Tallinn University of Technology

The Technology Governance and Sustainability is a Master’s programme that is future-oriented and truly inter- and trans-disciplinary: from economics, technology and innovation to governance and public policies, where all key components of the socio-economic future are purposefully linked. It equips students with the capacity for critical thinking and with practical management skills on technological change, innovation and digital transformation that will make You succeed in tech-focused private and public organizations as well as in international bodies. We want to understand digital technologies as the key driver of development around the world, and we want to make sure that digital transformation brings about sustainable, green growth and human-centred development.

The programme is designed for those who want to know:

  • the dynamics of techno- and social innovation and the role of different actors (entrepreneurs, large companies, governments, and most of all, humans) in these dynamics and in steering innovation towards a more sustainable future;

  • the heterodox perspectives of economic development and innovation processes, i.e. systems of innovation, evolutionary, post-Keynesian, commons-based, or non-Western;

  • the role and nature of technology, including its critique, and, in particular, the meaning and management of digital transformation and its sustainability, and its impact on the economy, society, government, and people.

The programme is designed and offered by the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance (RND) of Tallinn University of Technology. RND is a unique research and teaching institution that combines both economics (the why?) and governance (the how?) of innovation and technological change - unique competencies to succeed in the modern globalized and complex world. RND is located in Tallinn, Estonia – one of the leading Digital Societies in Europe. Studying in Estonia offers you unique insights into what the future might look like. Joining us on the Technology Governance and Digital Transformation MA programme offers you the chance to build the skills you need to shape the future.

Watch the video about 2020 shaping ideas by Carlota Perez

The close links between the programme and research and innovation projects of our department – from fostering the Digital Single Market in the EU through cross-border data sharing based on the ‘once only’ principle and collaborating with the cities of Tallinn and Helsinki on different smart city initiatives to rethinking economics and innovation based on the ecologically sustainable commons-based ‘design globally manufacture locally’ approaches – guarantee that the content of our teaching is always practical and ahead of mainstream textbooks. RND is a member of the ESST – European Inter-University Association on Society, Science Technology and Society and EMPA – the European Master of Public Administration Network and has Erasmus agreements with many leading universities in Europe. This facilitates easy international staff and student exchange.

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Candidates for this study programme are admitted based on the admission threshold. An online interview will be conducted only with the candidates who have passed preliminary evaluation (BA degree, GRE General Test and Motivation Letter). The maximum score for the CV and motivation letter is 6 points and for the online interview it is 4 points. Note that the online application form is being assessed as your CV, therefore please describe there your work experience and previous education in details. An applicant who receives the minimum of 5 points (in total) is admitted.

Please find the programme specific admission requirements below:

In order to qualify for the studies in Tallinn University of Technology an applicant has to have at least 60% of the highest possible CGPA.

In order to apply, a candidate is required to upload a Test-taker Score Report of the GRE General Test to the DreamApply application system. The test has to be completed but there is no threshold score required for this programme.

This is a prerequisite for qualifying and has to be fulfilled latest by the application deadline.

Candidates who have obtained a full Bachelor's degree in EU, EFTA or OECD member state are waived from the GRE requirement.

Please see more information about our GRE General Test requirement here, including the exact eligibility criteria for being exempted from this prerequisite and how to order the test result electronically to TalTech.

Motivation letter must address the following items: 

  • Provide an explanation, why you apply for Technology Governance and Digital Transformation programme – what are your interests; what are your professional goals and how the degree programme supports them; how does your academic and/or professional background fit into the programme. (0-2 points)

  • Discuss on the most pressing issues or challenges in the field of technology governance and digital transformation in the context of your country or on a global scale. Provide an overview of a prospective Master’s thesis - subject matter (topic), research question(s) and methodological approach (how you try to carry out research). When needed, use references to support your arguments and facts. (0-2 points)

NB! It is important to properly cite and reference any sources used in your motivation letter (quotations, publications, ideas etc. that are not your own). Neglecting the rules of referencing and citation is considered plagiarism and will result in the disqualification of your application.

Topics covered during the interview:

  • The interest in the specialty, where it comes from and why it is desired to study on the programme of Technology Governance and Digital Transformation. A motivation for passing the curriculum with the nominal period. Expectations regarding the studies, i.e. understanding of the knowledge and skills to be acquired. Perception of specific areas or topics for which the level of knowledge is inadequate. Expectations regarding the study process, the possibilities to combine work and study activities, preferences in teaching methodology, linguistic barriers, readiness for writing academic papers. (0-2 points)

  • Previous exposure to the topics covered in the programme and awareness of relevant societal debates in the field of studies. (0-2 points)

Duration of the interview is 10-15 minutes.


Why this programme?

