Upper secondary education in Denmark

Ungdomsuddannelser i Danmark
Here you can read about the most common educational programmes that young people in Denmark can choose to take after elementary school

After elementary school, most young people in Denmark take either upper secondary (high school) education or vocational education.

Secondary school

In Denmark, there are four different types of secondary education. Common to them all is that they are preparatory for further study – i.e. a secondary school diploma allows the student to apply for admission to a programme of higher education.  You can read more at Study in Denmark.

Secondary school leaving examination (STX)

STX is a programme of general education with subjects within the disciplines of the humanities, science and social science.    The admission requirement is a passed 9th grade examination, and the programme lasts three years, consisting of a six-month basic course and a 2½-year study programme.  

Higher Commercial Examination Programme (HHX)

The HHX programme emphasises mercantile, internationally-oriented and business-oriented educational perspectives. The requirement for admission is a passed 9th grade examination. The programme lasts three years, and consists of a six-month basic course and a 2½-year study programme.  

Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX)

The HTX programme emphasises technological, scientific and business-oriented educational perspectives.  The requirement for admission is a passed 9th grade examination. The programme lasts three years, and consists of a six-month basic course and a 2½-year study programme.  

The two-year Higher Preparatory Examination Programme (HF).

HF is a general secondary school-level programme that is vocationally and practically oriented.   The programme is aimed at providing admission to the vocational colleges and the professional bachelor study programmes. A HF examination with an extended subject package also provides access to the university Bachelor programmes. The requirement for admission is a passed 9th grade examination. The programme lasts two years, and includes both a number of compulsory subjects and some special subject packages on specific themes such as health, environment, pedagogy or economics.   

International secondary schools

There are a number of international secondary schools in Denmark. An international private secondary school is a programme of secondary school education aimed at students who wish to take an international examination.   The international examination in question, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), must also provide access to programmes of higher education in Denmark. A number of state secondary schools also offer IB.

If you are from another Nordic country and wish to take an upper secondary school programme in Denmark

The Nordic countries have entered into a mutual agreement that provides young people in the Nordic countries with access to secondary (high school) education in all of the Nordic countries. This means that you can usually obtain admission to a Danish secondary school if you have completed primary school in another Nordic country.  

Vocational programmes (EUD and EUX)

A vocational programme is a practical educational programme in which most of the teaching takes place vis an internship venue, such as a large industrial company, a workshop, a kitchen or a shop.

The programme alternates between school classes and periods of practical work experience, and usually consists of a basic course and a main course. You can choose from 105 programmes with more than 300 stages or specialisations. You can take a vocational programme directly after elementary school, or later. depending on your age and background. Once you have completed a vocational programme, you will be qualified for employment as a skilled worker.

You can take an EUX programme together with the vocational programme. This gives you the same opportunities for admission to higher education as a secondary school examination.

Further information

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