The Swedish education system

The Swedish Council for Higher Education evaluate foreign qualifications and how they are comparable to the Swedish education system.

All higher education is divided into first, second and third cycle courses and programmes. If you would like to see how the various parts of the higher education system fit together, please click on the below image.

Upper-secondary education in Sweden

In Sweden, a programme in upper-secondary education may lead to an upper-secondary diploma, which could be either vocational or allow entry to higher education. Programmes are three years long.

Post-secondary vocational education diploma

Swedish post-secondary vocational education

  • is at post-secondary level
  • is designed in close cooperation with the labour market
  • has content and focus that vary with the needs of the labour market
  • theory is alternated with practice – work-integrated learning at a workplace is included on the programmes
  • is organised by municipalities, county councils, higher education institutions or private businesses

Post-secondary vocational education diploma

A post-secondary vocational education diploma covers at least 1 year of full-time study.

Advanced post-secondary vocational education diploma

An advanced post-secondary vocational education diploma covers at least 2 years of full-time study, with at least 25% of the time being spent in work-integrated learning.

Find more information on post-secondary vocational education.

Swedish higher educational qualifications

  • General qualifications are Bachelor’s degrees on the first cycle, Master’s degrees on the second cycle and Licentiate and doctoral degrees on the third cycle.
  • Fine arts degrees are offered at all levels.
  • Professional qualifications are offered on the first and second cycles.

General qualifications

We often evaluate qualifications which focus on languages, humanities, natural sciences, social science and economics as equivalent to a general qualification. Additionally, professional qualifications which are significantly different to the equivalent Swedish professional qualification are also evaluated as equivalent to a Swedish general qualification.

Framework for qualifications

Since 2015 Sweden has a framework for qualifications comprising all levels of education, based on the European Qualifications Framework for Life Long Learning (EQF-LLL). For more information, see (so far only in Swedish).

Swedish degrees are described in the following ordinances: SFS 1993:100 and 1993:221.

Higher Education Ordinance, annex 2 (1993:100)

National Qualifications Framework (pdf)

Description of the Swedish Higher Education System (pdf)

Last updated: 27 June 2019