Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education


9.Teachers and Education Staff

9.1Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 12 March 2024

In Lithuania, teachers are trained in higher education institutions – universities and colleges. Prospective teachers study according to pre-school education, primary education or concrete subject study programmes. Educators working with children with special needs are trained according to special pedagogy study programmes. Applicants for arts educational studies usually have to pass an entrance exam where they must demonstrate their artistic skills. Sports achievements are evaluated when entering the study programme for sports and physical education. Regarding language teaching, there is no additional assessment of the language that the applicant wants to study.

Institutions, education levels and models of training

TTeacher training is described in the Regulations on Teacher Training (Pedagogų rengimo reglamentas) (hereafter – the Regulations) and the Description of Teacher Training Model (Pedagogų rengimo modelio aprašas). 

Teacher education is a seamless system of studies for the qualification of teachers and their professional development. It begins with a teaching traineeship and continues throughout the whole period of active teaching activity, deepening and developing professional competences. The studies required to qualify as a teacher are organised according to both the parallel and the sequential models.


Up until September 2018, higher education (HE) institutions – universities and colleges – were providing initial teacher education (ITE). The Regulations adopted on 29 May 2018 state that Teacher Training Centres (hereafter – the Centre(s)) and other HE institutions that cooperate with Centres provide initial teacher education. A Centre is a university that meets the requirements set by the Minister for Education, Science and Sport. It is required to concentrate the state’s (regional) educational potential and cooperate with other HE institutions that provide initial teacher education study programmes.

Duration of ITE study programs

There are various forms of ITE study programmes.

In the case of Bachelor’s or Professional Bachelor’s integrated pedagogical studies, their duration corresponds to the Bachelor’s and Professional Bachelor’s requirements. Bachelor’s pedagogical studies last for 4 years (240 ECTS), while Professional Bachelor’s pedagogical studies last for 3 years (210 ECTS).

study module on pedagogy comprises 60 ECTS. These study credits are usually distributed through each year.

The scope of an educational subject or pedagogical specialization is no less than 60 ECTS. Up to 180 ECTS can be allocated to a few modules of educational subjects or pedagogical specializations.

A minimum 30 ECTS are given to school (teaching) practice.

ITE Models

Concurrent and so-called adjacent models are used in ITE. A Teaching Qualification can also be obtained after completion of the professional pedagogical studies (in a consecutive way) or in alternative ways.

A person studying in a concurrent way completes a Bachelor’s or Professional Bachelor’s teacher training study programme. A study module on pedagogy is integrated into the programme. On completion, a Bachelor’s or Professional Bachelor’s pedagogical degree and a Teaching Qualification are achieved.

A person studying in an adjacent way completes a study module on pedagogy alongside a Bachelor’s or Professional Bachelor’s non-pedagogical study programme. On completion of the studies, a Bachelor’s or Professional Bachelor’s main study degree and a Teaching Qualification are achieved.

Those who have already acquired a tertiary education and want to become teachers can choose a consecutive model; i.e., to complete the professional study programme that is based on the study module on pedagogy. On completion of the professional study programme on pedagogy, a Teaching Qualification is obtained.

Admission requirements

On 14 September 2017, the Minister of Education, Science and Sport approved the Description of Teacher Training Model (Pedagogų rengimo modelio aprašas) (hereafter – the Model). It describes the admission criteria for initial teacher education. It is a complex selection procedure during which the following aspects are evaluated:

  • Personal learning achievements (the competition score)
  • Motivation
  • Personal qualities and values

Evaluation of personal learning achievements takes place when entering any study programme at a higher education institution. A motivation test is an additional evaluation specifically used when entering pedagogical study programmes that provide a Teaching Qualification.

Educational requirements for entrants

Applicants to be admitted to the Bachelor’s or Professional Bachelor’s teacher training studies are required to have completed at least upper level secondary education.

Admission to the Master’s degree programmes requires a Bachelor’s degree or any other relevant higher education qualification.

Admission to doctoral studies in education requires a Master’s degree or an equivalent higher education diploma.

Applicants for non-degree professional pedagogical studies must have completed a higher education.

Organisation of admissions to the field of studies in pedagogy

LAMA BPO organises centralised admission to the first-cycle and integrated study programmes. Admission is implemented according to the LAMA BPO adopted description of the procedure for the general admission to the first-cycle and integrated studies in Lithuanian higher education institutions for a specific year. Every year, LAMA BPO announces dates for the submission of documents, the procedure for the formation of the competitive score and an admission list. It sets the procedure and dates for the evaluation of motivation to enter the ITE study programmes. A person can submit a request to study and copies of documents via the LAMA BPO system.

