Sound and Visual Technology
No admission to this programme for the academic year 2023/2024.
- Study in Viljandi, the cultural capital of Estonia, in modern and well-equipped studios and facilities. Our partnerships with Estonian Public Broadcasting, theatres, private studios and performance companies offer you exclusive work-study opportunities.
- You can choose between sound or visual technology as your main speciality and develop your entrepreneurship, teamwork, and project management skills.
- Our teachers are practitioners and specialists in their fields.
- You will work in teams to create and produce projects that closely mirror the industry workflow to facilitate your transition into a professional environment and help launch your career.
- After graduation, you can work at a performance institution or theatre, lead large-scale audiovisual projects, start your own business or work as a freelancer.
The Sound and Visual Technology programme gives you the opportunity to study two of the most engaging and rapidly developing fields in the arts and culture. You will choose either sound or visual technology as your main speciality, but you will also gain an in-depth working knowledge of the other field.
Beyond your core specialities, you will develop your entrepreneurship, teamwork, and project management skills. Practice is at the core of the curriculum, and you will apply what you learned in the classroom straight away with practical activities and by working in creative teams.
Why study Sound and Visual Technology at the University of Tartu?
- High-quality education. The University of Tartu belongs to the top 1.2% of the world's best universities (see Rankings & Surveys).
- Cutting edge and creativity-driven curriculum. Beyond the development of your technical skills in the field of sound and visual technology, the curriculum aims to encourage your creativity and growth as a leader and visionary in your future career.
- Teamwork and Cooperation. You will work in teams to create and produce projects that closely mirror the industry workflow to facilitate your transition into a professional environment and to help launch your career.
- Viljandi’s creative atmosphere. Viljandi is the ideal place to master new creative and technical skills. Our studios and facilities have the most modern equipment for sound and visual technology.
- A perfect mix of theory and practice. Our teachers aren’t just educators, but they are practitioners and specialists in their fields who offer practical approaches to teaching. Additionally, we have partnerships with Estonian Public Broadcasting, theatres, private studios and performance companies to offer you exclusive work-study opportunities.
Why study this programme in Estonia?
- One advantageous aspect to choosing Estonia is the short and often direct career paths into these fields. Our students can easily access national television, theatres, big concert venues to study or practice.
- Studying in Estonia is both attractive and affordable. Receive a high-quality education at a low cost in a country that is simultaneously ancient and modern, connected with nature and technologically advanced. Estonia is proud of its unique cultural traditions and open to the world.
- Viljandi offers a unique study environment with countless resources including music studios, video and multimedia studios, black and white boxes, multiple concert halls, Pärimusmuusika Centre (Centre for Traditional Music), and the Ugala theatre.
The programme consists of 5 study modules:
- The first module (30 ECTS) is dedicated to general subjects, including courses on project management, startup entrepreneurship, multicultural teams, and cross-media technology and audiovisual culture.
- The second module (30 ECTS) is your speciality module. You will team up with your fellow students for creative-practical practice “Sound and visual arts project”. This module lets you develop skills in your speciality – whether you choose visual or sound technology. You can focus on music mixing and mastering or graphic and motion design. Depending on your previous experience, students are divided into two specialisations and go in-depth with sound or lighting design and system design for both specialities.
- The third module (20 ECTS) is a speciality practice. It can be pursued based on your individual study path and interests. We offer a wide variety of practice opportunities in Estonia and abroad. Speciality practice will take place during the third semester of studies.
- The fourth module (6 ECTS) includes free elective subjects. You can choose from any available subjects taught at the University of Tartu or other universities in Estonia.
- The fifth module (34 ECTS) is the master thesis module. It includes a supervisor’s seminar (4 ECTS) and the choice between defending a theoretical master thesis or conducting a master project.
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).
- Janar Paeglis
- Christoph Schulz
- José Diogo Neves
- Tiit Kikas
- Taavet Jansen
- Eve Komissarov
- Margus Vaigur
The programme also brings in international specialists and lecturers who share their expertise during crash courses, short research trips and extended teaching periods. We have been honoured to receive Fulbright scholarships in the Music and Performing Arts departments.
