Diploma of Professional Higher Education


Key features

  • Qualification: Rakenduskõrghariduse diplom
  • Qualification in English: Diploma of Professional Higher Education
  • EQF level: 6
  • Cycle: First cycle
  • Thesis required: Final thesis or examination, min. 5 ECTS
  • Nominal length: 3-4.5 years / 180-270 ECTS credits
  • Access requirement: Upper secondary level
  • Access to further study: Magister (Master’s) programme


Professional higher education programmes are provided by professional higher education institutions (rakenduskõrgkool), some vocational education institutions and universities. The purpose of these programmes is to acquire the competence necessary for working in the relevant profession or for continuing studies at the master’s level. The thesis or the final examination should form no less than 5 ECTS credits.

Students who have completed a professional higher education programme are awarded a Rakenduskõrghariduse diplom (Diploma of Professional Higher Education). The qualification is a Bachelor’s level degree and corresponds to a degree of Bakalaureus awarded by universities. The graduates have access to studies towards a degree of Magister (a master’s level qualification) with the same conditions as graduates with a degree of Bakalaureus.

Learning outcomes

In order to be awarded a Diploma of Professional Higher Education, a student shall:

  • have a systematic overview of the basic concepts, theoretical principles and research methods of the field of study
  • be able to identify interdisciplinary connections in scopes of application of different fields of study
  • know current problems and potential applications of the field of study
  • be able to formulate problems relating to the field of study and to analyse and evaluate different solutions
  • be able to collect information independently by using appropriate methods and means and to interpret it critically and creatively
  • be able to select and use appropriate methods and technologies when solving problems of the field of study within given frameworks, and to model and/or assess potential results on the basis of given information
  • show initiative in initiating projects as well as responsibility, leadership and team work skills in implementation thereof
  • have command of the communication skills and information and communication technologies necessary for work
  • be able to explain orally or in written form in the language of instruction and in at least one foreign language problems relating to the field of study, and to participate in professional discussions
  • be willing to actively participate in the civil society and demonstrate tolerance towards diversity of attitudes and values
  • be able to evaluate the role and consequences of professional activities in society, with consideration of social and ethical aspects
  • be able to apply the acquired knowledge and skills in work, willing to engage as a specialist or undertaking in his or her field of profession
  • be able to undertake continuous independent professional development