The main admission takes place from the first half of June to the second half of July. If there are vacant study places left, an additional admission is organised to fill these. This takes place in the second part of August. Concrete dates are set and announced every year.

Admission to Master’s, Doctoral and non-degree professional pedagogical studies is organized by individual higher education institutions. They also set the admission requirements, usually consisting of the competitive score based on learning achievements. All candidates take a motivation test. Applicants for studying under these programmes must also have completed a corresponding level of higher education. Applicants to arts pedagogical studies must have an education in the respective arts. In some study programmes, priority is given to those students who have work experience in the chosen specialisation and who teach the study-related subject at a school.

Curriculum, level of specialisation and learning outcomes

Preparation of study programmes

ITE study programmes are prepared and registered in the same way as other programmes.

HE institutions prepare the ITE study programmes, in accordance with the Specifications on the Education and Training Studies Course Group (Švietimo ir ugdymo studijų krypčių grupės aprašas), approved by the Minister for Education, Science and Sport . The minister approves the prepared programme after evaluating the recommendations of the Educators Qualification and Studies Programmes Commission. The Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) then evaluates the approved programme. If the external evaluation is positive, the SKVC accredits the programme and registers it.

Competencies needed for a teacher

The Regulations on Teacher Training (Pedagogų rengimo reglamentas) state that competences in the areas of professional behaviour, cognitive performance, cooperative practice and emotional-motivational competence, as defined and approved by the Minister for Education, Science and Sport are needed to acquire a Teaching Qualification. These are gained through a study process and then deepened and developed throughout the working years as an educator.

The area of professional behaviour is associated with the teacher’s purposeful activity, the development and continuous reinforcement of professional behaviour in pursuit of educational goals, the fostering of an organisational culture and its perceived importance, and activities inside and outside the educational institution.

Competences in the area of professional behaviour are defined as:

- Professional ethics

- Professional development

- Professional resilience and stress management

- Healthy living

- Professional autonomy and reflection.

Cognitive performance competences are related to educational activities in order to respond to and implement the relevance of education, ensure accessibility of education, and learner autonomy.

Cognitive competences are defined as:

- Cognition of the pupils

- Planning and implementing inclusive education

- Subject-specific and interdisciplinary competences

- The development and implementation of educational content

- Critical thinking and problem solving

- Professional research and data analysis

- Creativity

- The ability to motivate pupils, recording and evaluating their individual progress and achievements

- Linguistic (multilingualism) and communication skills

- Media and digital literacy.

Cooperative practice competences are seen as the basis for the teacher’s proactive action in, and out of school. The ability to work together to achieve educational goals includes the educator’s activities within the school internal and external networks, individually or in cooperation with other educators, the pupil’s family (parents, guardians, caregivers) and other professionals.

Competences in the area of acting together are defined as:

- The ability to learn together, with, and from others

- Cooperation with a pupil’s family (parents, guardians, carers)

- Teamwork

- Constructive communication and cooperation in professional and interprofessional networks of educators.

Emotional-motivational competences allow us to notice, feel and recognise our own and others’ emotions, and to communicate and share them in a way that is sensitive to our own emotional experience and those with whom we interact. Teacher’s emotions affect their own and their students’ behaviour, motivation, thinking, as well as the relationship between teacher and student, teacher and colleagues, teacher and parents, and so on.

Emotional-motivational competences are defined as:

- Emotional intelligence

- Leadership skills

- Cultural identity awareness, an understanding of citizenship and intercultural sensitivity.

Subjects included in the study programme

The Specifications on the Education and Training Studies Course Group define which knowledge content must be covered by the study programmes in all forms of the education and training arena as follows:

  • Education science theory, historical, philosophical, sociological and intercultural aspects of the analysis of education and training
  • Knowledge of the teaching subject or chosen educational specialty
  • Personal development and personal maturity
  • Motivational and teaching theories
  • Group processes and their dynamics in the learning environment
  • The planning and management of the learning process (planning educational content, its purpose and tasks, in accordance with learners’ experience and challenges)
  • How to apply learning strategies, methods and technologies in the education environment
  • Methods for the assessment and self-assessment of achievements
  • An understanding of the diversity of learners, taking into account the context of those with special educational needs (inclusive education) and those who are talented
  • Didactics and the methodology for teaching the subjects
  • Reflective practice, professional development; cooperation inside the institution and with other professionals
  • The importance and significance of healthy living and human safety
  • The sustainable development of a person, society, organisation
  • Education management, leadership, implementation of self-government at the school level, the community, municipality and at national levels
  • Educational policy, its trends and implementation at the institutional, inter-institutional, national and international levels.

