Higher Commercial Examination Programme

Higher Commercial Examination Programme

The Higher Commercial Examination Programme (in Danish: "Højere Handelseksamen", abbreviated "HHX") is a business-oriented education in Denmark. The 3-year HHX programme requires a completed 9-year folkeskole (primary education) and offers general subjects in addition to business administration, economics, and foreign language. The HHX-programmes are offered at the business colleges, of which there are approximately 50 distributed all over the country.

The HHX-Programme

Admission Requirements

The 3-year HHX-programme builds on to the 9th year of the Folkeskole or similar.

All pupils, who have received the relevant teaching and passed the prescribed examinations, can continue in an upper secondary programme more or less of their own choice.

Access is however not totally free to the general upper secondary programmes. If a school finds that the pupil and his or her parents do not take the guidance provided serious, and that there is a risk that the pupil cannot meet the requirements of the general upper secondary programmes, the pupil may be recommended to sit for an admission test to one of the general upper secondary programmes.

Students with another general upper secondary qualification may be admitted to a special 1-year programme leading to the HHX-examination.

Levels and Age Groups

The HHX-programme described here is a 3-year programme, of which the introductory part comprises the aims of the combined first and second school periods which the college offers as part of the vocational education and training programme in the field of commerce, clerical trades and public administration.

The 3-year programme caters for the 16-19-year-olds and is divided into years with a certain number of obligatory and optional subjects of both a general and a vocational nature. The students may have the same teacher in the different subjects throughout the programme.

Branches of Study, Specialisation

The 3-year programme comprises a certain number of obligatory upper secondary subjects such as Danish, English, 2nd foreign language and business economics, as well as a number of specialised subjects such as sales, information technology, international economics, contemporary studies, commercial law, vocational education subjects, including a project as well as a wide range of optional subjects such as mathematics, continuation language, beginner language, cultural understanding, design, media knowledge, psychology, mathematics, environmental studies, EU- and international economic co-operation, business economics, sales, etc.

General Objectives

It is the aim of the course to provide general and commercial vocational upper secondary education which qualify the students for admission to higher education upon completion of the course and which contributes to the young persons' personal development and to their understanding of society and its development with special emphasis on the conditions of trade and industry.

The programmes furthermore provides a partial basis for occupational employment and qualifies for a reduction of the period of schooling in a vocational education and training programme in the same field according to the provisions applying to this effect.

Curriculum, Subjects, Number of Hours

The students contribute to the more detailed planning of the content of the teaching and the choice of working methods in the individual subjects.

In the 3-year HHX-programme, the obligatory subjects altogether comprise 2,190 lessons, and the optional subjects comprise 900-1225 lessons. The subjects can be taken at three levels: A, B and C, with A as the highest level. The language subjects can be taken at beginner or continuation level (requiring 2-3 years' instruction at the previous level). The students must choose a two-year optional subject in mathematics, level B or a foreign language, level C or B. In the 3rd year, the student must choose 3-4 optional subjects, of which 2 must be at level A, beginner language however level B.


The teaching is based on vocational theory and method and on practical vocational conditions. The aim of the programme of being a preparation for higher education studies must be reflected in the organisation of the teaching, and teaching methods must be used which develop the independence of the students and their ability to argue, generalise and make abstractions.

The teaching is organised so that the subjects support each other with a view to creating an appropriate and equal distribution of the workload of the students.

Pupil Evaluation

Students are given marks for the year's work on the basis of their performance in class and homework.

During the last 4 weeks of the 1st year of the 3-year programme, the students sit for end-of-the-year examinations. One end-of-the-year examination is held as an interdisciplinary project, and 1-2 of them are held in subjects according to decision taken by the school. The examinations proper are held at the end of the programme. The school sends the students up for examination at the end of the programme. A student can normally only be registered for the final examination, if he or she has participated in the instruction, has handed in the written work and has had it approved by the teachers concerned.

Oral and/or written examinations are held in almost all of the subjects. The students' performance at the individual examination is assessed by the teacher/examiner(s) and external examiner(s) appointed by the Ministry of Education.


When the students have completed all the examinations at the end of the 3rd year, the college issues a certificate indicating all the marks obtained by the students at the examination and in the year's work.

The Ministry of Education decides on the design of the certificate.

External links

* [http://www.ug.dk/Uddannelse.aspx?article_id=udb-hhxny information about HHX at the Danish Ministry of Education (Danish)]

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