The first level of military higher education – Basic Officer Training Course
Teaching in the Estonian Military Academy (EMA) is conducted in the broad-based applied higher education programme. Some of the teaching is carried out by the teaching staff of the University of Tartu, Tallinn Technical University and other institutions of higher education in Estonia. Graduates of the EMA may perform different duties within the Estonian Defence Forces and the Defence League.
The official study period for the Basic Officer Training Course in the EMA is three years. Upon completion of the course, the graduates acquire applied higher education in military leadership and attain the rank of a second lieutenant. The Basic Officer Training Course is the first level of officer training. The military leadership applied higher education curriculum comprises four main modules: – basic, designated and speciality studies and practice modules. In addition to military subjects, the basic and designated studies modules involve subjects of humanitarian and social sciences, as well as natural and exact sciences and strategy subjects. Language learning is conducted by the Language Centre – a sub-unit of the EMA set up for language learning and teaching. Upon completion of the basic and designated studies, the cadets can specialise in the following military disciplines: infantry, logistics, signals, engineer, artillery and air defence. The applied higher education diploma is issued after the completion of speciality practice in sub-units of the Estonian Defence Forces and defence of the final paper.
The first level of military higher education conducted in the Estonian Military Academy provides the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties of both wartime and peacetime platoon leaders and company commanders (depending on the specifics of the arms of service/weapon class). After a few years of service, the graduates of the course may continue their studies in the Advanced Officer Training Course – level two of military higher education.