This new programme opened in 2017 with the mission of training specialists, who are well versed in scholarly approaches to folk culture and cultural heritage, and competent to use this expertise creatively in academia and beyond. Heritage has emerged as a key category shaping the ways in which individuals, communities and regional as well as state-level actors relate to the past and imagine the future, while making and re-making themselves in the present. As more states worldwide join the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the need grows for specialists capable of analysing cultural heritage and using it responsibly as a social and economic resource.
It is furthermore one of the few master’s programmes to offer a specialisation in the study and application of the heritage of crafts.
Students develop a solid basis in the study of folklore and critical heritage studies as well as many transferable skills, which enables them to:
The UT has what it takes to provide a broad, yet rigorous approach to cultural heritage and vernacular cultural practices. Three UT units specialise on distinct aspects of this field: Departments of Ethnology and Folklore, and the Department of Native Crafts of the UT Viljandi Culture Academy.
The faculty-student ratio is low and students are given individual attention. International meetings, autumn and winter schools, journals, guest lectures, exhibitions as well as cooperation with memory institutions and enterprises allow students ample opportunity to gain diverse hands-on experiences and network.
No tuition fee for most students!
Upon completing the programme, students have acquired valuable analytical, writing and communication skills as well as multifaceted practical experiences that they can apply in many areas in the public and non-governmental sectors as well as in business. This programme trains experts in folk culture who are knowledgeable about the functions and application opportunities of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and familiar with processes of cultural policy. Graduates are capable of guiding the development of the field and acting as mediators between communities, officials, enterprises, memory institutions and other participants in the process of heritage production. They are able to plan and carry out research and business projects pertaining to cultural heritage. As more states worldwide join the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the need grows for such specialists capable of analysing cultural heritage and using it responsibly as a social and economic resource. Graduates also are qualified to continue their studies at doctoral level.
The tuition fee for fee paying students on this programme is 3400 euros per year. Note that tuition fees can only be paid once the new semester officially begins.
Altogether 12 study places are available on the programme. On the basis of the admission results, 8 best applicants will be given tuition-waiver scholarships. Applicants do not have to apply for the tuition-waiver separately, as they will be considered automatically for the competition.
Information about the rules and conditions for tuition-waiver scholarships as well as tuition fee payments is given here.
Information about other scholarships is available here.
This two-year programme is designed to enable students to pursue their professional aspirations. The curriculum consists of six modules, and students collaborate with the faculty to tailor much of its content towards their chosen career path. The programme offers two specialisations to choose from: “Analysis of folklore and cultural heritage” and “Study and application of the heritage of craft”. Students also choose to complete their studies with a Master’s thesis or a more practically oriented Master’s project and design modules to support their individual professional goals. Built into the curriculum are internships and other opportunities for students to combine theory with practice.
See Courses (https://www.flku.ut.ee/en/learning/courses) for an overview of the modules, courses, and their distribution across semesters.
Initially I attended the University of Tartu through a study abroad program in 2015/16 while studying for my Bachelor’s of Interdisciplinarian Studies. During that time I discovered folkloristics and knew I would have to come back in 2017 when the new master’s program opened in English. I am happy to say I am now in the Folkloristics and Applied Heritage program and it is even better then I imagined it would be. I am interested in animal-human relationships, and although it is not the mainstream idea behind the program, my department has supported me and challenged me to push the boundaries of what I want to achieve.
I got my Bachelor’s Diploma in Ethnology at Charles University in Prague. My research topics are related to post-Soviet space (especially Moldova), memory studies, political folklore, contemporary folklore (urban legends, rumours etc.) and relations between folklore and nationalism. I like folk dances and folk songs from Eastern Europe.
I graduated from the Belarusian State University in Cultural Studies. Now I am interested in Jewish studies, especially material heritage, and am looking at old cemeteries from the point of view of identity and memory studies. I like Tartu as it is really a university town: convenient and compact, you can enjoy silence when you need to and find opportunities to have fun. In university life I appreciate the diversity of subjects, freedom in creating curriculum and cordial relations between students and professors.
Nurjahan Hadi Rupa
My research interests are traditional crafts, heritage of craftwork, preservation of crafts and cultural development. In my view, “Folkloristics and Applied Heritage Studies” help us to understand ourselves. We are gaining new pieces of information about our origin, our contemporary life and where our life is heading for. This program is also introducing us to different cultures and societies and giving us the tools to explore them. Faculty is highly skilled and very friendly.
My research interests are cultural policy development, heritage finance, cultural tourism and cultural innovation. This programme offers a gateway to continuation of studies at PhD level, while being at the same time centered on practice with loving, caring and super helpful teaching staff.
My research focuses on woodworkers, their economical network, group identity, lifestyle and relationship to wood as a material. I am also studying how craftsmen and woodworkers present their work: how the tradition is presented. In addition, I am interested in the protection of heritage, especially in problems related to illicit trafficking in conflict zones. I chose this program because it has a practical outcome and I trust the teaching quality.
Savannah Rivka Powell
I obtained a BA in Social Justice and International Cross-Cultural Awareness with a focus on Gender Studies, Diversity, and Cultural Anthropology from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado and conducted MA studies with the University of Oregon Folklore Program of Eugene in the United States. I have experience working in folklore archives, museums, as a field supervisor and research assistant examining gender dynamics within traditional Okinawan family structures in Japan. I have a strong interest in ethnomusicology and perform with various folk and early music ensembles. My current academic endeavors focus on the diachronic study of spirituality, mysticism, ritual songs, and magic of Japanese and Finno-Ugric traditions, with an emphasis on gender and construction of identity. I am passionate about the conscious engagement with heritage and folklore as a form of empowerment.
I have a BA in Anthropology from the University of Bologna. I chose this program for its good teaching skills and interdisciplinary approach, due to my broad interests not only in folkloristics and anthropology, but also in different other subjects. I am interested in folk beliefs and narratives, mainly in the contemporary world, as well as in the relationship between folklore, science, modernity, and post-modernity. If you are interested in an academic career, this programme offers you many opportunities to practise your writing skills, take part in conferences and attend lectures by visiting professors: it can be really helpful for you!
I like Tartu, and Estonia in general is a really calm, peaceful but also amazing country with its unique culture, which deserves to be visited and discovered.
I come from China and my research topic is folk religion of Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. Besides academic lectures and conferences, I like the fact that there are so many international students in Tartu and enjoy learning about different cultures in this intellectual town. I try to understand others coming from different cultural backgrounds and to find more possibilities for communication. Estonia is located at the crossroads of East and West, Russia and the European Union, Nordic and Eastern Europe, advanced or leading IT technology and Soviet memories. I meet different expressive diversities in this beautiful and friendly country and reflect myself upon others’ views.
"Being in Tartu and doing folklore studies changed my way of thinking. It is only there that I realized that folklorists do real work by going out and talking to people, dealing with real concerns and problems. They provide an opportunity for what often remains marginal, yet important to all of us, such as rumours and beliefs, to be heard. Few people can boast of doing what they love, but I definitely can. "
Anastasiya Astapova, PhD, Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu
Read more about the people who have studied at the Institute of Cultural Research.