The master´s programme of military higher education – Advanced Officer Training Course
After a few years of service, the officers may continue their studies in the Advanced Officer Training Course – the second level of officer training.
During the 2-year master’s programme, the students enhance their specialist knowledge and professional skills. The master’s programme enables the continuation of speciality studies started during applied higher education, whereby the students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for service as staff officers of an infantry battalion or a brigade or as wartime battalion commanders (or equivalent posts). The curriculum enables the continuation of studies started during the basic course, e.g. infantry, signals, engineer, air defence, artillery and logistics specialities and the acquiring of the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties of a staff officer of the respective service arm.
The EMA master’s programme for the military leadership curriculum comprises three major modules: basic, designated and speciality studies. Basic and designated studies provide the officers with a contemporary and comprehensive master’s level academic education to reflect and respond to the current requirements and needs of the Estonian Defence Forces and the Republic of Estonia. In addition to compulsory subjects, the programme also involves a variety of electives from different fields of life. The purpose of the designated studies is their further specialisation in order to acquire the professional skills and competence necessary to perform the duties of a battalion commander and staff officer. Upon completion of the master’s level speciality studies, the officers with previous infantry specialisation will receive training and specialisation to fulfil the posts of reconnaissance and operations officers of an infantry battalion, or infantry brigade staff, and battalion chief of staff. After the completion of the speciality studies module, during the practical exercise carried out within the designated studies module, the students receive training and preparation to fulfil the posts relevant to their training and speciality. All officers are familiarised with staff work and procedures.
Upon completion of the basic and designated studies modules, the students continue their studies in specifically military speciality studies, e.g. infantry, signals, engineer, air defence, artillery or logistics speciality studies. The master’s diploma is issued after the defence of the master’s thesis.
After the completion of the Advanced Officer Training Course and a few years of service in the Defence Forces, the officers may continue their studies in the Senior Staff Officer Course conducted in the Baltic Defence College (located in the same building with the EMA), whereby the officers obtain the qualifications of a senior staff officer – the third level of officer training.
The fourth level of officer training – Higher Staff Officer Course – is conducted in higher staff officer courses and general staff officer courses in educational institutions abroad.