Technology Governance and Digital Transformation
The Technology Governance and Digital Transformation is a Master’s programme that is future-oriented and truly inter- and trans-disciplinary: from economics, technology and innovation to governance and public policies, where all key components of the socio-economic future are purposefully linked. It equips students with the capacity for critical thinking and with practical management skills on technological change, innovation and digital transformation that will make You succeed in tech-focused private and public organizations as well as in international bodies. We want to understand digital technologies as the key driver of development around the world, and we want to make sure that digital transformation brings about sustainable, green growth and human-centered development.
- The programme is designed for those who want to know:
- the dynamics of techno- and social innovation and the role of different actors (entrepreneurs, large companies, governments, and most of all, humans) in these dynamics and in steering innovation towards a more sustainable future;
- the heterodox perspectives of economic development and innovation processes, i.e. sys-tems of innovation, evolutionary, post-Keynesian, commons-based, or non-Western;
- the role and nature of technology, including its critique, and, in particular, the meaning and management of digital transformation, and its impact on economy, society, government, and people.
The programme is designed and offered by the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance (RND) of Tallinn University of Technology. RND is an unique research and teaching institution that combines both economics (the why?) and governance (the how?) of innovation and technological change - unique competencies to succeed in the modern globalized and complex world. RND is located in Tallinn, Estonia – one of the leading Digital Societies in Europe. Studying in Estonia offers you unique insights into what the future might look like. Joining us on the Technology Gov-ernance and Digital Transformation MA programme offers you the chance to build the skills you need to shape the future.
The close links between the programme and research and innovation projects of our department – from fostering the Digital Single Market in the EU through cross-border data sharing based on the ‘once only’ principle and collaborating with the cities of Tallinn and Helsinki on different smart city initiatives to rethinking economics and innovation based on the ecologically sustainable commons-based ‘design globally manufacture locally’ approaches – guarantee that the content of our teach-ing is always practical and ahead of mainstream textbooks. RND is a member of the ESST – European Inter-University Association on Society, Science Technology and Society and EMPA – the European Master of Public Administration Network and has Erasmus agreements with many leading universi-ties in Europe. This facilitates easy international staff and student exchange.
LEVEL OF STUDYMaster's
STUDY LOAD120 ECTS (view curriculum)
MODE OF STUDYFull-time study
Why this specialty?
- The programme is based on case-study based teaching and has a strong emphasis on intern-ship and practical experience, without neglecting relevant theory.
- The programme design complements the standard text-book knowledge, mainstream eco-nomics and governance theories with more realistic and relevant perspectives and practical case studies.
- The programme offers site visits to Estonian government offices and companies and guest lectures from leading Estonian and international innovators and visionaries.
- The minimum stay in Estonia is one year – the second year is dedicated to Internship & Con-sulting Lab and graduation thesis writing, which can both be done from anywhere in the world.
- The Faculty consist almost exclusively of internationally distinguished and award-winning pro-fessors.
The Master’s programme brings together some of the most renowned scholars of innovation and governance – Carlota Perez, Erik S. Reinert, Wolfgang Drechsler, Jan A. Kregel, Robert Krimmer, Vasilis Kostakis and others – who offer students a coherent set of skills for understanding and managing technological changes and digital transformations in tech- and innovation-oriented or-ganizations as well as in international bodies.
Academic staff and research topics
Just to highlight some of the current research topics our scholars focus on and integrate into their teaching modules:
Prof. Vasilis Kostakis leads the large-scale European Research Council funded research project – Cosmolocalism – that will advance our understanding on how to create a sustain-able economy through the commons. Read more from his brief post in Harvard Business Review and visit his research lab.
Prof. Erik S. Reinert, founder of The Other Canon Foundation, is one of the leading schol-ars on the history of economic development – see his famous book on How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor – and he is currently collaborating with the EU and OECD on developing new approaches to building sustainable development in the Global South and beyond.
Prof. Carlota Perez, the author of best-selling Technological Revolutions and Financial Capi-tal, The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages who has been recently named by Forbes among the three female economists whose work has been crucial for understanding to-day's economy, is currently researching the role of the state in directing innovation and economic development towards Smart Green Growth, see more here and here.
Prof. Wolfgang Drechsler, one of the founders of the Nurkse Department and the TGDT MA programme, is one of the leading scholars on the implications of digital transformation on governance and on how governments can deliver agile stability and capacities for fu-ture-oriented thinking in modern Western and non-Western societies.
Prof. Robert Krimmer, the former OSCE expert on electronic voting and currently the co-ordinator of the largest EU public sector innovation project – The Once Only Principle Project – developing the building blocks for the European Digital Single Market, is one of the leading voices on how to build inclusive and participatory e-governance systems.
In addition, each year in spring, RND invites also a distinguished Ragnar Nurkse Visiting Professor (e.g. Jayati Ghosh, Randy Wray, Akira Nakamura) to discuss the most pertinent issues regarding globalization, development and innovation.
