Tallinn University of Technology

The Technology Governance and Sustainability is a Master’s programme that is as future-oriented as it is inter- and trans-disciplinary: from alternative perspectives on economics and development, technology and innovation, to sustainability, governance, and public policies, where all key components of a sustainable socio-economic future are purposefully linked.

Students gain an understanding of technological changes and modern technologies as the key drivers of development worldwide and the enablers of sustainable and human-centered development.

Our program equips students with diverse perspectives on sustainability, innovation and technology and develops capacities for critical thinking and analysis. It nurtures practical skills for leading and managing sustainable technological, public and social innovations. Graduate destinations span careers in sustainability and innovation-centered public and international bodies, as well as private firms and community-based organizations.

The programme is designed for those who want to understand:

  • the dynamics of technological and social innovations towards a transition to sustainability, and the role of different actors (entrepreneurs, companies, governments, and most of all, citizens) in these dynamics;

  • the heterodox and alternative perspectives of sustainability, economic and technological development and innovation such as systems of innovation, evolutionary economic thinking, commons-based peer production, non-Western governance, (e-)governance for sustainable transitions, etc.;

  • the role and the nature of technology, including its critique, and its impact on the economy, society, governance, and people from a sustainability perspective..

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 combining economics (the why?) and governance (the how?) of sustainability, innovation and technological change - unique competencies to succeed in a modern, globalized, and complex world. RND is located in Tallinn, Estonia – one of the leading Digital Societies in Europe. Studying in Estonia offers students unique insights into what the future may look like. Joining the Technology Governance and Sustainability MA programme gives students the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed to leverage technological innovation and digital transformation for a better tomorrow.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOUT SHAPING THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION TOWARDS SMART, GREEN, FAIR, AND GLOBAL GROWTH BY CARLOTA PEREZ

The close links between the program and research and innovation projects of our department – from collaborating with the cities of Tallinn and Helsinki on different smart and sustainable city initiatives to rethinking economics and innovation based on the ecologically sustainable ‘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 European universities. These enable our students to gain insightful international experiences through student exchanges and studying courses abroad.

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Admissions

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.

Overview

Why this programme?

  • The program design offers an alternative to the standard (abstract and universal) textbook knowledge of mainstream economics and governance theories with more realistic and relevant perspectives and practical case studies.
  • For the foreseeable future, the EU sees digital transformation as a tool for sustainable transitions and we build skills and capacities to use digital transformation tools and opportunities for this purpose.
  • The program offers site visits and guest lectures from leading Estonian and international innovators and visionaries.
  • The program is based on case-study-based teaching and strongly emphasizes 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 be done anywhere in the world.
  • The Faculty members are internationally distinguished and award-winning professors.

The Master’s program 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, leading and managing sustainability transitions, technological changes and innovations.

CURRICULUM OUTLINE (120 ECTS)

  • General studies - cover topics of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology governance and how the growing focus on sustainability changes our understanding and core principles of these processes>
  • Core studies - provide an overview of different approaches to economic development and innovation, and show the interrelationships between the main elements of the economy - finance, production capital (technology), socio-political framework (institutions) - and their role in promoting innovation and sustainable development.
  • Special studies - deepen the knowledge on: (a) innovation, technological developments and the supportive socio-institutional environment; (b) governance of these aspects with a focus on leading and managing sustainability transitions, technological change and innovation.
  • Free choice module - allows students to choose subjects according to their needs and preferences.
  • Consulting Lab - during the internship, students apply the knowledge acquired from the program on specific challenges and projects of the internship organization (public, private or international) and develop a report helping these organizations to improve and modernize their managerial and governing practices.
  • Graduation thesis - students carry out academic research on a specific technology governance and sustainability topic, and demonstrate capabilities of a systemic approach to the 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.

summerschool

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 unique Master’s degree. It prepares globally desired experts in understanding, leading and managing sustainability transitions, technological changes and innovations. Our graduates will be able to find future careers in sustainability and innovation-centered public and international bodies as well as private firms and community-based organizations, either as sustainability and innovation experts, managers, or analysts. The programme also provides excellent competitive competencies for continuing your academic career as a researcher in academic institutions or pursuing Ph.D. studies, as our impressive track record shows. Many of our own researchers and professors - Prof. Dr. Vasileios Kostakis, Dr. Christos Giotitsas, Dr. Egert Juuse and others - have grown out of this unique MA programme.

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

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

Ask Us

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
tiina.parve@taltech.ee

Programme Director

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

Dr. Egert Juuse
(+372) 620 2657
egert.juuse@taltech.ee

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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