First level professional higher education diploma


Key features

  • Qualification: Pirmā līmeņa profesionālās augstākās izglītības diploms
  • Qualification in English: First level professional higher education diploma
  • EQF level: 5
  • Cycle: Short cycle
  • Thesis required: Qualification paper – at least 12 ECTS, but not more than 10% of total amount of programme
  • Nominal length: 2-3 years / 120-180 ECTS
  • Access requirement: General or vocational secondary education
  • Access to further study: Professional or academic bachelor or second level professional higher education programmes. NB! When enrolling on a bachelor’s programme within the same branch, part of credit points can be transferred from previous college studies.


The study programmes lead to the Latvian professional qualification level 4 (theoretical and practical background that enables the holder to perform complicated tasks as well as to organise and manage others in their work), i.e. EQF/LQF level 5, and they are basically intended for the acquisition of a profession, but the graduates may continue studies in second level professional higher education programmes.

According to the Vocational Education Law (1999), there is a system of five professional qualification levels in the Latvian vocational education, of which level 4-5 refer to higher professional education. Professional qualification levels are reflected in all formal education documents issued in Latvia when awarding professional qualification. The Latvian professional qualification levels concern only to vocational/professional education, and they are not automatically referred to the LQF/EQF levels, but used in parallel.

Degree titles

  • Latvian: [Field of study] + kvalifikāciju
  • English: Qualification + [field of study]

Examples: grāmatveža profesionālo kvaifikāciju (professional qualification of accountant), speciālista policijas darbā kvalifikāciju (qualification of specialist in police work), uzņēmējdarbības (komercdarbības) speciālista kvalifikāciju (qualification of business specialist).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge (knowledge and comprehension)

  • Able to demonstrate comprehensive and specialised knowledge and understanding of facts, theories, causalities and technologies of the concrete professional field

Skills (ability to apply knowledge, communication, general skills)

  • Able, on the basis of analytical approach, to perform practical tasks in the concrete profession, demonstrate skills, allowing to find creative solutions to professional problems, to discuss and provide arguments regarding practical issues and solutions in the concrete profession with colleagues, clients and management, able to, with an appropriate degree of independence, to engage in further learning, improving one’s competences
  • Able to assess and improve one’s own actions and those of other people, to work in co-operation with others, to plan and to organise work to perform concrete tasks in one’s profession or to supervise such work activities, in which unpredictable changes are possible

Competence (analysis, synthesis and assessment)

  • Able to define, describe and analyse practical problems in one’s profession, select the necessary information and use it for solving clearly defined problems, to participate in the development of the concrete professional field, demonstrate understanding of the place of the concrete profession in a broader social context