Admission to Theology and Religious Studies PhD Programme
Finding a supervisor
In the Faculty of Arts and Humanities it is generally advised but not compulsory to find a supervisor before applying for doctoral studies. Please visit the website of the school where you want to apply to for learning about their faculty members and their areas of research.
You can contact the programme director for advice and suggestions: ain.riistan [ät] ut.ee . Please attach your CV and describe your proposed research topic in your email.
Documents to Be Submitted
The following electronic documents must be submitted via DreamApply by the application deadline:
- official copy of the diploma and diploma supplement (transcript/mark sheet) of the preceding study levels (both bachelor's and master's) in the original language*;
- official translation of the diplomas and diploma supplements into English;
- proof of English language proficiency at a satisfactory level;
- copy of the passport page stating the applicant´s personal particulars;
- doctoral thesis project (guidelines below);
- curriculum vitae (relevant form CV).
Sending the documents by post
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 signed application form, degree certificates and transcripts, copy of passport and proof of English language proficiency are expected to be mailed.
Two ways for sending the hard copies
- Hard copies of the application documents are posted by the application deadline. This enables us to process the documents earlier and if you should be admitted, the further process will be smoother.
- However, you can send the documents also after receiving the conditional admission offer via DreamApply (if you will be admitted). In this case, the documents should be sent in the fastest way possible (by courier) and they must arrive in 2 weeks. If you choose the second option, please prepare the certified copies already now, so that you can send them out at once, if necessary. Getting your documents properly certified can take quite a bit of time. If the documents do not arrive on time, the university has a right to withdraw the admission offer.
Please note that the documents are firstly delivered to the university clerical office and not to the Admissions Office. Be patient and wait until you receive a notification via DreamApply, which confirms that we have started processing your documents at our office. Please note that the application documents will not be returned.
All copies of educational documents (diplomas and diploma supplements/academic transcripts) must be officially certified. Certified copies should bear an original signature and seal of the authority certifying that these are true copies of the original. The documents can be certified:
- by an authorized official of the issuing institution;
- by a notary;
- with an Apostille attached.
NB! The University does not accept simple copies of original documents or already certified copies.
Some country-specific requirements also specify the way documents must be certified.
NB! Applicants graduating in 2021 and having their diplomas issued later than the application deadline, should electronically submit their most recent official Transcript of Records by the required deadline along with the rest of the required documents. Please note, that you must have graduated from your master´s studies by 1 August 2021. The graduation documents must be submitted by 5 August.
Prerequisites for being eligible to apply:
- master’s degree in theology or an equivalent qualification (applicants for theology)
- master’s degree or an equivalent qualification (applicants for religion studies)
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Applicants are admitted on the basis of the ranking list. The minimum score required for being admitted is 66.0.
Doctoral Thesis Project and Entrance Interview
Applicants are chosen based on doctoral thesis projects approved during a general competition in the faculty.
The doctoral entrance interview takes place as the defence of the doctoral thesis project before the admissions committee of the Faculty of Theology. In order to apply for the doctoral programme and defend one's doctoral thesis project the project must be submitted with the application. The project must specify the topic of the doctoral thesis in Estonian or in English and in the original language if it is not Estonian or English, accompanied by the field(s) of study (up to three) associated with the topic, based on the CERCS (Common European Research Classification Scheme) classification. The project should reflect the applicant’s knowledge and skills in the field and a feasible plan for completing the dissertation. The commission will assess the plan presented and its feasibility – applicant’s potential and motivation to complete the plan accordingly and produce a compliant doctoral theses.
A doctoral thesis project must include the following:
- research topic;
- reasoning of the choice of the topic, delimitation of the topic in the field of study, and the research purpose;
- short summary of former research on the topic;
- presentation of the research methodology;
- presentation of the preliminary structure of the thesis;
- presentation of the hypothesis, where necessary;
- list of possible source materials; and
- timetable for writing the thesis.
The recommended length of the project is up to 5 pages (12500 characters with spaces), and it must include the name and the signature of the applicant and the date.
Doctoral thesis project and its feasibility is assessed based on the following:
- the novelty of the topic;
- the applicant’s ability to find and formulate the research problem;
- adequacy of research methods;
- knowing their way around the sources;
- feasibility of the chosen project and relatedness with earlier research or work in the field.
Applicant´s CV is used to consider:
- previous work experience and educational background;
- candidate´s motivation.
The interview will take place in person in Tartu or as an online interview (see the rquirements) on 22 June 2021 in Tartu. International applicants will be informed of their defence date and time by the respective faculty.
The entrance interview takes 15 minutes. The applicant has 5 minutes for presenting their motives and the project they have submitted with their application. The remaining 10 minutes are used for asking the applicant questions about their motivation and thesis project. The exam may take place, on the applicant’s choosing, either in Estonian or in English.
The interview will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- ability to connect the research project with previous scientific work and academic career;
- the temporal perspective of completing successfully the study programme within the nominal study period.
The maximum score for the doctoral thesis project and entrance interview is 100 points. For the result to be positive, 51 points must be earned.