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Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2 - 116-121, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, III, rooms 309-352, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research and Arts
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003, Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18-310, 50090, Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003, Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004, Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a, room 29, 50103, Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 4-A315, 51009, Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409, Tartu
  • School of Law
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5390
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 20, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Social Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5188
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Narva College
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 740 1900
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 2, 20307, Narva
  • Pärnu College
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 445 0520
    Faculty address: 
    Ringi 35, 80010, Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5326
Faculty address: 
Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +(372) 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5286
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 731 9856
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 6, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5323
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 51014, Tartu, Eesti
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5-205, 51014, Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46-208, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618, Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi Str 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5011
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b-134, 51010, Tartu
  • Institute of Technology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 4800
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu
Institutions
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51014, Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6000, arvutiabi: 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 17-114, 51014, Tartu
  • Lifelong Learning Centre
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, ruumid 234-243, 50090, Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, ruum 210, 50090, Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090, Tartu
  • Office of Research and Development
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6192
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III korrus, 51003, Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090, Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 51014, Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5400
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51014, Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2 - 116-121, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, III, rooms 309-352, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research and Arts
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003, Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18-310, 50090, Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, 51003, Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004, Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a, room 29, 50103, Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 4-A315, 51009, Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409, Tartu
  • School of Law
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5390
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 20, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Social Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5188
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003, Tartu
  • Narva College
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 740 1900
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 2, 20307, Narva
  • Pärnu College
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 445 0520
    Faculty address: 
    Ringi 35, 80010, Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5326
Faculty address: 
Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +(372) 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5286
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 731 9856
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 6, 51003, Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5323
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 51014, Tartu, Eesti
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5-205, 51014, Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
(+372) 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46-208, 51014, Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618, Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi Str 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5011
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b-134, 51010, Tartu
  • Institute of Technology
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 4800
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411, Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu
Institutions
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51014, Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6000, arvutiabi: 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51014, Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 17-114, 51014, Tartu
  • Lifelong Learning Centre
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, ruumid 234-243, 50090, Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, ruum 210, 50090, Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090, Tartu
  • Office of Research and Development
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 6192
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III korrus, 51003, Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090, Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 51014, Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5400
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51014, Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Master of Arts in Humanities - Semiotics

The 2-year Master’s programme in Semiotics provides interdisciplinary background and gives a theoretical base for application of semiotic ideas to a wide variety of disciplines and scientific study. The programme binds together the theory of semiotics and three core modules - cultural semiotics, biosemiotics and sociosemiotics. The programme also combines the major semiotic traditions of Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles S. Peirce with the leading contemporary and innovative thought.

Semiotics is the general study of sign processes, or semiosis. Semiosis makes the world meaningful. Today’s world, where processes have a disbalance of global and local dimension, challenges us to understand the need of individuals and societies for defining their identity. Semiotics is centrally relevant to achieve this understanding.

The Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu is one of the most important centres of semiotics in Europe, with deep roots for cultural semiotics and biosemiotics. Names and work of Jakob von Uexküll and Juri Lotman, founder of world-renowned Tartu-Moscow Semiotics School, form the cornerstone of the Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu. The Department of Semiotics also holds the memorial library of Thomas A. Sebeok, which was received as a donation.

Programme information

Why study semiotics?

  • The tradition of excellence in semiotic theory in Tartu was established by Juri Lotman in 1960s, the founder of semiotics of culture and the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School, as well as the oldest journal of semiotics, Sign Systems Studies.
  • The University of Tartu is one of the few institutions in the world teaching full Master’s and PhD degree programs in semiotics since 1993.
  • As one of world’s major centres of semiotics, the University of Tartu collaborates and is regularly visited by professors from all around the world: Myrdene Anderson, Paul Bouissac, John Deely, Dinda Gorlee, Jesper Hoffmeyer, Winfried Nöth, Roland Posner, Frederik Stjernfelt, Eero Tarasti, and many others.
  • The finest collections of semiotic materials in Tartu include the memorial library of Thomas Sebeok, one of the world leaders in the 20th century semiotics, and the Centre of Jakob von Uexküll, a Baltic German whose works have been very important to the development of biosemiotics.

Career prospects

  • Graduates can apply their expertise in the professions that require a complex knowledge of cultural analysis, i.e. semiotic consulting companies, marketing or media.
  • Practical applications of semiotics include translation and science writing, design and architecture, advertising, and communication strategies.
  • Employees of international organizations, e.g. embassies, where tolerance and conflict management skills are vital, can improve their professional education.
  • Programme graduates can continue on to doctoral studies and research. Semiotics is particularly relevant to advanced study in the life sciences, where biosemiotic understanding and semiotical interpretation is proving to be of remarkable value.

