Studying in general upper secondary school

General upper secondary education develops one's education and offers skills and knowledge needed in further education and in working life. The student plans his/her curriculum oneself and sets study goals. General upper secondary studies train the student to plan studies on a longer run, to take responsibility for one's studies and to practice regular self-assessment.

General upper secondary education offers general eligibility for further studies in universities and polytechnic universities. The studies create a solid foundation for planning further studies and investigating one's interests for the future.

Diverse course options

The general upper secondary education syllabus is planned for three years and must be completed in maximum four years. The subjects are completed as courses, the syllabus comprises minimum 75 courses. There are 47 or 51 obligatory courses depending on whether the student has chosen the short or broader syllabus in mathematics. In addition, the studies include at least 10 national specialised courses. The number of other applied and specialised courses depends on the student's choices.

One course comprises 38 lessons, and is completed during one study period. In general upper secondary school, the school-year is divided in five periods, each lasting ca. 7,5 weeks and ending with an exam week. If the student completes general upper secondary education in three years, he/she should complete 28–32 courses during one school-year.

Language programme

Espoo general upper secondary schools offer a diverse language programe. The A-languages include English, German, French, Swedish, Spanish and Russian. The B-languages include Swedish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese. Languages are taught according to either B1-, B2- or B3-syllabi. The shared course offerings enable students in all schools to study the languages. The language programme becomes more accurate in the school's own syllabi and the school-year plan.


By completing a general upper secondary diploma, the student can demonstrate his/her special competence in art and physical education studies and in media-studies. The diplomas complement the general upper secondary education certificate and the matriculation examination certificate. In Espoo, the student can choose to complete a diploma from any general upper secondary school in Espoo.

More information: (In Finnish).