Upper-secondary school

Last updated: 12 11 2021

Image Boken om Sverige
This material is from the book About Sweden.

When pupils are in the final year of compulsory school, they can apply for upper-secondary school. Studying at upper-secondary school in Sweden is voluntary. It is also free. Young people aged 16 to 20 can study at upper-secondary school if they have completed compulsory school. Almost all young people choose to continue studying at upper-secondary school.

Upper-secondary school also has curricula and syllabuses that have been produced by the National Agency for Education. A syllabus states what the pupils are to known when they finish. The grading system in upper-secondary school is the same as in compulsory school.

Pupils choose which upper secondary school they want to attend and which programme they want to study. The pupil has to include several different choices of school or programme in his/her application. There is no guarantee that there will be places available in his/her first choice.

There are many different programmes to apply for. There is usually a study guidance counsellor in compulsory schools who can provide help and advice.

In upper secondary school, pupils specialise further and prepare for continued studies, e.g. at university or in higher vocational education.

In order to study a national programme at upper-secondary school, the pupil must have passing grades from compulsory school in Swedish or Swedish as a second language and in maths and English.

  • In order to be admitted to a vocational programme, the pupil must also have passed at least five other subjects.
  • In order to be admitted to a programme that prepares them for higher education, the pupil must also have passed at least nine other subjects.

Pupils that have not passed these subjects can study an introductory programme. The introductory programmes are to help them progress to other studies. There are five introductory programmes. One of these programmes is language introduction, which is specifically intended for young people who have recently arrived in the country. In this programme, young people learn Swedish at the same time as they are able to study other subjects. Contact your municipality to see what opportunities are available where you live.