The VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) is awarded to students who successfully complete their secondary education.

It is recognised internationally, and provides pathways to further study at university, TAFE (Technical and Further Education) and the world of work.

The VCE program covers both Years 11 & 12 and involves four semesters or half-years of work. Capable Year 10 students should elect to undertake a Unit 1,2 or a VET Unit 1,2.


Over these four semesters students will normally take a total of 22 units. These will include:

a) four units of English (one per semester)
b) six units per semester in VCE Year 1 (Year 11)
c) five sequences in VCE Year 2 (Year 12).

Units 3 & 4 are taken as a sequence.


To be awarded the Victorian Certificate of Education the student must satisfactorily complete at least sixteen units, including:

a) at least three units of English (one of which must be at 3/4 level).
b) at least three sequences of semester 3 and 4 level units of studies other than English.

Most students will take 1 and 2 level units at Year 11 and 3 and 4 level units at Year 12. Some Year 10 students will be able to take a unit 1/2 subject if their Year 9 results are very good. Some year 11 students will be able to take a unit 3/4 sequence, if their Year 10 results are very good.

A unit is taken for one semester (half year) and is of approximately 100 hours duration. Regular homework and revision is an essential part of this.


Choosing a Program

Students and their parents should study the “Where to Now” book and this newspaper carefully. When choosing courses and units, students should consider the following questions:

  • Is the subject of interest to me?
  • Do I have a good chance of success in the subject?
  • What kind of unit is it?
  • What type of work is required? Practical? Scientific? Essay Writing?
  • Will the unit chosen keep open a suitable range of later studies and career choices?
  • Do the units fulfil the requirements for admission to relevant tertiary courses?
  • What type of student program am I most interested in?


Obtaining advice and information

It is the responsibility of the student to seek advice and make informed decisions. Students should seek advice and information from their subject teachers.

Students should also seek information on possible careers and further education courses by visiting the Careers Room and seeking advice from Mrs Bloodworth or Mrs Carlos.


VET as part of the VCE

One or more VET subjects may be included in the VCE.


Planning for the two year course

Students should plan for both Years 11 and 12, realising that changes can and will be made to those plans to suit their changing interests and activities.


Fees and Charges

Several units of study have a charge attached to them. Selecting one of these courses means an obligation to accept responsibilty for the charge involved.

It is expected that students will have paid 50% of the charge before the end of this year and the remainder in the first week of the new school year. Payment of the unit charge confirms the student’s place in a class.


How do I pass the VCE?

As outlined above, students must complete 16 units in certain combinations in order to pass the VCE. In order to pass a unit of work students must complete the coursework provided in class as well as homework tasks. This is not to be confused with SAC’s (School Assessed Coursework). A SAC is used in addition to coursework in order to determine the ‘level of achievement’. Hallam Senior College administers the VCE as it was intended; an inclusive senior school certificate where students ‘pass’ by completing the work assigned in class (and homework) and the ‘SAC’ work is not used as a ‘pass / fail’ mechanism.


Unscored or Non-ATAR VCE

Parents may elect for their son / daughter to complete a VCE without obtaining study scores and an ATAR. This option is only available where full parent consent is obtained and will be put into place by the end of term 3 in the final year of the students VCE year. Until this time all students are expected to complete ‘scored’ tasks (SAC’s). Students must complete these scored tasks in case there is a ‘change of mind or pathway’ and the student needs the ATAR in order to progress. It is also important to keep in mind that ‘passing’ the VCE is dependent on students completing coursework and homework, the ‘SAC’s’ are only used in order to assess the level of achievement.


What Is A VCE Prerequisite?

A prerequisite is a VCE unit or sequence of units that you must successfully complete in order to be eligible to apply for a particular course. For example, an Engineering course might stipulate that Mathematics and Physics Units 3 and 4 are prerequisites.  This means that if you haven’t successfully completed these units you will not be considered for entry to the course.

Many Art and Design type courses do not have prerequisites but require you to have a folio so it is advisable to take a subject that will help you to develop one.

In some cases the prerequisite may stipulate not only the subject, but also the lowest acceptable Study Score. For example, a Medical course might stipulate a minimum Study Score of 30 in Chemistry as a prerequisite. In this circumstance, regardless of how well you go in all other subjects, the selection officers will not consider you if your Study Score in Chemistry is less than 30.


Where to Find Information on VCE Prerequisites

Each year the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) publishes a list of prerequisite subjects for that year’s group of Year 10 students.  This information is usually published as a supplement to The Age and Herald Sun in July.  This is an invaluable resource, not only for choosing a VCE course, but also for checking which courses you can apply for at the end of Year 12.  All year 10 students receive a copy. The information is also available in the  VICTER publication  which is available on the VTAC web site –