The University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy is one of the university's four colleges. The Academy has been providing applied higher education and has offered a specialised culture education since 1952. After reconstructing the Estonian higher education system at the beginning of the new millennium, the Academy joined the University of Tartu in 2005.
The UT Viljandi Culture Academy offers graduate and undergraduate study programmes in theatre and dance arts, Estonian native crafts (textile, metal, construction and inherited crafts), music (jazz, traditional, pedagogy), sound engineering, leisure-time manager-teacher and culture management. Besides the theoretical knowledge, our graduates obtain practical experience, enabling them to have a steady position for entering the labour market.
The studies take place in Viljandi, the Cultural Capital of Estonia.
Viljandi has a lively cultural scene for every taste. Not many towns of a similar size in the world boast a professional theatre, several venues that organise regular concerts, entertainment, and cafés that rightfully claim to serve the best coffee, food, and service in the world.
Viljandi Culture Academy brings a youthful and vibrant population to Viljandi. The many student-organised events keep the cultural scene thriving throughout the year.
After graduation, you will possess the competencies to take a leading position at a performance institution or theatre. You will be able to lead large-scale audiovisual projects or work as the head of a technical area at a theatre. You can also start your own business or work as a freelancer, as you will have the necessary skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship and team management.
Learning is a lifelong process. It is important to have a teacher who guides you from the start. Throughout my studies at the Viljandi Culture Academy, I had the unique opportunity to learn, try things in practice, make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Beyond that, Viljandi is an inspiring town that gives life to music.
Admission requirements for Sound and Visual Technology
bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification (must be obtained by the end of July) – please see country-specific document requirements here.
English language proficiency – acceptable tests and exempt categories are specified here.
Applications are evaluated based on
the score of the motivation letter (yields 25% of the final score)
the score of the portfolio (yields 25% of the final score)
the admission interview (yields 50% of the final score)
The motivation letter must be up to 4600 characters long (including spaces). It is advisable to answer the following questions:
- Why are you interested in this study programme?
- Why did you choose a study programme offered in Viljandi? How does this choice relate to your interests and previous experience?
- Where do you see yourself in your field after graduating from the master’s programme?
- Have you considered pursuing an academic career in your field?
The motivation letter will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Compatibility of the interests and goals of the candidate with the content and aims of the master’s programme (50%);
- Candidate’s vision for the future (30%);
- Self-expression skills (20%).
Requirements for the motivation letter will be updated by December 2023.
The portfolio should include the candidate’s CV and a collection of previous field-specific projects. The portfolio should be presented as an internet link, where the materials can be downloaded. The creativity and professional skills will be assessed.
Motivation letter and link to the portfolio should be submitted together with the online application (2 January to 15 March).
Requirements and schedule for the interview will be updated by December 2023.
Only the candidates who receive at least 51 points from both the motivation letter and portfolio, will be invited to the interview. The interview is based on materials presented by the candidate. The committee will ask additional questions about the candidate’s previous study and work experience and plans for the future. The interview is conducted online.
Admission interviews will take place in April. The exact time and date will be scheduled individually with each candidate.
The maximum score is 100 points for each assignment. Only those applicants who receive at least 51 points from both the motivation letter and portfolio, will be invited to the interview. After the interview, the final score is calculated. The maximum final score is 100 points. The application will be considered for admission if a score of 66 points or higher is achieved.
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 documents must be electronically submitted via DreamApply by 15 March:
- online application
- motivation letter
- 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).
- official translation of the bachelor’s diploma and Diploma Supplement (transcript) into English, translation certified
- proof of English language proficiency
- copy of the passport page stating the applicant’s personal particulars
- 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.
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 18-133, 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)
- EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are required to pay the fee for the first semester once they arrive in Estonia (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 email@example.com.
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! Please note that this programme is offered in our campus in Viljandi (75 km from Tartu).
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.