Note that the curriculum of Cultural Heritage and Conservation is taught in Estonian! The minimum level of Estonian language skills must be B2.

The speciality provides a great opportunity for self-fulfilment for those who care about cultural heritage.
In addition to a desire to acquire diverse knowledge, the candidate should also have a place in his or her heart for caring, but also for true passion – without this, it is really difficult to accomplish anything on behalf of old houses and items in our very contradictory world.
The following personality traits are most important when studying this speciality: curiosity, patience, the ability to pay attention and concentrate; a sense of responsibility and mission
If candidates with the aforementioned traits, who have are seriously interested in the speciality, are welcomed in the bachelor’s programme, the candidates for the master’s programme must have completed the bachelor’s studies related to cultural heritage and conservation and have the corresponding work experience. A deeper understanding of the speciality and the readiness to supplement one’s existing knowledge with broader theoretical knowledge is necessary for the PhD studies.


Besides entrance examinations, the are following requirements:

• A diploma from an upper secondary school or document proving the same level of education

• Estonian language skills in B2 level and english language skills in B1 level.


Admissions are decided on the basis of an interview, where the committee reviews the outline for the candidate’s master’s thesis, portfolio or bachelor’s paper, and CV.


Admissions are decided on the basis of an interview, where the committee reviews the candidate’s previously submitted master’s thesis (which has already been defended), outline for the PhD thesis and CV.



Is it possible to study wood and furniture restoration?
We recommend that those who wish to acquire practical skills in wood and furniture restoration apply to the study this speciality at the Tartu Art College.

How much practical work is involved?
Practical work, i.e. working with one’s hands, and learning the corresponding skills, is more important in the restoration of artworks, where it comprises a significant portion of the studies at the BA level. Students specialising in architectural restoration also do fieldwork in buildings during their studies. For instance, they photograph the structures being surveyed, conduct research on finishing, complete practical training in structural archaeology, and learn the basic truths about the restoration of wooden details in workshops, etc. However, our curriculum does not deal with practical building and the restoration of structures, or the acquisition of the required manual skills. The study of the conservation of architectural monuments at the higher education level is oriented primarily toward educating future heritage conservation officials, researchers of historical structures, and the specialists involved in compiling special cultural heritage requirements, as well as restoration concepts and programmes, and the inspectors of restoration work. However, people with “golden hands”, i.e. restorers of wooden and stone structures, are trained at several vocational education centres in Estonia.

Do graduates have the right to prepare building projects?
In the course of the studies, the necessary knowledge and practical skills are acquired for the following: compiling special cultural heritage requirements and restoration projects, as well as preparing detailed plans for old towns; as well as, research programs and reports, exterior finishing projects, restoration concepts and other documents necessary for the restoration of historical structures, items and artworks. Everyone who acquires a master’s degree completes a cycle of in-service training in architectural conservation as part of the studies, based on which it is possible to apply for an officially certified permit for the right to work on structural and historical monuments. The graduates of the architectural conservation speciality should also be able, in collaboration with architects, geographers and the representatives of other specialities, to participate in preparing general and detailed plans for areas with historical settlement structures, the planning of areas of cultural and environmental value, etc. However, the graduates of our department are not awarded diplomas in architecture, which would give them the right to draw up building projects in the context of the Building Act.  The guidelines state that the candidates for the BA programme must present drawings and other artwork to the committee.

Does it make sense for me to apply to this speciality if I am interested in old buildings and objects, but have not studied art in depth before? 
Some drawing and painting skills are beneficial for the BA candidate, especially if he or she plans to specialise in the conservation of artwork, however, we do not assume that the candidate has very high-level, so-called “classical”, drawing skills. Therefore, do not be afraid to take your efforts along and show them. Artworks can also be replaced by a research paper that has written done previously. However, the readiness and courage to hold a brush or pencil is sometimes still necessary in our speciality. The on-site specialised test is comprised of documentary drawing – drawings are made of an item, structure or part thereof in an interior or urban setting. Along with manual skills, the ability to notice and convey the ambient historical environment is important. Thus, do not hesitate to apply even if, for instance, you have not studied art in a children’s art school. However, if you are frightened by the idea of drawing/drafting, perhaps you should consider applying to the art history speciality instead.

I am not a professional restorer or heritage conserver, but I own an old house, which I plan to restore, and would like to learn more about this field of activity. Could I apply to the MA programme and write a master’s thesis about my own house?
Such not option is not excluded, but the MA programme is oriented more toward those who plan to tie their futures to this profession and have a specialised interest in cultural heritage. Generally, a master’s thesis should deal with a broader topic or problem, than just one house (unless you are dealing with a very special house). Those who wish to acquire specific knowledge about historical buildings can complete the in-service architectural restoration training (paid) programme without being admitted to the MA programme.