Education in Poland

Many people come to Poland to get a scholarship. Also, if you live here, your children will have to attend a Polish school. In the following article, we will show you, what education in Poland looks like. We will also see whether a Polish language course in Wroclaw is truly needed for studying in Poland. 

Education in Poland – Primary school

Primary school is called “szkoła podstawowa” in the Polish language. It is compulsory once a kid turns 7. However, it is possible to admit a 6-year-old to a primary school. Parents don’t get to choose the public primary school. Local administration assigns a kid to the closest school. 

Polish primary school lasts 8 years. The first 3 years are called early education (“edukacja wczesnoszkolna” in Polish). During that stage, children learn the most basic things like:

  • Maths (addition, deduction, multiplication, dividing),
  • Reading and comprehension,
  • Basic science.

During these 3 years, most classes are conducted by one teacher, who’s also a class’ supervising teacher. The exceptions are:

  • Physical education,
  • Religious education,
  • Ethics.
Kids learning in the primary school. Context: education in Poland

Since the 4th grade class gets a new supervising teacher. From now on the children have new subjects, including:

  • Polish language,
  • Two foreign languages (in most cases – English and German),
  • History,
  • Biology,
  • Chemistry,
  • Geography,
  • Physics.

At the end of the 8th grade, children must pass an exam. It is called “8th grader exam”. Nowadays assessed subjects are:

  • Polish language (1st day, 120 minutes),
  • Maths (2nd day, 100 minutes),
  • Foreign language (3rd day, 90 minutes).

Since 2025 changes will occur. 4th subject will be added, and the children will have to choose it from History, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography.

A microscope. Context: education in Poland

Education in Poland – What’s next?

Having graduated from primary school children have 3 different options for their further education. At this stage, children can be rejected from a school if their exam and 8th-class grades are too low.

Trade school

Called “szkoła branżowa” in Polish, its purpose is to teach students a trade. It is its main focus. The general subjects use primary school curriculum as they are not necessary for becoming, let’s say, an electrician.

1st degree trade school lasts 3 years and ends with a professional exam. Graduating from it doesn’t allow a student to apply for a high school. If they want to do it, they have to attend 2nd degree school where they’ll pass the maturity exam (“matura” in Polish).

A welder in a mask welding. Context: education in Poland

High school

Polish people call it “liceum”. It lasts 4 years. 2 to 4 subjects must be taken at an extended level, while others remain at the basic one. It ends with a maturity exam. Compulsory subjects are:

  • Basic level Polish language,
  • Basic level Maths,
  • Basic level foreign language. 

To pass the exam student must get at least a 30% mark. This applies only to basic-level exams. The extended level exam (at least 1 is compulsory) is passed even at a 0% mark. 

Most high schools provide general education. However, there are more and more military high schools. Apart from casual education, students receive basic military training and are later accepted into the armed forces on better terms.

Technical school

Referred to as “technikum” in Polish. It is a unique combination of high school and a trade school. Its students implement the high school’s curriculum for general subjects. They also implement professional subjects. Technikum lasts 5 years and ends with a professional exam. It is very rigorously assessed. One must get 50% from the written part and 75% from the practical one to pass it. Technical school students can take a maturity exam as well.

A technical plans. Context: education in Poland

Education in Poland – universities

Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees

Those who pass maturity exams can apply for a university. Higher education is free for Polish citizens. Foreigners are charged a tuition. However, it is very low compared to other countries. 

1st degree studies are called “studia licencjackie” (Bachelor’s studies). The last 3 years in most cases. 2nd degree is referred to as “Studia magisterskie” (Master’s studies) and lasts 2 years. It’s commonly believed in Poland that one has to get a Master’s diploma to have a career. True or not – most students apply for a Master’s studies.

Having graduated from Bachelor’s studies students are not compelled to follow their branch of science. Commonly, a Bachelor’s in one field becomes a Master’s in something completely different. 

Straight to a Master’s degree

Some studies end up with getting some sort of professional license. Due to that fact, they cannot be divided into two separate curriculums. They’re called “studio zeolite magisterskie” in Polish. English term would be “unified Master’s studies”. The following fields are taught this way:

  • Law,
  • Psychology,
  • Military Commissioned Officer studies,
  • Medicine,
  • Pharmacology.
Blood vials. Context: education in Poland

Do I have to speak Polish? Will the Polish language course in Wroclaw help me?

If you want to study in Poland, you have to speak Polish. If you don’t know it during the compulsory stages (all apart from the university), you’ll be provided 5 5-hour/week Polish language course. 

However, if you want to study at a Polish university, you must learn Polish on your own. Our Polish language course in Wroclaw may be of help. You need to speak practical Polish at the B2 level at least. When applying to a university, you must hold a Polish proficiency certificate. 


We explained education in Poland to you. It is divided into 3 stages, of which the 2nd one has 3 different options. If you’re planning to study in Poland or stay here for a longer time, you should consider taking a Polish language course in Wroclaw