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Organisation of studies

Admission requirements

Vocational training is open to all applicants. No limits have been imposed on persons who have already acquired either vocational or higher education but who wish to supplement their knowledge base or learn a new trade or craft. Enrolment requirements pertaining to prior education are dependent on the type of vocational training applied for and whether the applicant wishes to study according to initial or follow up curricula.

Curricula for vocational secondary education also admit persons of at least 22 years of age who have not received basic education, but who can verify that they have the knowledge, skills and competences equivalent to basic education. The possession of such competences will be evaluated by the vocational education institution.

As a rule, studying at vocational educational institutions is free of charge for the student, with exceptions being centred on vocations that are especially popular or where competition for vacancies outstrips supply. Private vocational education institutions offer both free and tuition fee based learning opportunities. More detailed information is available directly from schools.

Graduation and professional certificate

Graduating requires that the student accomplish all the study goals listed in the curriculum. The attainment of study goals will be evaluated by vocational exams. In cases where the chosen vocation does not provide an opportunity for performing the vocational exam, the studies will be completed upon passing the school’s graduation exam.

Until 1 September 2016, students will have the right to opt for school exams instead of vocational exams, even in cases where the opportunity to perform the latter is available.

Vocational exams can be undertaken in the student’s school if the school in question has been authorised to provide vocational qualifications. In cases where the school does not have such a right, the exams may be taken at an institution that has been authorised to issue vocational qualifications. For more information about organisations entitled to grant vocations and on the processes involved, please visit the Estonian Qualifications Authority website.


Last updated: 10 June 2015