Department of Semiotics in Tartu University offers a doctoral programme that lasts 4 years and requires 240 ECTS (credits in European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System).

Department of Semiotics offers a creative research environment and a fascinating group of scholars, and excellent library specialized in semiotic literature.


                GENERAL SEMIOTICS (PhD level) in University of Tartu

Semiotics department in Tartu University offers its local and visiting students courses and seminars on theory of semiotics, on disciplinary and transdisciplinary fields and methodologies of semiotics for 36 ECTS specifically for PhD level. In addition, each guest student is welcome to attend courses of our international MA programme and open lectures of our guest lecturers.

The General Semiotics module of SEMKNOW in Tartu University involves independent work, seminars, and also lectures. Following university's study programme structure the module work load is 36 ECTS and is structured into 5 courses from which visiting students can develop their individual study plan:

1)     Doctoral Seminar (12 ECTS)

Reporting the progress of personal research and solving problems appearing in the process; discussions on most important and actual topics in theoretical and practical fields of semiotics

2)     Disciplinary Semiotics and Theory of Culture (6 ECTS)

Systematic overview of the variety of semiotics and theroies of culture, relations between schools and concepts and their methodological potential. Analysis of current problems of the disciplinary identity of semiotics and theories of culture.

3)     Methodology of humanities (6 ECTS)

Methods of contemporary humanities; conceptual frame for discussing disciplinary and interdisciplinary humanities;  holistic thought in humanities; place of humanities in the system of science

4)     Methodology of semiotical analysis (6 ECTS)

Different methodologies and methods for semiotic analysis; methodological aspects and problems in students' research.

5)     Transdisciplinary Semiotics and Theory of Culture (6 ECTS)

Semiotics in humanities and social sciences; advantages of semiotic approaches; principles of transdisciplinary methodology and understanding complex research. Role of semiotics in outlining the study object, in choices of methods and languages and in interpreting the results.



                        SPECIALIZATION in University of Tartu

Specialization in semiotics in Tartu can be realised in several directions, including as general fields semiotics of culture, sociosemiotics and biosemiotics; but also various topics and research problems. The specialization is always planned individually and can include activities like research, seminars, lectures, consultations etc with results like lecturing, conference papers, reports, articles etc. 

                        RESEARCH in semiotics in University of Tartu

Department of Semiotics offers a creative research environment and a fascinating group of scholars, and excellent library specialized in semiotic literature.

Various research projects in semiotics department give the opportunity to carry out one's research in a close academic context. Ongoing research projects include:

Meaning-generation and transdisciplinary methodology of semiotic analysis of culture

Methods of biosemiotics

Typology of cultural autocommunication

The Power of the Nomination in the Society and in the Culture

Dynamical zoosemiotics and animal representations

And previous projects:

Nomination and Anonymity in the Culture

Space: The Concept and Object in Interdisciplinary Perspective (Methodological Aspects of the Integration of Social and Human Sciences)

Theory of mimicry and ecosemiotic approach to imitation

The Department belongs also into the Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory that offers a PhD student a wide transdisciplinary network with its conferences, seminars, winter and summer schools.

Library of the Department of Semiotics is a specialised library on semiotics, with well supplied collection of English and Russian language semiotics books. It also includes a collection of students' works and T. A. Sebeok memorial library. Information about books is available online.

Practical information for visiting students to Tartu

Short PhD Research Visits


Information for prospective PhD degree-seeking students