Requirements for a Teaching Qualification

The Specifications on Requirements for a Teaching Qualification (Reikalavimų mokytojų kvalifikacijai aprašas) state which programme(s) a teacher must complete.

Pre-school teachers require a degree in either a pre-school teacher training study programme and/or a childhood education study programme.

Pre-primary teachers require a degree in either a pre-school or a pre-primary teacher education study programme and/or a childhood education study programme and to have completed 40-hours of study on work in pre-primary groups or a similar course during their studies.

Primary education teachers require a degree in either a primary teacher education study programme and/or a childhood education study programme. A primary education teacher teaches pupils all the relevant subjects. Other subject teachers can teach arts or languages.

Lower secondary and upper secondary education teachers require a degree in a subject specific course study programme that they are teaching. In some cases, a teacher can have a degree in one of the study programmes (see table below).

Curriculum subject Study programmes to be completed*

Philosophy or ethics teacher training.

Philosophy or ethics. 

Lithuanian language, Lithuanian language and literature

Lithuanian language and/or literature teacher training.

Lithuanian language and/or literature or Lithuanian philology.

General Programme for the Mother Tongue and Literature of the Polish National Minority; General  Programme for the Mother Tongue and Literature of the Belarusian National Minority; General Programme for the Mother Tongue and Literature of the German National Minority; General Framework Programme for the Mother Tongue and Literature of the Russian National Minority

Teacher training in the relevant language and/or literature 

The relevant language and/or literature or Philology

Foreign language

Teacher training in the relevant language and/or literature

Language and/or literature, philology, linguistics, translation.


Mathematics teacher training.

Mathematics, statistics.


Mathematics and/or informatics teacher training.

Mathematics, informatics, informatics engineering, information technologies.

Nature and human 

Biology, chemistry, physics and/or geography teacher training .

Biology, chemistry, physics, geography, landscape, archaeology .


Biology teacher training.

Biology, biochemistry, biophysics, ecology and environmental studies, bioengineering.


Chemistry teacher training.

Chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, ecology and environmental studies, materials science.


Physics teacher training.

Physics and/or biophysics.


History teachers training.

History studies . 

Citizenship (basic)

History teacher training.

History, sociology, law, political studies, philosophy.


Geography teacher training .

Geography, geology, ecology and environmental studies.

Economics and entrepreneurship

Economics teachers training.

Economics, management and business administration, public administration.

Any teacher training plus a minimum of 40 hours study on economics and entrepreneurship and education course.


Ethics and philosophy teacher training.


Art 5–10 (gymnasium I–II) grade

Art and/or drawing teacher training.

Art, design, art criticism and/or architecture.

Music 5–10  (gymnasium I–II) grade

Music teacher training (any).

Music (any).


Choreography teacher training (any).

Choreography (any).

Technologies 5–10 (gymnasium I–II) grade

Applied crafts, crafts, home economics and technologies and or art teacher training.

Art, design, audio-visual art.

Arts 11–12 (gymnasium III–IV) grade

Fine art




Media arts

History of art

Subject equivalent to any music, art, drawing, choreography, theatre, teacher training.

Subject equivalent to any music, art, design, choreography, theatre, directing, art criticism, audio-visual art, architecture.

Engineering technologies 11–12 (gymnasium III–IV) grade

Applied technologies gymnasium III–IV grade

Applied crafts, crafts, home economics and technologies and or art teacher training.

A programme that meets technology studies, audio-visual art, architecture, management and business administration, recreation and tourism, economics, or a program in the field of technology studies.

Physical education

Physical education teacher training.

Physical education, sport.

Pupils with special educational needs (speech disorders, poor hearing, deafness, blind, or partially blind, intellectual or developmental disorders, and complex disabilities) can be taught in groups or classes by teachers with a teaching qualification in this specialist field of pedagogy.

