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Semiotics, MA

University of Tartu, Estonia

University of Tartu

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
MAFull-time2 yearsSeptemberfind outEUR 4000 per year

About Semiotics, MA - at University of Tartu

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 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.

Why study Semiotics in Tartu?

  • The tradition of excellence in semiotic theory in Tartu was established by Juri Lotman, the founder of the semiotics of culture and the Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School, as well as the oldest journal of semiotics, Sign Systems Studies.
  • The Department of Semiotics is one of the most important centres of semiotics in Europe, with deep roots for cultural semiotics and biosemiotics. UT is one of the few universities in the world teaching full master's and doctoral degree programmes in semiotics.
  • UT collaborates with and is regularly visited by professors from all over the world. 
  • The finest collections of semiotics materials in Tartu include the memorial library of Thomas Sebeok and the Centre of Jakob von Uexküll.
  • After graduation, you can work in semiotic consulting companies, marketing, media, translation, design and architecture, international organisations or continue studies on a doctoral level. 

Excellent international 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.
  • Program 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.

Notes about fees for this course

Tuition waivers are available. 

Entry requirements

  • General requirement: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, natural sciences or humanities. Previous studies in semiotics are not required.
  • English language proficiency. 

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Related Information

Find out more about studying in Estonia