Tartu Art College

mission statement

TAC was founded on 1 August 2000 and is, on a continuity basis, a successor to a private educational institution established by the art society Pallas in 1919. Since those times, the College has existed as both a secondary-level school and an institution of higher art education; see history. On the basis of historical continuity, TAC retains the values of Pallas, incl. openness and modernity. Founded in Tartu, Pallas was the first Estonian institution of higher art education and laid down the basis for professional Estonian art. In addition to Pallas’s values, TAC still undertakes the mission of providing the best contemporary education in the arts.
The vision of TAC is:   TAC is an ethical, open and consistent institution of higher education that encourages innovative thinking.
Core values of TAC:
Ethics -  a caring and appreciative attitude towards people, society and culture; socially responsible and sustainable thinking.
Openness – openness to cooperation and society’s developments.
Consistency – consistency in the provision of professional art education, preserving and passing on cultural heritage.
Innovation – shaping and implementing new viewpoints, ideas and skills.
The mission and the motto of TAC is: Art education is the key to the creativity of society.

international role

Tartu Art College (TAC) offers an education that allows the graduates to compete
successfully in the Estonian and European labour market. TAC is intensively developing
its cooperation with Estonian and foreign higher education institutions to enrich art
education with different abilities and values. providing a progeny of professional artist
that think creatively and are open to world. TAC has created an environment that supports
internationalisation. Both students and staff participate very actively in studies and trainings
abroad. TAC has made its studies international in Estonia by involving foreign experts and
teaching staff and by participating in international projects held in Estonia. The principles of
internationalisation are stipulated in the TAC International Relations Strategy, the three main
directions being:
1. International cooperation with public, private and voluntary sectors. TAC
participates in the work of international networks and organisations, in
international trade fairs, exhibitions and competitions and cooperates with
foreign companies and competence centres. TAC has been a partner in 8 Norplus
projects since 2009 and is a member of EURASHE association that represents
universities of applied sciences and university colleges. Since May 26, 2012 TAC has
been a full member of Cumulus.
2. Cooperation with institutions of higher education abroad. TAC develops
cooperation with existing Erasmus+ partner institutions and also strengthens
substantive cooperation with other institutions of higher education abroad.In
curricula development, the best practices used abroad for every field will be
taken into account. International competences of students and staff are facilitated
by having foreign or visiting lecturers conduct courses. In addition to Erasmus
partners TAC has bilateral agreements with three higher education institutions in
Russia that enable students and staff of both sides visit the other institution for
self-improvement and proovide the possibility to organise joint culture projects
and exhibitions. TAC’s Gallery Noorus provides the opportunity for its foreign
partners to show their work at our gallery.
3. Support of student and employee mobility. TAC actively develops international
student exchange (incl. exchange studies, work practice abroad for students
and recent graduates, short-term mobility) and employee mobility. The European
Commission's Erasmus+ programme has become the main option for both,
student and staff exchanges, and also a very effective means of
internationalisation. The first Erasmus programme exchanges took place in
2004/2005. Today, TAC has nearly 50 partner universities in the framework of the
Erasmus+ programme. Regarding the number of students who have studied and/or
completed their work practice abroad with Erasmus, TAC is one of the most
successful institutes of higher education in Estonia as the number exceeds the
Estonian average rate by 4-5 times. TAC’s staff can also benefit from the mobilities
under Dora+ programme.
In December 2009, Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and Archimedes
Foundation nominated Tartu Art College the most successful education institution in
Estonia concerning international activities. Tartu Art College has also been chosen to
the Erasmus Europe Success Stories Brochure published in 2010.

national role

As the only institution of higher education in the field of applied arts in Estonia, TAC plays an important role as a shaper of Estonian education, art and culture. TAC aims to maintain art education in specialties that are important traditionally and in the context of Estonian culture and history. Thus, TAC pays great attention to the balanced development of all seven curricula. The college maintains a strong focus on teaching applied and practice based skills within an academic framework that successfully prepares students for careers in the creative industries, and in a wider sense promotes the development of a creative society. The comprehensive curricula take the needs of society and the labour market into account and ensure the competitiveness of the graduates on the labour market, in their creative activities and in continuing education. Regarding research, development and creative activities (RDC), TAC focuses on three main directions: design, conservation/restoration and the arts. TAC continues to work with the Estonian Academy of Arts to observe and analyse the instruction of higher education in the fields of design and conservation, and to ensure a distinction between the curricula of the two institutions. The activities of TAC in promoting the Estonian cultural scene have been consistent. TAC cooperates with organisations and institutions from the public, private and voluntary sectors thereby participating in shaping societal values. The Estonian Rectors’ Conference of Universities of Applied Sciences (RKRN) completed the cooperation project “Professional Higher Education in European Higher Education Area: outcomes, institutions and operating framework in 2020”. The project revealed among other aspects that Estonian institutions of professional higher education are first and foremost aimed at the Estonian labour market and employers appreciate education institutions that boast remarkable rates of specialty employment among their graduates. TAC also plays a significant role and has a responsibility in its field of activity in Estonian higher education alongside ohter Estonian public universities. The Rector of TAC participates in the development activities of Estonian higher education as a member of the Estonian Qualifications Authority Sector Skill Council of Culture, the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research workgroup for the internationalisation of Estonian higher education, the Erasmus+ programme assessment council and the Council of the Estonian e-University, 2017/2018 Vice Chairman of RKRN.

main focus

Tartu Art College (University of Applied Sciences) is a multidisciplinary applied higher education institution that educates professional applied artists and artists-restorers who value and preserve cultural heritage. Main areas of the activity are provision of higher education in arts, design, conservation and restoration, supervision and coordination of academic and creative work, conducting research, creative activities in the fields of the arts and design, development activities and organisation of continuing education in the fields of the arts, design, conservation and restoration and the provision of paid services related to the above. 

faculties and departments

Department of Furniture
Department of Leather Design
Department of Media Design
Department of Painting
Department of Photography
Department of Sculpture
Department of Textile

bachelor level programs

Furniture Design and Restoration
Leather Design and Restoration
Media and Advertisement Design
Painting and Restoration

The nominal length of the studies is four years and the volume of the curriculum is 240 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System)

master level programs


research activity and main areas

Areas for research and applied research in 2017-2020 are: 
In the field of conservation/restoration
- Research on historical interiors
- Preservation of cultural heritage
In the field of design
- Graphic design in 2016-2019 – open medium in Estonia
- Development of design solutions
- Technological research on materials
In the field of arts
- Visual semiotics, research on visual culture, art theories and history

subject areas for exchange students

Textile, Furniture Design and Restoration, Leather Design and Restoration, Painting and Restoration, Sculpture, Media and Advertisemesnt Design, Photography. 

application deadlines

Application deadlined for Erasmus+ students: beginning of November for the spring semester, beginning of May for the autumn semester, exact date to be decided each year and published on TAC webpage.

teaching languages

The official language of tuition is Estonian. Exchange students are supervised also in English. In some cases Finnish, Russian and German may also be options.

semester dates

Autumn semester: beginning of September until mid-January. Spring semester: end of January until end of May. In 2018/2019: Autumn: Sept 3 - Jan 28; Spring: Jan 28 - May 24.

cost of living per month (studying and living)

Accommodation costs are about 200 EUR (dorm, double room) - renting a room or a flat can be much more expensive, starting from 200 EUR per month. Food etc are about 250 EUR depending on the student’s choices.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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