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Economics is concerned with the enquiry into the allocation of resources to the production and distribution of income and wealth. It strengthens the role and importance of economic issues in a modern society and tries to guide the development of a basic economic understanding. This might help the pupils to play a full and responsible part in that society.

The depth of the Economics course at European Schooling Helsinki is unique in Finland. At ESH students have the opportunity to start Economics in S4, studying four hours a week and continue immersion into the subject until S7, totalling four years of in depth studies, at which point the subject can be taken as a baccalaureate subject. The S7 syllabus is very rewarding and covers the most important aspects economic theory.

The study of Economics at ESH is excellent preparation for future studies in Economics and the Social Sciences.


Geography is studied between the years S4-S7. Studies are conducted in the students’ second language, thus encouraging a working use of the language for the student. This element of Geography studies falls in-line with the ESH philosophy of content and language integrated learning. 

The purpose of Geography studies at ESH is to give the student the most important tools with which to analyse the world in which we live and the diverse peoples with whom we share it. In S4, the syllabus concentrates on physical geography whereas starting from S5 the focus is on human geography. Perspectives vary from local, national, European and global.

Geography at ESH is about interpreting the characteristics of both the develop and developing world. It also consists of evaluating various economic, social and political phenomena. The specific objective for Geography is to make students aware of different methods of organising space and the need to manage the earth’s resources responsibly. 

For the last two years (S6-7), students have the possibility to choose four period Geography (four hours a week instead of the mandatory two). In this subject students are encouraged to follow the media very closely and work independently. The extended syllabus aims at developing a critical use of Internet searching and improving relevant ICT skills as well as skills which can be used to produce and analyse statistics and graphical data . The programme also includes field work, offering an introduction to empirical research in geography.


History is studied between the years S4-S7. Studies are conducted in the students’ second language, thus encouraging a working use of the language for the student. This element of History studies falls in-line with the ESH philosophy of content and language integrated learning.

History at ESH is a truly European experience. Not only are the syllabi of the course exceptionally diverse with a European focus, efforts are made to provide a rounded and in depth view of European and world history with examples taken from Finnish history on a regular basis. History at ESH fosters the ability to understand different points of view.

History at ESH aims at developing historical skills: to distinguish between fact and opinion as well as to detect bias and inconsistencies. Studying History encourages critical and open minded thinking towards the past which affects the way we think about today. 

For the last two years (S6-7), students have the possibility to choose four period History (four hours a week instead of the compulsory two). It means that all the topics of the syllabus – namely World history 1870-1989 – are covered in a more detailed manner, including deeper analysis of the events, study of various primary sources and introduction into making one’s own historical research. In the four period group there is also an introduction to academic writing techniques in the humanities.

Human Sciences

Human Sciences combines the study of History and Geography for years S1-S3. It is taught three hours a week. The course provides an introduction to the basic concepts and skills within the humanities with a particular focus on European diversity. Students learn how to make critical use of a variety of resources (documents, maps, graphics) and they are encouraged to develop their own opinions, based on solid facts and proper argumentation.

The main objective for Human Sciences is to help students acquire knowledge and understanding about society and civilizations past and present and to develop enthusiasm and interest for further studies in the field. Students will learn how people and places vary and change over time. They will become aware of different environments and understand the interactions between their physical and human elements. Moreover, Human Sciences aims at developing a sense of responsibility about environmental issues. Starting from S3, Human Sciences is taught in the vehicular language (L2), meaning either in English, French or German, depending on the language choices made by the student upon arrival in ESH.


Philosophy, as an integral part of the heritage of European thought, is read at ESH by all upper secondary students (in English, French, or Finnish). It aims at a reflection on the fundamental principles of human thought and action.

Students will learn how to analyze philosophical problems, clarify concepts, and develop arguments. Philosophy lessons are intended to give the students the tools and space to come to rational and individual conclusions on fundamental questions of life and its underlying values.

Among the questions that will lead our way are:

  • Who am I?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What is right and wrong?
  • What does a good life consist of?
  • What is knowledge, and how do we come to know something?
  • Why should I respect the law?
  • What can I hope for?

The students´ own views and interests will be taken into account throughout the course. Students also have the possibility to choose a long course (4 periods per week instead of 2). In the long course we will have the chance for more in-depth studying, discussion, and the reading of one philosophical work per year. Books read in philosophy classes so far include Plato´s Republic and J.S. Mill´s On Liberty.


Course description:
Psychology is an optional course in S6 and S7 with two periods per week. All students can choose this course. The course is taught in English.
Psychology is a multi-disciplinary science that seeks to describe, explain, predict and even change how people act, think and feel. The instruction explains different areas of psychology and teaches the main psychological concepts. The aim of the instruction is to give the students an introduction to psychology. The teaching gives the students an understanding of:

  • what psychology really is,
  •  how psychologists think,
  •  what psychologists want to find out and
  • how psychology is relevant to their own lives.

Examples of psychological questions

  • What is normal?
  • How do we learn?
  • How do we communicate?
  • Why do people obey? 
  • Why are we afraid of spiders?
  • How can psychotherapy help?

Religious education

Religious education (RE) is read at ESH by all the student from S1 to S7. The aim of the class is to discover religions and world views from around the globe and to help students to develop their own philosophical and ethical thinking. Students are invited to read newspapers and become literate regarding a wide range of other media. Visiting religious buildings (e.g. synagogue, Orthodox church, Lutheran cathedral etc.) and other sites is an integral part of RE at ESH.

Issues covered in religious education class are: 
● Religions, philosophies and ideologies in Europe and in the rest of the world
● Ethical thinking 
● How one lives a good life?
● Social and political questions
● Co-existence of different religions and cultures


Sociology is an optional course for S6 and S7 students with two periods per week. This course is available to all students. Studying sociology helps students to improve their critical thinking skills and gives them better tools to understand the structures of modern society and interaction between individuals. In teaching, we combine students’ perspectives and academic theories by following and analyzing contemporary events. The aim of the course is to find new ways to look at the modern society around us and define our roles in it. 

Few examples from sociology syllabus: 

  • Social roles and norms 
  • Social classes 
  • Work, Family, Economics 
  • Inequality and social exclusion 
  • Political structures and power

For further Information

We follow the program of the European school system.