Secondary Education

  • Department/School
  • Department of Teaching and Learning
  • Head of course
  • Magda Ramadan
  • Qualification awarded
  • Master of Arts SUPSI in Secondary Education
  • Course type
  • Course running in parallel with professional working activity (94-124 ECTS over two/three years)
  • Admission
  • Since there is only a limited number of available places, admission to the course is regulated by a procedure.
  • Language
  • Italian
  • 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
  • 7 September 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 Master in Secondary Teaching (Middle School) 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 Master’s programme. Strong focus is therefore placed on the interaction between theory and practice, with periodic professional practice assignments to be conducted one day a week 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 course trains students in Middle School teaching. The standard duration is two years part-time for students who choose one subject, and three years for students who choose two subjects. The reference professional figure is that of specialist teacher in one or two subjects taught in Secondary I.

    The course does not run in every subject every year. Students may spread out their education over a greater number of years (maximum 8 semesters). Any decisions regarding individual study programmes are made by the Department.


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

For admission to the Master’s degree course, before the beginning of the Master Program, applicants must have :

  1. a Bachelor degree, or a three-year university degree (180 ECTS; European Credit Transfer System), in accordance with Swiss University Conference (CUS) Directives, or equivalent qualification, certifying the successful completion of academic or scientific studies;
  2. if only one subject is to be taught, a certificate testifying the attainment of at least 110 ECTS in the teaching subject chosen for the specialist degree course; or, if two subjects are to be taught, a certificate testifying the attainment of at least 75 ECTS in the first teaching subject and 60 ECTS in the second teaching subject.
  3. Applicants with SUP Bachelor degrees who meet the requirements specified in point 2 are admitted to teaching programmes for the subjects of physical education, visual/plastic arts and musical education.

The subject area education of applicants, certified at university level, must adequately cover all the topics specified by the Middle School Education Programme, edited by the DECS Middle School Teaching Office (September 2004), for the chosen subjects. Details of the topics specified for each subject are given in the admission directives.
DFA reserves the right to verify the entry level of the technical competences of applicants for visual/plastic arts and musical education.
Applicants who plan to teach French, German or English must possess the linguistic competence required for teaching, certified at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). Applicants must provide a valid certificate.
Applicants who fullfil the requirements specified in point 1, 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 intend to teach French, German or English, whose mother tongue corresponds to the chosen language, represent an exception. In this case a B2 level in Italian is required before the end of the program. The certification the required language competence before the end of the program is a necessary condition for being awarded the Master Degree
DFA 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 Master in Middle school teacher training.

Career prospects

Middle school teaching.