  • The programme design complements the standard text-book knowledge, mainstream economics and governance theories with more realistic and relevant perspectives and practical case studies.

  • The programme offers site visits to Estonian government offices and companies and guest lectures from leading Estonian and international innovators and visionaries.

  • The programme is based on case-study based teaching and has a strong emphasis on internship and practical experience, without neglecting relevant theory.

  • The minimum stay in Estonia is one year – the second year is dedicated to Internship & Consulting Lab and graduation thesis writing, which can both be done from anywhere in the world.

  • The Faculty consist almost exclusively of internationally distinguished and award-winning professors.

The Master’s programme brings together some of the most renowned scholars of innovation and governance – Carlota Perez, Erik S. Reinert, Wolfgang Drechsler, Jan A. Kregel, Vasilis Kostakis and others – who offer students a coherent set of skills for understanding and managing technological changes and digital transformations in tech- and innovation-oriented organizations as well as in international bodies.


  • General studies - cover entrepreneurship, innovation and technology management both narrowly and broadly through the understanding of the business environment and the creation of links with public sector innovation and digital transformation.
  • Core studies - provide an overview of different approaches to economic development and innovation, and show the interrelationships between the main elements of the market economy - financial resources, production capital (technology), socio-political framework (institutions) - and their role in promoting innovation.
  • Special studies - deepen the knowledge on: (a) innovation, technological developments and the supporting socio-economic environment; (b) governance and public sector functioning with the focus on managing digital transformation and innovation in the public sector and the phenomenon of e-government.
  • Free choice module - provides students with a possibility to choose subjects according to their needs and preferences.
  • Graduation thesis - students do academic research on specific technology governance and digital transformation topic and demonstrate an ability of critical use of data, appropriate and sound analysis, and critical assessment of findings.

The first Fall semester (September–December) offers core knowledge and ability for critical thinking on technology governance and innovation dynamics in modern societies:

  • Economics and Finance of Innovation and Development, 6 ECTS

  • Technology, Society and the Future, 6 ECTS

  • Techno-economic Paradigms and Technological Transitions, 6 ECTS

  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology Management, 6 ECTS

  • Environmental and Social Externalities of Technology, 6 ECTS

The first Spring semester (February–June) provides a more practical focus on developing innovation capacities and managing digital transformation in modern governments. Compulsory classes:

  • Implementing Governance in a Diverse Globalized World, 6 ECTS

  • Creating Innovation Capacities in Government, 6 ECTS

The students can further select 3 electives that allow to deepen the practical skills either in technology governance and innovation or in digital transformation and public sector innovation, e.g.:

  • Digital Transformations of Government, 6 ECTS

  • Recent Issues in Big Data and Governance, 6 ECTS

  • Special Course in Technology Governance, 6 ECTS

  • Innovation and Case Studies of New Technologies, 6 ECTS

  • Social Entrepreneurship, 6 ECTS 
  • Public Sector Service Design and Implementation, 6 ECTS 
  • Students can select from a further list of general courses (e.g. Research Methods in Social Sciences) as well as interdisciplinary courses offered at TalTech (e.g. Basics of E-Health; Foundations of Cyber Security; Human Rights, Ethics and Technology etc).

The second Fall semester (September–December) consists of individual studies:

  • Most of the semester will consist of the Internship and Consultancy Lab (24 ECTS). Students will work as interns for up to 16 weeks in a public, private or international organization. The Internship ends with a Consultancy Lab where students prepare (via remote-working, if needed) a consultancy report that defines the main technological, managerial or innovation challenges of the internship organization and proposes solutions to the internship organization.

  • Free choice course (6 ECTS) allows to focus more on developing specific skills or to join students in some of the leading global universities (via MOOCs).

During the second Spring semester (February–June), the students will fully focus on preparing their final thesis (30 ECTS).

  • The thesis can be a) a classic contribution to academic debates (publishable in an academic journal), b) an evaluation of the functioning/performance of a policy, programme, organisation and its managerial approach, or a specific new technology, c) an individual-work based capstone thesis.

  • The thesis has to be submitted by late-May and defended in early-June. Remote working and online presentation is possible.


Join TG&DT programme

Want to manage technological changes and digital transformations?

Academic staff

Vasilis Kostakis

Leads the large-scale European Research Council-funded research project – Cosmolocalism – that will advance our understanding on how to create a sustainable economy through the commons. Read more from his brief post in Harvard Business Review and visit his research lab.

A founder of The Other Canon Foundation, is one of the leading scholars on the history of economic development – see his famous book on How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor – and he is currently collaborating with the EU and OECD on developing new approaches to building sustainable development in the Global South and beyond.

The author of best-selling Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages who has been recently named by Forbes among the three female economists whose work has been crucial for understanding to-day's economy, is currently researching the role of the state in directing innovation and economic development towards Smart Green Growth, see more here and here.

