SEMKNOW STUDY PROGRAM

SEMKNOW study programme is organised into three study modules and research component.

Study modules are:

1. Introductory module – preparation for the PhD programme (NB! introductory module is prior to PhD studies, applicable as a preparation for applying for the PhD programme and also accessible as an independent study and training module for all students),
2. General module – giving a wide integrative competence in semiotics with emphasis on applicability in personal research by students.
3. Specialization module – supports the research by focusing on selected fields of semiotics and research issues. Each partner university is offering its field of best expertise (e.g. socisemiotics in New Bulgarian University, arts in University of Lapland, semiotics of culture in Tartu, media and communication in Turin).
Each student is locally affiliated and follows the programme as specified in one's university. The common general organisation of studies into three modules (+research) makes it easier for a student to plan one's studies with mobility between partner universities. In addition, all the studies in the programme are accessible in English.

Research component

SEMKNOW PhD students integrate their academic studies towards labor markets via research projects outside universities. Each PhD research project is conducted in the private or in the public sphere, in real working conditions. Partners of the program are institutions and companies, specialized in the production and distribution of knowledge. Students of SEMKNOW partner universities have successfully carried out research with various companies and institutions, including Tallinn Zoo, Estonian Literary Museum etc.


Every student of SEMKNOW should spend at least one semester in one of the partner universities. The module abroad could be composed of various study or research activities, not less than 30 ECTS. The content of the module abroad is determined in advance with individual study and research plan, approved by the hosting university.

Semiotic academic events (including summer schools) are integral part of the study programme and are evaluated together with other activities.


While the evaluation of students work is following local rules, the supervisor or contact person in the host university gives for the annual evaluation his/her opinion on students semester abroad. Involving partner universities and institutions through co-tutorship is highly recommended, as well as the inclusion of specialists from partners to final and annual evaluation commissions.

Dissertation and defence

The dissertation is recommended to be written in English. PhD studies end with a public defence of the dissertation in front of the defence a council that involves internationally recognised researcher(s) of the relevant speciality as an external member (from partner universities if applicable).


On graduation doctoral candidate receives the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (doctor philosophiae, PhD) in semiotics (the field can vary locally) and on the basis of studies in two partner universities a joint diploma or double diploma (if applicable).

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