The considerate investment in education by the Swedish government ranks education in Sweden among the highest in the world. Know all about the Swedish education system, herein.

Education System in Sweden

Sweden accounts for one of the most inclusive countries in the world for its education system. Not just is the primary school education given high significance, but the higher education also enjoys due importance and considerable emphasis. The student-centric educational system followed in Sweden is critically acclaimed for its open and informal relations between students and teachers. Furthermore, it is quite interesting to know that the Swedish educational system offers a spectrum of individual choices depending upon the students’ needs and interests. The high standards of Swedish education in the world, government’s high investment in education, internationally recognized education system, and tuition-free education from the age of six to university deems Sweden as one of the best destinations to pursue studies and chase one’s goals and dreams. In the section below, we present you the educational structure practiced in Sweden.
Preschool Education
Children from one to five years of age attend nursery school and preschool. Nurseries and preschools in Sweden emphasize on the child’s development and learning, apart from enabling parents to combine parenthood with work or studies. This level of education is provided by three types of preschool - preschool, family daycare homes, and open preschool. Although children in Sweden begin preschool at different ages and attend different amounts of time per week, they are required to be present at the preschool for at least three hours a day, or 15 hours per week.
Preschool Class
On completion of six years in the fall term of the year, children are then enrolled in a preschool class until they turn seven and start compulsory schooling. The preschool class provides a platform for the child’s future schooling by stimulating his development and learning. By combining the methods of both preschool and primary school, preschool class turns out to be a fun learning environment. Due to the close links of preschool class with primary schools, kids get the chance to socialize with new classmates and future teachers.
Primary and Lower Secondary Education
As the child completes preschool class, compulsory education begins at the age of 7 and continues till 16 years of age. This means, 9 years of comprehensive schooling (grundskola) is obligatory as per the Swedish education system. Compulsory education is divided into three stages, namely, junior level, intermediate level, and senior level. Each stage comprises of 3 school years. Same subjects are taught to all students at junior and intermediate levels, while they are offered a limited range of optional subjects at the senior level, for about 3-4 periods per week. They also take up a second foreign language, such as German, French, or native language.
Upper Secondary Education
After students have completed lower secondary school with passing marks in Swedish, mathematics, and English, they are entitled to seek admission in upper secondary school, also called senor high school or (gymnasieskola). Though senior high school is non-compulsory and free of charge, most students who finish compulsory school continue their studies and attend senior high school as well. Upper secondary education is undertaken by students from 16 to 19 years of age, lasts for three years, and includes two general categories: preparatory and vocational education. 17 different national programs are available for students to choose from, each comprising of eight core subjects, program-specific subjects, and a special project. Right from business to media to arts to natural science to technical, a multitude of programs is offered. Depending upon where a particular program is available, students can choose from municipal, independent, or boarding schools, though admission is usually granted based on the student’s final grades from primary school.
Higher Education
Higher education in Sweden is imparted by universities and institutions of higher education. All universities and practically most institutions of higher education are run and funded by the state. Divided into three levels - basic level, advanced level, and doctoral level, higher education can last from one year to at least 4 years of study. The basic level (grundnivå) constitutes University Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree, while the advanced level (avancerad nivå) consists of one-year Master’s Degree and two-year Master’s Degree. Doctoral level (forskarnivå), on the other hand, offers two types of degree: Degree of Licentiate and Degree of Doctor (PhD). Programs at higher level education are divided into credits, wherein each credit is equivalent to one week of full-time study. As such, one year represents 40 credits.
Basic Level
Usually termed as undergraduate education, admission to basic level requires a student to complete upper secondary education level, or its equivalent. Two different degrees can be earned at this stage, depending upon the duration of study. University diploma, (högskoleexamen), is a two-year program which is awarded on achieving 120 higher education credits. However, students can take up an extra year of study to qualify for an honors Bachelor’s degree, or (kandidatexamen), which lasts for three years and requires 180 higher education credits.
Advance Level
To advance to the advance level or postgraduate level, a student must have obtained a three-year Swedish degree at the basic level or corresponding degree from another country. The degree awarded on successful completion of advance level is a Master’s degree, which is of two types. The program lasting for one year and achievement of 60 higher education credits presents a Master’s degree called "magisterexamen", while the program running for two years and obtaining 120 higher education credits awards the students with a Master’s degree called "masterexamen".
Doctoral Level
After receiving the advance level in Sweden or completing at least 4 years of study with one year at the advanced level, students can opt to study further at the doctoral level. Two years of comprehensive study and accumulation of 120 higher education credits entitle the students to be awarded with the Degree of Licentiate, or (licentiatexamen). To obtain the doctoral degree or PhD degree, one has to dedicate at least 4 years of study and research, and build up 240 higher education credits.
Grading System
Grades are assigned at the “grundskola” level of compulsory education and “gymnasieskola” level of upper secondary education. The grades commonly awarded are as under:
MVG: Mycket väl godkänd (passed with distinction)
VG: Väl godkänd (passed with merit grade)
G: Godkänd (passed)
At grundskola Level:
MVG: Mycket väl godkänd (passed with distinction)
VG: Väl godkänd (passed with merit grade)
G: Godkänd (passed)
EUM: Ej Uppnått Målen för G (didn’t achieve the goals for the grade G)
At gymnasieskola Level:
MVG: Mycket väl godkänd (passed with distinction)
VG: Väl godkänd (passed with merit grade)
G: Godkänd (passed)
IG: Icke godkänd (not passed)
At University Level:
VG: Väl godkänd (Passed with distinction)
G: Godkänd (Passed)
U: Underkänd (Fail)

More in Study in Sweden

  • Top Universities of Sweden

    If Sweden is your prospective study aboard destination, gathering some info about the top universities therein would be highly valuable. Discover the top institutions for higher education in Sweden.

  • Internship in Sweden

    Increase your chances of grabbing a better position in a reputable company with an internship from Sweden. Find all information about internship programs in Sweden.

  • PhD in Sweden

    Sweden is among the best destinations to undertake a doctoral program. Explore this piece to find all important information on PhD courses in Sweden.

  • MBA in Sweden

    An MBA degree from Sweden can boost your opportunities for receiving better job offers in a leading corporate house. Surf this write-up to find different MBA programs offered in Sweden.

  • Masters Degree in Sweden

    Sweden is popular for its distinguished level of postgraduate courses offered. Browse through this write-up to know the different programs at the master degree level at Swedish universities.

  • Bachelor Degree in Sweden

    Sweden offers a considerable number of courses and study programs at the undergraduate level. With this article, know about all the courses offered for bachelor’s degree in Sweden.

  • University Admission in Sweden

    Swedish universities follow a different pattern for granting admission to foreign students. Go through this write-up to know the university admission process in Sweden.

  • Study Cost in Sweden

    Sweden is the ideal place to fly to if incredible beauty and outstanding academic standards is what you are seeking. Know the overall study cost of pursuing higher education in Sweden.

  • Student Visa for Sweden

    You will require a Swedish visa or residence permit if you are traveling to Sweden for higher studies. Go through this article to get all info on student visa for Sweden.