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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teaching and learning in general upper secondary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education

6.5Teaching and learning in general upper secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Curricula, subjects and number of hours


The Curriculum and number of lessons per subject and week for the upper level of Gymnasium is regulated in the Ordinance on the Curriculum, Promotion and Matura in the upper level of the Gymnasium and set out in the corresponding curriculum for the Gymnasium. For the teachers (also at private schools) the currilculum represents the binding basis for their lessons and is for the regulating authority an important tool for monitoring the quality of teaching. It also serves as an aid to orientation for parents and students. The upper level distinguishes four different kinds of subjects and courses.

  • Foundation subjects cover the basic educational material and are therefore obligatory for all students. The foundation subjects account for around 80% of the weekly total and are taught in class groups. All the foundation subjects count towards promotion. Marks awarded in German, English, French and maths count double.
  • Profile’ subjects permit a targeted enhancement and/or consolidation of the subject demands. The subjects are normally taught in class groupings as long as the group sizes in the profiles do not call for other forms of organisation. All the profile subjects count towards promotion. The five profiles offered at the Gymnasium are: Modern languages / Art, music and education / Economics and law / Maths and sciences.
  • Optional courses are devoted to specific themes which do not demand any prior in-depth knowledge - as is specified in the case of the profiles. These courses are usually either for one semester, with four lessons per week, or for a whole year, with two lessons per week. All students in the 6th and 7th grades of the Gymnasium can take advantage of these courses.

In the last two school years students have the possibility of taking compulsory-optional courses in subjects outwith the five profiles. In addition voluntary options are also offered in all four years of the upper level. They represent a supplementary educational offering beyond the compulsory subject and lesson quota. They are open to all students at the Gymnasium.

Vocational baccalaureate school

The curriculum of the Vocational Baccalaureate school is regulated in the Ordinance on the Vocational Baccalaureate School and set out in the corresponding curriculum for the Vocational Baccalaureate School.

The curriculum covers the temporal division of the teaching material into modules and/or basic, special focus, and optional subjects for each semester. It describes the general educational goals, the strategic and operational goals, and also the learning content of every subject and of the inter-disciplinary project work. Lessons at the Vocational Baccalaureate School are structured in modules, where a module can include one or several subjects. The basic subjects include German and Communication, English, Maths, History and Civics, and also a basic understanding of Law and Economics. In addition, as part of the basic vocational training, students take one of the special-focus modules - Technology and Science, Economics, Crafts, and Health and Social Affairs.

Teaching methods and materials

Teachers are free to choose their own teaching method; alternatively, the method best suited to achieving the respective aims, content and themes. The curriculum does not prescribe any particular method, but includes recommendations.

At the upper level of the Gymnasium and in the Vocational Baccalaureate School, the schools and teachers can decide for themselves on the choice of teaching materials. The teaching materials are ordered through the Centre for School Media (part of the Didactic Media Centre which is Liechtenstein’s Pedagogical Documentation and Media Centre). In addition to preparing audio-visual and interactive educational media, teaching modules and useful educational literature, as well as audio-visual and other equipment, the Media Centre also offers relevant advice and in-service trainings to teachers.