The Faroese education system

Det færøske uddannelsessystem
The Faroe Islands have primary schools, secondary schools, vocational schools and a number of courses of higher education. Here you can obtain an overview of the educational system and educational courses in the Faroe Islands.

The administration of all schools and educational institutions in the Faroe Islands is the responsibility of the Faroese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture (Mentamálaráðið). The language of instruction is Faroese.

Primary school

Children start school in the calendar year that they reach the age of seven. There are nine years of compulsory schooling. From 3rd grade the children learn Danish, and from 5th grade English.   When the children enter the 8th grade, the school schedule consists of both elective and compulsory subjects. German is an elective subject from the 8th grade.  The 9th grade concludes with a leaving examination, which can be used to apply for upper secondary education. Many pupils choose to remain in primary school and take 10th grade, which concludes with an extended leaving examination.

Secondary school

There are five different types of upper secondary education, all of which correspond to the same level in Denmark.

Upper Secondary School takes three years and concludes in the upper secondary school leaving examination, which can provide access to institutions of higher education. There are five upper secondary schools in the Faroe Islands: Glasir in Torshavn, Tekniski skole in Klaksvik, Miðnám in Kambsdal, Miðnám in Vestmanna and Miðnámsskúlin on Suderø. 

The Higher Preparatory Examination (HF) takes two years and is aimed particularly at adults who wish to take an education.   Like the upper secondary school leaving examination, an HF examination provides access to institutions of higher education.  There are two places in the Faroe Islands where it is possible to take an HF examination: at the Commercial College Glasir in Torshavn and at the Technical School in Klaksvik.

The Commercial College at Glasir consists of a basic year, after which the student can either continue at the school for two more years, or enter commercial training in a shop or office. If the student continues at the school, an examination from here can provide access to institutions of higher education.

Technical School consists of a basic year, after which the student can either continue at the school for another two years or enter a craft apprenticeship. The theoretical parts of the apprenticeship are taught at the school. An examination after three years at technical school can give access to institutions of higher education. You can attend the Technical School at Glasir in Torshavn, or the Technical School in Klaksvik.

Vocational schools

In addition to the five upper secondary education programmes that can be taken after primary school, there are also more vocationally-oriented programmes that can be commenced without upper secondary education, but after some experience in the labour market.

The programme at the College of Social and Health Care (Heilsuskúlin) may be concluded after the first basic year, or supplemented with a further 20 months of teaching. The programmes are both theoretical and practical. The practical part takes place at various social and health institutions.

The Maritime School (Sjónám) does not require a completed leaving examination from primary school for admission. The school provides students with five months of training, which prepares them for work on board a fishing or merchant vessel. The Maritime School is based in Klaksvík.

Programmes of further education

Centre of Maritime Studies and Engineering (Vinnuháskúlin)

The Marine Engineers’ School and the Sailors’ School in Torshavn share a single management, and the combined school is called Vinnuháskúlin. The programmes are of three years’ duration. Contact Vinnuháskúlin for information on admission requirements and possibilities.


University of the Faroe Islands (Fróðskaparsetur Føroya)

The University of the Faroe Islands is an educational and research institution, and is one of the smallest universities in the western world. It offers study programmes of particular relevance to the Faroese community, and which cannot be found elsewhere. There are three faculties at the university.   

The Faroese language faculty offers a Bachelor's degree in Faroese language and literature, and a Master's degree in Nordic languages and literature, with the focus on Faroese.

The Faculty of Science offers Bachelor degrees in physics/geophysics, geophysics, biology, electrotechnology and computer science.

The Faculty of History and Sociology offers both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in history and the history of civilisation. It is also possible to take a Bachelor's degree in political science. 

The range of programmes available at the University varies slightly from year to year. Contact the university for more information.

In addition, the Nursing School, the Teacher Training College and the College of Social Education have been administered by the University of the Faroe Islands since they achieved Bachelor status.

The Nursing School offers a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing and provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge about patient care, both in hospitals and in other parts of the health care system. The programme has a duration of four years.  

The Teacher Training College trains teachers to be able to teach in primary schools in the Faroe Islands and in Denmark. The teacher training programme has a duration of four years. There is a Bachelor project at the end of the third year, while the fourth year is devoted to specialisation.  

The College of Social Education trains educators for work in kindergartens and various social institutions. The programme has a duration of three years. There is a Bachelor project at the end of the third year, while the fourth year is devoted to specialisation. 

Other schools

The Folk High School offers courses that span five months and embrace many different topics, mainly within the cultural area. The Folk High School also provides shorter courses of one or two weeks’ duration on special themes. There are no examinations. The Folk High School is located in Torshavn.

The Home Economics School has courses of five months’ duration. Students acquire basic skills in home economics. The Home Economics School is located in Klaksvík.

The Music School gives anyone with an interest in music the chance to learn to play an instrument or sing in a choir. The Music School provides teaching for students around the Faroe Islands from beginner level, and in Torshavn also to upper secondary level and to a level that corresponds to the Danish MGK programme (preparatory class for music academies).

Evening Schools are open during the winter months.  Here, students can take subjects within their areas of interest.   Some courses also have examinations. Evening Schools are located in various places in the Faroe Islands. Contact your local municipality for more information.

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