Further information in Estonian is available here.

Tuition fee and scholarships

Practical info for new students

International Student Ambassadors

Ask about the programme and admission
Dietmar Alfred Paul Kurt Pfahl
Institute of Computer Science
Chair of Software Engineering
Professor of Software Engineering, Programme Director for Software Engineering master
r 3007
+372 737 5432

Student Admissions

Contact form

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