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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teaching and learning in post-secondary non-tertiary education

Belgium - French Community

6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.11Teaching and learning in post-secondary non-tertiary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Curriculum, subjects, number of hours

The certificate of upper secondary education (CESS) is awarded at the end of a 6th year of general, technical or artistic education, or at the end of a 7th year of vocational education.

The specific training profiles, which present in a structured manner the skills that need to be acquired in order to obtain a specific qualification certificate or an attestation of skills learnt, relate in particular to the seventh years of complementary or specialisation secondary education and the fourth stages. The issue of the certificate of upper secondary education is based on the applicable reference guides. These serve as learning guides and assessment safeguards. For all schools, they represent the entire reference set which determines the study level and around which curricula are structured: the curricula, meanwhile, for which the controlling authorities are responsible, stipulate the resources to be deployed.

The curriculum for the study years in preparation for higher education consists of a large number of hours of lessons preparing for the chosen orientation, as well as some optional activities. These numbers are defined through a circular letter.


Total number of hours

Optional activities : every optional activity in the list defined by the inter-network Commission of capacity titles (Citicap)


Optional courses

7e PES Mathematics

from 28 to 32

max. 6


mathematics, sciences and laboratories, scientific or descriptive drawing, IT laboratories

7e PES Sciences

max. 8 and min. 2 per activity


mathematics, sciences et laboratories, IT laboratories

7e PES Modern Languages

max. 4


Modern languages, consolidation, excelling

If the vocational 7th year is intended exclusively for the obtaining of the CESS (7th P of type C), 55% of the weekly number of periods must be devoted to general, social and personal education. If the qualification certificate or skills attestation complementary to a qualification certificate is also aimed at (7th P of type B), the percentage is reduced to 40.

The curriculum for the qualification-stream technical 7th year and the type B complementary vocational 7th year devotes a high number of periods (between 18 and 22) to a grouped core option. These study years may be organised on a full-time basis or on a dual vocational basis.

In the fourth stage organised in full-time complementary vocational education, the curriculum for each of the three years consists of a theoretical section and a practical section (the curriculum differs depending on the orientation chosen and the network).

The business management course, organised by IFAPME and SFPME, consists of 8 hours of theoretical classes (one day or two evenings) per week, complemented by an internship, which is intended particularly for young people who lack practical professional experience or wish to build on what they have already learnt.

Teaching methods and materials

See Teaching and Learning in Lower Secondary Education.