Institute of Social Studies

The Institute of Social Studies has evolved into a centre of competence with specialties and research focusing around three main subject clusters: journalism and communication; sociology, social work and social politics; and information sciences. The institute has a total of ten curricula on all three levels of higher education. Our journalism and communication curriculum has ranked among the world’s best in the prestigious QS World University Rankings by Subject rankings. Such a consistently high ranking is unique among Estonian curricula

Our institute is one of the largest institutes in the field of social sciences. We work closely with economists, education scientists, political scientists, psychologists and other specialties from among the humanities or hard sciences. In addition to extended knowledge of the specialty, our values include interdisciplinarity, depth and diversity.

The story of the institute

The fascinating story of the institute goes back to the 1950’s and 1960’s. In 1954, Juhan Peegel became the first professor of journalism. The sociology lab started in 1966, headed by Ülo Vooglaid. Regardless of the fact that the faculty of social studies as such was only established at the university once Estonia regained independence. The history of the specialty of library science at the department of information education dates back to 1952.

The Institute of Social Studies in its current form was established in 2014 by joining the University of Tartu Institutes of Journalism and Communication and Sociology and Social Politics and the Viljandi Culture Academy specialty of library science. The institute building, located at Lossi 36 on Toome hill has a long and eventful history. We value our long and rich heritage, as it has given the institute a strong groundwork for modern, innovative and top-level research and teaching

You can read about the Institute of Social Studies vision for 2030 here.