If you're interested in combining theory with practical experience, higher vocational education - Yrkeshögskolan - may be just the right option for you. Find out more about this form of post-secondary education.

Yrkeshögskolan is a form of higher education that combines hands-on experiences with theoretical knowledge. Students at a school of higher vocational education can learn the skills needed to enter the workforce right after graduation. Higher vocational schools have close contact with companies and assist in helping students further themselves professionally.

How does it work?

Most programmes last from one to two years. Approximately 25% of the time is spent at workplace training. This is an excellent chance for a future employer to get to know a possible new employee. A one-year programme comprised of 200 HVE credits awards the Diploma in Higher Vocational Education, while the two-year 400 HVE credits programme awards the Advanced Diploma in Higher Vocational Education. 

The Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (HVE)

The Swedish National Agency for HVE has regulatory oversight of the programmes. There is a specific law and an ordinance regulating the operations of the Swedish National Agency for HVE and of providers of HVE. There are also ordinances which regulate both provider obligations and programme design. The Swedish National Agency for HVE inspects and audits the quality of the programmes and handles student feedback and complaints.

Entry requirements

Eligibility for a higher vocational education programme is different than eligibility for university studies. Some programmes can require specific courses completed in upper secondary school, or even work experience. To meet the general entry requirements, you must have one of the following:

  • a school leaving certificate from a full national upper-secondary school programme, or a school leaving certificate from adult education at upper-secondary level
  • Swedish or foreign qualifications equivalent to a school leaving certificate from a full national or adult education upper-secondary school programme
  • are a resident of Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway and fulfil in that country the entry requirements for study pro­grammes equivalent to the Swedish HVE programmes
  • hold Swedish or foreign qualifications
  • have through practical experience or other circumstances obtained the prerequisites needed in order to fulfil the programme requirements

Some programmes may require some type of work experience. You can find out more about what's required when you search for programmes at Yrkeshögskolan's website.

Applying for studies

Applications are sent directly to the school offering the programme you're interested in. The school can provide you with information and application forms.

HVE programmes have a close connection to industry and as such may start at any time during the year. Most pro­grammes, however, start in August or September. The application deadline is usually in April or May.

HVE credits

One week of full-time studies at a higher vocational education institution gives 5 HVE credits, one semester 100 HVE credits, one year 200 HVE credits and a two-year full-time programme 400 HVE credits.

Transferring HVE credits to university studies

It's up to each university and university college to decide if they will accept your credits from a higher vocational education programme - and how many of them. HVE credits are not the same as higher education credits.

Page last updated 2021-03-02