The 2 year (120 ECTS) curriculum comprises the following modules:
- General studies: Entrepreneurship and Technology Management (6 ECTS)
- Core studies:
- Technology, Innovation and Economic Development (18 ECTS)
- Technology Governance and Digital Transformation (36 ECTS)
- Internship and Consulting Lab (24 ECTS)
- Free Choice Courses (6 ECTS)
- Graduation Thesis (30 ECTS)
Detailed description of the study process
The first Fall semester (September–December) offers core knowledge and ability for critical think-ing on technology governance and innovation dynamics in modern societies:
- Economics and Finance of Innovation and Development, 6 ECTS
- Technology, Society and the Future, 6 ECTS
- Techno-economic Paradigms and Technological Transitions, 6 ECTS
- Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, 6 ECTS
- e-Governance and e-Democracy, 6 ECTS
The first Spring semester (February–June) provides a more practical focus on developing innova-tion capacities and managing digital transformation in modern governments: Compulsory classes:
- Implementing Governance in a Diverse Globalized World, 6 ECTS
- Creating Innovation Capacities in Government, 6 ECTS
The students can further select 3 electives that allow to deepen the practical skills either in tech-nology governance and innovation or in digital transformation and public sector innovation, e.g.:
- Digital Transformations of Government, 6 ECTS
- Recent Issues in Big Data and Governance, 6 ECTS
- Special Course in Technology Governance, 6 ECTS
- Innovation and Case Studies of New Technologies, 6 ECTS
- Students can select from a further list of general courses (e.g. Research Methods in Social Sciences) as well as interdisciplinary courses offered at TalTech (e.g. Basics of E-Health; Foundations of Cyber Security; Human Rights, Ethics and Technology etc).
The second Fall semester (September–December) consists of individual studies:
- Most of the semester will consist of the Internship and Consultancy Lab (24 ECTS). Stu-dents will work as interns for up to 16 weeks in a public, private or international organiza-tion. The Internship ends with a Consultancy Lab where students prepare (via remote-working, if needed) a consultancy report that defines the main technological, managerial or innovation challenges of the internship organization and proposes solutions to the in-ternship organization.
- Free choice course (6 ECTS) allows to focus more on developing specific skills or to join stu-dents in some of the leading global universities (via MOOCs).
During the second Spring semester (February–June), the students will fully focus on preparing their final thesis (30 ECTS).
- The thesis can be a) a classic contribution to academic debates (publishable in an academic journal), b) an evaluation of the functioning/performance of a policy, programme, organi-sation and its managerial approach, or a specific new technology, c) an individual-work based capstone thesis.
- The thesis has to be submitted by late-May and defended in early-June. Remote working and online presentation is possible.
The programme is a great terminal degree and prepares globally desired experts in managing technological changes and digital transformations who work for either national governments and international organizations (as innovation policy experts and innovation managers) or for non-profit organizations and in the private sector (as owner-entrepreneurs, technology consultants, innovation managers, analysts).
The programme also provides excellent competitive competencies for a continuing Your academic career as a researcher in academic institutions or pursuing PhD studies, as our impressive track record shows.
Career paths of our alumni:
- international organizations (UN, EU);
- governmental institutions (central banks, ministries dealing with development and digitaliza-tion affairs);
- non-governmental organizations (science and technology parks, development agencies, think-tanks etc.);
- technology-intensive private companies.
“…that feeling when you get to study 10 classes in a semester at no extra cost because you love learning, time to learn two, possibly three, foreign languages because the people and countries around you…just a couple hours away are totally different.
…to eat healthier because it's cheaper and easier to buy and find fresh foods than fast food, to ride free transit, to hack every weekend, to utilize an innovative (actually) international banking system that makes sense, to learn from a professor who wrote a book you read and were inspired by years ago and seeing that they respect you too, to say what you want because political correctness isn't a thing and it's primarily seen as an invitation for deeper introspection…”
1st year student of the Technology Governance and Digital Transformation Programme
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
In order to qualify for the studies in Tallinn University of Technology an applicant has to have at least 60% of the highest possible CGPA.
- Topics covered during the interview:
- Motivation and interest to study Technology Governance and Digital Transformation.
- Previous exposure to topics covered in the programme and awareness of relevant societal debates.
- Preliminary vision on graduation thesis — potential research topics, methodology, etc.
- Previous education and work experience and vision of future career.
Duration of the interview is 10-15 minutes.
Students for TalTech international study programmes are admitted based on the admission threshold. Online interview will be conducted only to candidates who have passed preliminary evaluation. The maximum score for the online interview is 10 points. An applicant who receives the minimum of 5 points is admitted.
To keep up with the recent exciting developments of the RND community,
TalTech international admissions office
TalTech international admissions office provides general advice to prospective Bachelor’s and Master’s degree applicants and their advisers about applying to and studying at TalTech University.
Student counsellor at School of Business and Governance
Student counsellor at School of Business and Governance can help you
with questions about the study programme.
Liisa Margit Paats
(+372) 620 3947
Programme Director can help you with questions about the study programme.
Dr. Egert Juuse
(+372) 620 2657
Contact a Student Ambassador
Student Ambassador can help you with questions about living in Estonia, travelling to Estonia, work and housing options or free time activities for students.