Programme details

  • Title: Semiotics
  • Degree awarded: Master of Arts in Humanities
  • Faculty/College:  Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Length: 2 years, including three semesters of study, one semester writing the Master’s thesis
  • Location: Tartu, Estonia

Curriculum overview

General module

  • History of Semiotics: Basic Concepts and Classical Works
  • Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School
  • Readings of J. v. Uexküll and J. Lotman
  • Methodology for Semiotic Analysis

Module - Semiotics of Culture

  • Cultural Semiotics and Theories of Culture
  • Semiotics of Translation
  • Semiotic Analysis of Art and Multimedia

Module - Biosemiotics

  • Biosemiotics
  • Ecosemiotics: Cultural Interpretations of Environment
  • Zoosemiotics: Umwelt and Animal Communication

Module - Sociosemiotics

  • Sociosemiotics and Societal Theories
  • Communication and Power
  • Semiotic Analysis of Subcultures

Optional courses - can be freely chosen from all the courses currently available at the University of Tartu.

Master’s thesis - Individual research paper, written under the supervision of a professional semiotician. 

TOTAL 120 ECTS

See further information about the curricula and syllabi from the Study Information System of the University of Tartu. 

All the details for applying can also be found on the main page for submitting applications.

General admission requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, natural sciences or humanities.
  2. English language requirements

Application process for international candidates

  1. Submit the online application. You will receive an applicant code, which gives access to your account to track your application status. We ask you to upload the electronic copies of all the required documents to your application. This makes the pre-processing of your application quicker and is especially important for candidates applying to more than one programme.
  2. Mail the printed and signed application (do not send any documents by e-mail) with all the required documents by the indicated deadline to: International Student Service, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18, Tartu 50090, ESTONIA.

International Students Service
University of Tartu
Ülikooli 18
Tartu 50090, Estonia.

Applicants will receive confirmation upon receipt of their application and its status. Completed applications will be considered by the Admission Commission and students accepted into the program will be notified of their admission soon after.

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Documents to be submitted for application
  1. online application;
  2. motivation letter - guidelines and evaluation criteria are included in the online application form;
  3. official copy of the Bachelor's diploma or its equivalent and Diploma Supplement (transcript/mark sheet) in the original language*;
  4. official translation of the Bachelor’s diploma and Diploma Supplement (transcript/mark sheet) into English, translation certified;
  5. proof of English language proficiency;
  6. copy of the passport page stating the applicant’s personal particulars.

* All copies of educational documents (diplomas and diploma supplements/academic transcripts) must be officially certified: bear an original seal and a signature of an authorized official of the issuing school/university. Copies of education documents can also be certified with an Apostille. Some country-specific requirements also specify the way documents must be certified.

NB! Applicants graduating in 2016 and having their diplomas issued later than application deadlines (in July, for example): please send your most recent official Transcript of Records by the required deadline along with the rest of the required documents. Inform the International Student Service when the final diploma will be issued. For detailed information contact the Service.

Only complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee.

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Motivation letter requirements for Semiotics

The motivation letter must be submitted with your application package by 15 April 2016 at the latest.

Please write a brief motivation letter (in English, maximum of 4600 characters with spaces) based on the following points:

  • describe what skills and knowledge you have acquired through previous education and working experience;
  • analyze how the master's programme in Semiotics can contribute to your personal development;
  • describe your current ideas about a research topic you would like to focus on during your master's studies

Evaluation criteria:

  • fluency of written English (30%)
  • analytical and argumentation skills (70%)

The maximum score for motivation letter is 100 points and the result is positive only if the applicant gains 66 points or more.

Application deadline

The application round for the study year 2016/2017 opens on January 4, 2016.

The deadline for the application is April 15, 2016. Please make sure that you have uploaded your online application and sent the application package via regular post by that date!

NB! Applicants with diplomas issued later than the set deadlines (e.g. in July), please send the application form and the most recent Transcript of Records by the required deadline. Indicate to the International Student Service when your diploma will be issued.

Tuition fees and scholarships

15 students will be admitted to the Master's programme in the 2016/2017 academic year and tuition-waiver scholarships are available for 10 of them!

Students receiving this scholarship do not have to pay the tuition fee if they complete a full-time study load (30 ECTS per semester). Those who do not complete full-time study load per semester have to pay tuition fee per missing credit point below the required 30 ECTS. Price per credit point is 59 euros.

Semester fee for tuition fee paying students is 1760 euros.

See also: When will I have to pay the tuition fee?

Info on other scholarships is given here

Announcement of admission results

The university`s Admissions Committee will announce final admission results, including info on tuition waiver scholarships by 15 June. Admission notifications are sent by e-mail. All admitted students must inform the university of their decision to accept or decline the admission offer.

Please note that the decision regarding admission can only be taken if all required documents have been sent to the university!

Online info session for applicants to the master's programme in Semiotics (2016)

Further inquiries

Questions concerning the semiotics program:

Ms. Liina Sieberk (tartusemiotics [ät] ut.ee)
International Curriculum Coordinator
Department of Semiotics
University of Tartu

Questions concerning application documents and language requirements:

Piret Saluveer (Piret.Saluveer [ät] ut.ee)
International Student Service

University of Tartu
Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu

 

International students about the University of Tartu:

International students about University of Tartu - Remo Gramigna

International students about University of Tartu - Montana Salvoni and Felipe Cuervo

A Remarkable Studying Experience - A short film by Remo Gramigna

Network: Arlene - Arlene Tucker

Tartu and the MA in Semiotics: four years after - Remo Gramigna