Upper Secondary Education

  • Department/School
  • Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Head of course
  • Sonia Castro Mallamaci
  • Qualification awarded
  • Diploma in Upper Secondary Education
  • Course type
  • Part-time course (60 ECTS over one year)
  • Admission
  • In view of the limited number of available places, applicants must undergo an admission procedure. Moreover, this programme has initiated, in collaboration with IUFFP, what is known as “Validation of Experiential Learning (VAE), a procedure by means of which applicants can request the validation of skills acquired in the course of their professional experience. Applicants granted this validation are exonerated from some parts of the curriculum.
  • Language
  • Italian. Some lessons may be conducted in German, French or English.
  • Application fee
  • A CHF 100 fee must be paid when the application is made. This fee is not reimbursable, and cannot be deducted from the semester fee.
  • Course fee
  • The semester fee amounts to CHF 1,600. This sum is reduced to CHF 800 for students who benefit from the application of the ASUP Intercantonal Agreement for Vocational Universities (Swiss nationality or civil and fiscal domicile in Switzerland or in Liechtenstein). Contribution to didactic costs: CHF 80.
  • Centre
  • Locarno
  • Start date
  • 24 August 2020
  • Application deadline
  • 17 February 2020
  • Description
  • A profession dedicated to the cultural development of citizens.

    School is a place of cultural and social development, so, in addition to a strongly-based didactic and pedagogic education, teachers must also view the future in an open and interested manner, since they are in constant contact with the new generations, and with the challenges and the demands related to their development. The course leading to a Teaching qualification for school at secondary level II is structured along four main axes: education sciences, the didactics and epistemology of the subject, the diploma thesis and professional practice, the central point of the entire programme. Strong focus is therefore placed on the interaction between theory and practice, with periodic professional practice assignments to be conducted in a pre-selected institution, designed in close synergy with the theoretical, application and experiential modules of the class-based part of the programme.

    The prescribed duration is one year Part-time. The reference professional figure is that of specialist teacher in one subject taught in Secondary II.

    The course does not run in every subject every year.


The programme focuses on the interaction between professional practice, theoretical and research modules in education, and is designed to build up a sound education based on the acquisition of an increasingly strong command of a fundamental set of didactic and educational tools. In accordance with a model of lifelong learning made necessary by the rapidly changing socio-economic and cultural circumstances, these tools will, of course, undergo constant and career-long improvement and revision by means of professional development training courses.


School is a place of learning in broadest sense of the term, and therefore not simply a place of knowledge in the narrow sense. The reference contents are the body of learning representing the cultural foundations of society. The professional figure of the teacher must therefore possess a variety of wide-ranging skills, so a teacher’s expertise must cover many fields: from socio-relational skills fostering the establishment of a profitable relationship with the pupils in order to facilitate the learning process, to professional skills associated with the link between knowledge and the didactic transfer of this knowledge.

Admission requirements

Before the beginning of the program, applicants must possess a Master’s degree (90 or 120 ECTS; European Credit Transfer System), in accordance with the Directives of the Swiss University Conference (CUS), or equivalent qualification, related to the chosen teaching subject. Applicants must possess a total number of at least 150 ECTS in modules specific to the subject area within their Bachelor, Master, Doctoral and post-diploma education.

As explained in detail in the attachment to the admission directives, in order to teach the chosen subject, the subject area education of applicants, certified at university level, must cover all the topics specified by the CDPE Secondary School Framework Programme (1994) and by the High School Study Programme, approved by the State Council on 6 November 2001.

Applicants who fullfil the requirements specified above, and whose qualifications have not been awarded in Italian, are admitted subject to verification of their fluency in Italian. The level required corresponds to level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).
Applicants who plan to teach French, German, English or Spanish must possess the linguistic competence required for teaching, certified at level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). The Department of Education and Learning reserves the right to verify the start level of linguistic competence of applicants.

Besides fulfillment of admission requirements, applicants will undergo an admission procedure, which is presented in the admission directives for the Secondary school (upper middle school) teacher training.

Career prospects

Secondary school teaching (SMS)