Vocational school

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A vocational baccalaureate school ( BMS ) in Switzerland and Liechtenstein is attended by students either after secondary school within three to four years parallel to basic vocational training during the apprenticeship or after a regular apprenticeship in one year full-time instruction or in two years part-time instruction. With the completion of the BMS the student is awarded the vocational baccalaureate (obsolete vocational baccalaureate [ a ]), which as a technical college entrance qualification entitles the student to admission to a relevant subject at a technical college .

Studying at a university or ETH is not possible with a certificate of professional maturity. For this, the full Matura is required, which can be acquired over a passerelle year with supplementary examinations or the Matura school for adults .


The idea of ​​the vocational baccalaureate emerged at the end of the 1960s from competition between grammar schools on the one hand and vocational schools on the other: “good” students ran away from vocational training in the direction of grammar school. The vocational school-leaving certificate was introduced in 1970 as a voluntary course at the vocational school. The Vocational Matura was fully anchored in law in Switzerland in 1980 with the third Vocational Training Act . Today one uses the term professional maturity .

Requirements and further training

For admission to the accompanying school education for the vocational baccalaureate, in addition to the consent of the training company (e.g. in the apprenticeship contract ), an entrance examination must also be passed. School education is usually carried out one day a week, the remaining working days belong to vocational training. Even after successfully completing vocational training (apprenticeship), full-time schooling for the vocational matura can be made up for. With the vocational baccalaureate you have the option of enrolling at a university of applied sciences without examinations (however, this varies greatly from university to university of applied sciences. The ZHAW conducts additional aptitude tests).

Subjects of the vocational school

Depending on the subject of the BMS classes, the students are taught the following main subjects:

With the Federal Vocational Baccalaureate Ordinance (BMV) of 2009 and the framework curriculum for the vocational baccalaureate from 2012 based on it, the BMS orientations were redefined as follows:

  • Technology, architecture, life sciences (focus on mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology)
  • Nature, landscape and food (focus on biology, chemistry, physics)
  • Economy and services (focus on finance and accounting as well as economics and law)
  • Design and art (focus on design / culture / art and information / communication)
  • Health and social affairs (focus on social sciences: sociology / psychology / philosophy)

Education plan

Common to all BMS classes are the 6 basic subjects: first national language , second national language, a third language (national language or foreign language), mathematics , economics / business administration / law , history / civic studies , as well as a supplementary subject (such as computer science , Spanish , Art history , geography , etc.)

In parallel vocational training (apprenticeship), the BMS students receive practical training in their apprenticeship companies over three days of the week, attend vocational school on one day and secondary vocational school on another day. Subjects of the vocational school are taught in the BMS, as far as the curriculum and lesson plan provides for this for both types of school.


With the new passerelle it is possible to complete an additional school year after acquiring the vocational baccalaureate certificate (BM certificate, including two foreign languages) and conclude with an examination for a full maturity certificate (higher education entrance qualification) and thus acquire the right to study at a university in Switzerland .

Foreign universities and technical colleges are not obliged to accept passerelle graduates.

It is also possible to attend the Matura for adults and to take the official Swiss Matura exam. This normally takes 3½ years, and under certain circumstances it is possible to join later if you have completed your vocational school leaving certificate.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Lucien Criblez: Educational expansion through system differentiation - using the example of upper secondary level in the 1960s and 1970s . In: Revue suisse des sciences de l'éducation . Subject . No. 1/2001 , 2001, A school for middle managers: vocational high school or diploma high school? , S. 95–118 , 107 ( elearninglab.org [PDF; 258 kB ; accessed on May 18, 2011]).
  2. a b c d Vocational baccalaureate: The royal road to the technical college. In: berufsberatung.ch. Swiss Service Center for Vocational Education and Training, Vocational, Study and Career Advice SDBB, accessed in 2011 .
  3. ZHAW http://www.zhaw.ch/de.html (accessed on December 10, 2012)
  4. Federal Chancellery - P: SR 412.103.1 Ordinance of June 24, 2009 on the Federal Vocational Matura (Vocational Maturity Ordinance, BMV). Retrieved November 29, 2017 .
  5. State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI: Professional Matura. Retrieved November 29, 2017 .