Dezeen Magazine

Art and Design PhD at Estonian Academy of the Arts

The Art and Design PhD course at the Estonian Academy of the Arts equips students with research theories and methods to conduct practice-led creative research.

School: Estonian Academy of the Arts
Course: Art and Design PhD
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Course dates: September 2025 to June 2029
Application deadline: 31 March 2025

The Art and Design PhD programme at the Estonian Academy of Arts focuses on research through art and design, which contains a high-level research-based creative activity with a supporting analytical text. Creative activity generally consists of three publicly reviewed art or design cases.

This four-year doctoral study concentrates on practice-based or practice-led research projects culminating with a public defence and is supported by general studies, specialised studies and electives.

At the start of the PhD studies, the emphasis is on subjects intensifying the doctoral candidate’s knowledge of methodological and philosophical framing of the thesis, as well as research tools and context.

Later students focus on their PhD thesis, which is based on independent research and developmental or creative work.

The program encourages students to choose subjects from outside the academy’s doctoral school and enhance their experience through academic exchange.

The topics of interest of the university include art and design concerning society and digitalization, gender studies through artistic practice, figurative and metaphorical thinking, expanded scenography, as well as meaning-making through art and design, social design, public-social space, sustainability and ecocriticism.

Other topics are related to innovation through design, crafts and applied arts, sensorial design and the development of biomaterials.

Find out more about the course and apply ›

Top image: screenshot of PhD student video How to Speak a Foreign Language Without Mistakes, by Darja Popolitova.

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Aerial view of university building