Master in Semiotics

University of Tartu

Program Description

Master in Semiotics

University of Tartu

Semiotics is a 2-year Master’s programme that provides interdisciplinary background and gives a theoretical base for application of semiotic ideas to a wide variety of disciplines and scientific study. Semiotics is the general study of sign processes, or semiosis. The programme binds together the theory of semiotics and three core modules – cultural semiotics, biosemiotics and sociosemiotics.

Why study semiotics at the University of Tartu?

  • The tradition of excellence in semiotic theory in Tartu was established by Yuri 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;
  • UT is one 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 etc.;
  • 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.


All students who have a Bachelor's degree in social sciences, natural sciences or humanities are welcome to apply.

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.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 13, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 1, 2017
2 years
Full time
3,400 EUR
Mar. 15, 2017
Start date Sept. 1, 2017
Estonia Tartu
Application deadline Mar. 15, 2017
End date June 30, 2019
Duration 2 years
Price 3,400 EUR
Tuition-waiver scholarships available

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