This 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.
The programme is affiliated with the UNESCO Chair on Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage, established as part of the Institute for Cultural Research in 2019. Only eight UNESCO Chairs dedicated to intangible cultural heritage have been established so far and the UNESCO Chair on Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage at the University of Tartu is one of them.
The aim of the UNESCO Chair is to conduct research on cultural heritage, prepare students for their future in the field of cultural heritage, and collaborate with heritage professionals near and far. More information about the UNESCO Chair and its activities can be found here.
“Folkloristics and Applied Heritage Studies” is 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:
UT provides 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 programme is affiliated with the UNESCO Chair on Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage
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.Many students tap into the diverse study abroad opportunities offered by the UT.
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 is 4,000 euros per year. Altogether 14 study places are available on the programme. On the basis of the admission results 5 best applicants (regardless of citizenship) will be given tuition waivers. Applicants do not have to apply for the tuition waiver separately, as they will be considered automatically for the competition.
NB! Applicants who are not citizens of the member states of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and do not hold a long-term residence permit in any of these countries are required to pay half of the semester fee after they have been informed of the admission decision (offer) via DreamApply. The official admission letter (necessary for visa application) will only be issued once the University of Tartu has received this payment. The second half of the semester fee is to be paid after the studies have started, by 20 September.
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 for an overview of the modules, courses, and their distribution across semesters.
"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