Research at EAMT is carried out mainly in the Department of Musicology, the Music Education Institute, the Institute for Instrumental and Vocal Pedagogy, the Cultural Management and Humanities Centre and the Drama School.
The Department of Musicology is the only academic unit in Estonian universities that directs research in the specialised disciplines of musicology. The department conducts and supports research in all major areas of musicology and music theory in Estonia; in collaboration with the Estonian Musicological Society it issues a peer-reviewed yearbook Res Musica; it funds publication of research materials, organises conferences, seminars, courses etc. relevant for promoting and advancing musicological life, and communicates with other national and international musicological organisations. Research into Estonian musical practices, either current or from earlier periods, and Estonian traditional music is a prime focus of the activities of the musicology research group.
The Drama School focuses especially on research into theatre history and research into contemporary theatre practices. Another important direction of activity at the Drama School is bringing theatre pedagogy up to date, which implies not only the elaboration of a theoretical approach, but also publishing original studies and translations of seminal foreign studies, compiling learning materials and arranging interdisciplinary learning workshops.
Other areas of research are music education, interpretation education and cultural management. In addition to lecturers, academic staff, master and doctoral students, artists from various creative fields are also involved in research activity, including performers, composers, actors and directors. Research topics are related to music and theatre in one way or another, while research topics in the Cultural Management curriculum are also related to other fields of the arts and culture.
Doctoral study programmes are available in musicology as well as music and dramatic arts. The quality of doctoral studies is overseen by the Doctoral Committee, which includes the Rector, two co-chairs, one of whom is responsible for creative activities and the other for research, as well as professors of the main study fields. A separate academic unit, the Centre for Doctoral Studies, was founded in the autumn of 2015 to improve the management of doctoral studies, and all activities of the Academy pertaining to doctoral studies were brought together in the centre. Doctoral studies are regulated by the Procedure rules for doctoral studies at EAMT.
Since 2009 EAMT has been a member of the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts (GSCSA), a joint venture involving four universities (University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and Estonian Academy of Arts) and has coordinated its activities for 2009–2016. From 2016, the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts will be coordinated by Tallinn University under the leadership of Professor Marek Tamm.