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Teaching of psychology in Sweden

Psychology in Sweden is first taught in upper secondary school for students aged 16-20 years. The courses are based on a national curriculum and have existed since 1965. The latest and current revision was 2011 (Gymnasieskola 2011). Psychology 1 is mandatory for students studying the social science program and the economy program and optional on other programs. Psychology is not specifically required for admission to Swedish universities.


Courses offered in the national curriculum are:

·         Psychology 1 - general psychology history, cognition, biological psychology, social psychology, reality perceptions and self-image, stress and crisis


·         Psychology 2a – applied psychology in relation to societal change, personality psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, media, life style and cultural influences


·         Psychology 2b – advanced knowledge on psychological perspectives of choice, applied psychology in relation to program specific interest, application of psychological theories and models, experiments and observations.


On average students have two hours of psychology a week for one semester per course, which is equivalent to half of the school year. Many teaching methods are used, depending on the teacher and the conditions at the school.


A number of schools in Sweden also have the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) that includes psychology.


Teacher Education

To teach psychology in upper secondary school one needs to be a certified teacher in psychology (M. Ed.), but there are exceptions when other teachers also teach psychology although it is not in their subject qualification.

Association for the Teaching of Psychology, Sweden

At present there is no national association for psychology teachers, although there was one between 1943 and 2011 (Filosofi- och psykologilärarnas förening). 

Ebba Christina Blåvarg
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