Pupils with health issues, movement and posture disorders, behavioural and emotional disorders are educated by teachers of pre-school, pre-primary, primary education or subject teachers. They are required to complete a minimum of 40-hours study in special pedagogy according to the programme approved by the Minister for Education, Science and Sport.

Teacher educators

The Regulations on Teacher Training (Pedagogų rengimo reglamentas) set the requirements for the academic staff of Centres and other HE institutions:

  • At least 30% of teacher educators who work in the study field that provides the Teaching Qualification, must have practical experience of pedagogical or administrative work. Experience must be acquired in an educational institution or educational aid institution, which has to amount to at least two years over previous 10 years.
  • The theoretical subjects of pedagogy and subject/pedagogical specialization didactics should be taught by teacher educators whose scientific and artistic activities correspond to the subject they teach.
  • At least half of teacher educators who work in the study field which provides the Teaching Qualification have to cooperate with pre-school and general education schools, VET and educational aid institutions. Cooperation must take place in the field of research in the development of a subject or pedagogical specialization didactics, educational tools, methodological materials, etc.
  • Teacher educators must know at least one foreign language at the C1 level according to European language levels (CEFR).
  • Teacher educators teaching a subject or pedagogical specialisation must be engaged in practical pedagogical activity – as a teacher, or as a teacher consultant, or as part of a teacher development programme, or as a trainee in an educational institution in Lithuania or abroad – in an educational institution (other than higher education institutions). The total duration of these practical activities must be at least 2 months during the previous 5 years.
  • At least one fifth of the academic staff implementing the study programme must have participated in at least one or more international long-term or short-term traineeships and/or exchange programme totalling at least 3 months during the previous 5 years.

Additional requirements are set for practice supervisors and mentors who work in the study field that provides the Teaching Qualification.

A teacher educator who has a Teaching Qualification and has acquired at least a Master’s degree (or equivalent higher education qualification) can be a practice supervisor. They must also have at least 5 years’ pedagogical work experience in a corresponding educational institution.

A teacher educator can be a mentor if they are engaged in practical pedagogical activities and have at least 5 years’ teaching experience.

Qualifications, evaluation and certification

The system of higher education degree qualifications acquired in Lithuania is unified. The Minister for Education, Science and Sport  sets general requirements for study implementation (bendrieji studijų vykdymo reikalavimai), for all study programmes. These requirements state that a degree qualification is awarded when a student completes a study programme and reaches the study results set out in the study programme. The competences required for future teachers are described in the sub-section: Curriculum, Level of Specialisation and Learning Outcomes.

The Regulations on Teacher Training (Pedagogų rengimo reglamentas) specify that pedagogical first-cycle and integrated study programmes and professional studies are concluded with the Final Work. In this, a student conducts research in a relevant issue of the pedagogical field. Typically, this is a written research paper that the student defends orally. The complexity and scope of the work depends on the degree of the study programme. The higher education institution sets specific requirements for this work.

Diploma is awarded according to the Diploma Issuing Procedure (diplomų išdavimo tvarka) approved by the Minister for Education, Science and Sport . The HE institution whose pedagogical study programme is completed by a student issues the Diploma. A Diploma of Higher Education provides entry onto the awarded professional qualification degree and specialisation.

Graduates of college teacher training study programmes are awarded a Professional Bachelor’s degree in the related study field and a professional teacher qualification.

Graduates of the first-cycle university teacher training study programmes are awarded a Bachelor’s degree in the related study field and a professional teacher qualification.

Graduates of Master’s teacher training study programmes are awarded a Master’s degree in the related study field.

After defending a thesis in educational science, a graduate is awarded a Doctoral degree.

Diploma Supplement is issued together with a Professional Bachelor’s, Bachelor’s and Master Diploma and is an integrated part of it. A Diploma Supplement contains information about the curriculum of the acquired higher education. This document is in line with a model jointly developed by the Council of Europe, the European Commission and UNESCO.

Study Certificate is issued to a someone who has completed professional studies and has acquired an appropriate qualification.

Alternative training pathways

There are various ways in which someone can become a teacher. One of these is to participate in a programme implemented in cooperation with HE institutions. In this case, the individual must already have a higher education degree. An example of such a programme is Teach for All! (Renkuosi mokyti!), a version of which is implemented in many countries.

Skills acquired through teaching or non-formal education may also be credited and recognized in accordance with the procedure established in legislation.