Watch the video about 2020 shaping ideas by Carlota Perez

One of the founders of the Nurkse Department and the TG&DT MA programme is one of the leading scholars on the implications of digital transformation on governance and on how governments can deliver agile stability and capacities for future-oriented thinking in modern Western and non-Western societies.

Each year in spring, RND invites also a distinguished Ragnar Nurkse Visiting Professor to discuss the most pertinent issues regarding governance, public administration, globalization, development and innovation, such as:

  • Jayati Ghosh 
  • Randall L. Wray
  • Akira Nakamura
  • Conrado Ramos
  • Andrew Massey
  • Leslie Pal

What Students say

The inter-disciplinary Technology Governance programme at Tallinn University of Technology is taught by some of the world's leading scholars in the field, attended by a dynamic international student body, and conducted at one of the most exciting cities in the world at this time. There is certainly no other university in the world that could offer a world-class Technology Governance programme than TalTech. 

Bonn Juego (Philippines)

Studying at TalTech has given me the chance to express all my potential and this is very important. I can develop new fields from a different point of views and you can learn something new for your career every day. The professors are always helpful and ready for further explanations. Moreover, Tallinn is a very sparkling city and it's the perfect environment to develop your skills and knowledge. TalTech gives you the chance to be very close to the best companies settled in Tallinn, which usually offer very interesting job opportunities. 

Caetano Penna (Brazil)

…that feeling when you get to study 10 classes in a semester at no extra cost because you love learning, time to learn two, possibly three, foreign languages because the people and countries around you…just a couple of hours away are totally different.
…to eat healthier because it's cheaper and easier to buy and find fresh foods than fast food, to ride free transit, to hack every weekend, to utilize an innovative (actually) international banking system that makes sense, to learn from a professor who wrote a book you read and were inspired by years ago and seeing that they respect you too, to say what you want because political correctness isn't a thing and it's primarily seen as an invitation for deeper introspection… 

Lequanne Collins-Bacchus (Canada)

For my master thesis, I agreed on with my supervisor that I should conduct in-depth interviews with experts of Germany‘s digital government innovation landscape. That was not only incredibly helpful in finding detailed answers for my research questions, but even more, has proved to be the door opener for my career entry.

How come? For each interview request, I described my research intention and study background. Additionally, I attached a current CV, so the experts could get to know me a bit more before an interview. Eventually, one of the interviewees checked my CV and asked me to join a relatively new research institute which aims at modernizing the German public sector. He connected me to the managing director whom I met and gave me a job offer the same day. I had managed to find a job, even before graduating without an application. Moreover, it was very helpful because I was allowed to rehearse my defence speech and discuss my main findings before the official defence.

My advice is to actively engage with people throughout your studies (courses, internship, thesis). When you are passionate about what you do, it shouldn’t come unnoticed! 

Philipp Kuscher (Germany).

Future Career

The programme is a great terminal degree and prepares globally desired experts in managing technological changes and digital transformations who work for either national governments and international organizations (as innovation policy experts and innovation managers) or for non-profit organizations and in the private sector (as owner-entrepreneurs, technology consultants, innovation managers, analysts).

The programme also provides excellent competitive competencies for a continuing Your academic career as a researcher in academic institutions or pursuing PhD studies, as our impressive track record shows.

Career paths of our alumni:

JP Morgan Stanley, Parthenon-EY, EY Innovalue Management Partner GmbH, OECD, Government Office of the Republic of Estonia, E-Estonia Showroom, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Competence Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies, Tallinn City Enterprise Department, Office of the State Minister of Georgia, Czechinvest, Ministry of Finance of Republic of Latvia, Cevea (think-tank), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro etc.

Other potential employers:

  • international organizations (UN, EU);

  • governmental institutions (central banks, ministries dealing with development and digitalization affairs);

  • non-governmental organizations (science and technology parks, development agencies, think-tanks etc.);

  • technology-intensive private companies.

TalTech School of Business and Governance internship portal

International student introduces Tallinn, the School of Business and Governance and the program through his own experience.
Listen to the webinar here

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TalTech international admissions office

TalTech international admissions office provides general advice to prospective Bachelor’s and Master’s degree applicants and their advisers about applying to and studying at TalTech.

Contact us via study@taltech.ee.

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Student counsellor at School of Business and Governance

Student counsellor at the School of Business and Governance can help you
with questions about the study programme.

Tiina Parve
(+372) 620 2647

Programme Director

Programme Director can help you with questions about the study programme.

Dr. Egert Juuse
(+372) 620 2657

Contact a Student Ambassador

Student Ambassador can help you with questions about living in Estonia, travelling to Estonia, work and housing options or free time activities for students.
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