• Application Deadline
  • 24 months


The objective of this study programme is to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become professionals in modern democratic government, civil society, politics and international organizations. It provides in-depth knowledge about:

  • the global, historical context of democracy
  • modern democratic institutions
  • public policy and governance- political theory and ethics
  • elections and political behavior
  • comparative ethnopolitics
Students graduating from this programme:
  • will have comprehensive knowledge of modern democratic institutions and their political processes;
  • will be able to identify and analyze key problems and processes of democratic governance, involving both government institutions and civil society;
  • will have the proper research skills to perform policy analysis and contribute to policy formation;
  • will obtain an international perspective that will enrich their qualifications both in their home country and globally.
Why study democracy and governance at the University of Tartu?
  • The University of Tartu belongs to the TOP 1.2% of the world's best universities (QS and THE rankings)
  • Democracy and Governance are at the heart of the social and political transformation that has characterized Estonia over the last two decades. Estonia is one of the most dynamic reformers in Europe. It's a leader in e-government, internet-based voting and other governance fields.
  • Estonia is the place to study how democracy and governance can be combined in today’s world of globalization and change. The MA programme is based on learning this success combining it with studies about the global theories and trends in politics.
  • Graduates can work as political scientists, politicians, political aides, consultants, political commentators in media, policy analysts, non-academic researchers, issue-related civic activists, consultants or managers of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and initiatives concerned with public accountability, equality, minority rights, refugee support or other crucial components of a functioning liberal democratic state and society.

Programme Structure

The curriculum of the study programme is based on five parts:
  • Methods module (18 ECTS) - in this module, students will be trained in the essentials of social science methodology and academic skills; both quantitative and qualitative methods will be addressed; innovative teaching methods (such as a ‘flipped classroom’) will also be used;
  • Core Competencies module (36 ECTS) - this module will lay out for students fundamental concepts and theories for understanding democratic development and modern governance. 
  • Specialization module (30 ECTS) - within this module students will be able to choose courses that deepen their knowledge of specific topics in the field such as identity-based phenomena, regional specificities or third-sector issues;
  • Electives module (6 ECTS) - students may choose additional electives either from within or completely outside the existing curriculum;
  • MA thesis (30 ECTS)


Programme Director is Professor of Comparative Politics Vello Pettai.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

General Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • English language proficiency

Tuition Fee

  • International

    3400 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 3400 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Tartu

  • 300 - 600 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Tuition waivers are available for the best candidates.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


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