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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of vocational upper secondary education


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

6.4Organisation of vocational upper secondary education

Last update: 24 June 2024

Types of institutions

In Denmark, vocational education and training programmes (VET) are offered at approximately 117 vocational colleges with technical and business departments and 11 agricultural colleges.

Geographical accessibility

Schools offering vocational education and training are distributed all over the country.

Admission requirements and choice of school

Students can only be admitted to a VET if they obtain a grade average of at least 02 in Danish and mathematics in the examination after Year 9 or 10. The admission requirement applies to both youth and adults. Students that have passed Year 9 or 10 also need to be evaluated on their educational readiness. The evaluation is based on an overall judgment of the student’s personal, practical and social skills. 

Students who have entered a training agreement with a business enterprise (i.e. have an internship) have direct access to VET.

Students who already have a post-compulsory education may enrol directly onto the second part of the basic programme, if they have a grade average of at least 02 in Danish and mathematics at Year 9 level or higher in connection with their post-compulsory education.

The young people who do not fulfil the admission requirements after Year 9 of the primary and lower secondary education can choose to take Erhvervsuddannelse/10.klasse (eud10). Eud10 is a supplement to Year 10 levels that focus on providing the students with the necessary qualifications to begin a VET. 

Young people who do not meet the admission requirements following Year 9 or 10 in the primary and lower secondary education must – if they receive the necessary referral – have an opportunity to be admitted to the new combined post-compulsory education (see also chapter 6.5).

Age levels and grouping of pupils/students

The age distribution and the grouping of students depends on the individual VET programme. The average age of students starting on a VET programme is 24 years. The students can choose to retake subjects or change their specialty while undergoing their education.

Organisation of the school year

The individual school decides when the school is opened during the year and the number of school days. Usually, educational activities take place between the second week of August and the end of June. Other administrative activities differ from school to school.

The Ministry of Children and Education has the overall economic and legal responsibility for vocational education and training, which is regulated by the Consolidation Act on Vocational Education for more information (In Danish): Bekendtgørelse af lov om erhvervsuddannelser. The responsibility for the individual programmes' content, duration and structure as well as for the examinations is divided between the Ministry of Children and Education, the Council for the Fundamental Vocational Educations, the trade committees for the individual programmes and the vocational schools which are approved to offer the programmes.

For information on the organisation of school time, please see the Eurydice publication The Organisation of School Time in Europe: Primary and General Secondary Education 2022/23.

Organisation of the school day and week

A five-day week from Monday to Friday is applied when the student is in their teaching period. The weekly workload should be distributed as evenly as possible over the whole week. How the daily workload is distributed during the day is decided at school level. Lunch break normally begins at 12:00 and lasts 30 minutes.

The student's school day and week is different when they are doing practical training. In this case, the company where the practical training takes place determines the working hours (a full-time working week is 37 hours in Denmark).