Victorian Certificate of Education – Curriculum

Changes to the English requirement for satisfactory completion of the VCE from 2018

The VCAA Board has approved a change to the English requirement for satisfactory completion of the VCE. The change to the English requirement will reinforce the value and esteem afforded to students who complete their VCE.

From 2018 a student must have S results for a Unit 3–4 sequence from the English Group to satisfactorily complete the VCE. The English Group includes English, English as an Additional Language, English Language and Literature.

The current rules for satisfactory completion of the VCE are:

  • A student must have a satisfactory result (S) for a minimum of 16 units, which must include at least three units from the English Group, at least one of which must be at Unit 3–4 level, and three Unit 3–4 sequences, which may include any number of English sequences once the English requirement has been met.

The following rules for satisfactory completion of the VCE will apply from 2018:

  • To satisfactory complete the VCE a student must have a satisfactory result (S) for a minimum of 16 units. This must include:
    • at least three units from the English Group, two of which must be a Unit 3–4 sequence
    • an additional three Unit 3–4 sequences of studies other than English, which may include any number of English sequences once the English requirement has been met.

Targeted consultation was conducted by the VCAA in November 2015 and there was unanimous agreement that the change will strengthen the satisfactory completion requirements for the VCE.

The VCE is an internationally recognised senior-secondary certificate. It opens doors to tertiary institutions, both in Australia and internationally, to higher level vocational and training certificate programs and into the highly competitive workplace.

The achievement by senior secondary students of a benchmark in literacy is an important feature of a qualification signalling exit from schooling. Satisfactory completion of a Unit 3–4 sequence of English Group units affirms the importance of English proficiency at the core of the senior secondary certificate.

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New VCE study design for implementation in 2017

As advised in the November 2016 VCAA Bulletin, Units 1 and 2 of the new study VCE Chinese Language, Culture and Society have been introduced in 2017. The study focuses on developing an understanding of the language, social structures, traditions and contemporary cultural practices of diverse Chinese-speaking communities.

The accreditation period for Units 3 and 4 will begin on 1 January 2018. For more information on this study, please refer to the Chinese Language, Culture and Society study page.

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Revised and reaccredited study designs for implementation in 2017

The VCAA has advised schools of the revised and reaccredited studies for implementation in 2017, as well as studies that will have Units 1 and 2 implemented in 2017 (staged implementation). Please refer to Notice to Schools 103/2016 for details.

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Revised and reaccredited study designs for implementation in 2018

The revised study designs for VCE Australian and Global Politics, Outdoor and Environmental Studies, Sociology and Visual Communication Design are now available. These revised study designs are published online in the year prior to their implementation on the relevant VCE study page. The revised study designs for Health and Human Development, Legal Studies, Media and Product Design and Technology will be published progressively during Term 1, 2017.

Schools and providers are advised that these online publications are being made available to assist teachers with preparation for the implementation of revised studies in 2018 and must not be used for the 2017 academic year, as the accreditation period begins in 2018. Updates and amendments to study designs are announced in the VCAA Bulletin and published on individual study pages.

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Implementation briefings for revised studies

During 2017 the VCAA will conduct statewide implementation briefings for teachers of revised VCE studies accredited from 2018. These studies are: Australian and Global Politics, Health and Human Development, Legal Studies and Media.

Online information sessions will be provided for Outdoor and Environmental Studies, Product Design and Technology, Sociology and Visual Communication Design.

Full details of the briefings will be provided in the VCAA Bulletin and Notices to Schools during Term 1, 2017. For general enquiries about the implementation briefings, please contact Robyn Douglass, Curriculum Program Manager, VCAA: (03) 9032 1720 or douglass.robyn.f@edumail.vic.gov.au.

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School-assessed Tasks professional learning sessions

Professional learning sessions for School-assessed Tasks will be held during February and March 2017. Please see the Professional Development section of this Bulletin for details.

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2017 VCAA Consultation Register now open

Consultation is an important part of the review and accreditation process for VCE studies. The consultation process is conducted online and teachers and stakeholders are invited to participate by joining the VCAA Consultation Register.

Teachers and stakeholders registered for consultation will receive email notification when the consultation draft of the relevant VCE study design is available online over four weeks, and be invited to respond to the consultation draft via an online questionnaire. Teachers and stakeholders will be given the option of allowing the VCAA to use their registration details to receive email notification of the implementation briefings for the revised studies in 2018. The online consultation register is now open for the following VCE studies:

  • Accounting
  • Classical Studies
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Extended Investigation
  • Industry and Enterprise
  • Philosophy
  • Systems Engineering
  • Theatre Studies
  • VCE Languages: Arabic, Chinese Second Language, Chinese Second Language Advanced, French, German, Greek, Indonesian Second Language, Italian, Japanese Second Language, Korean Second Language, Spanish and Vietnamese Second Language.

To participate in this consultation, please complete the registration form. The draft study design and consultation questionnaire will also be available on the relevant VCE study page.

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2017 VCE study design wall chart

All schools will be sent a study design wall chart during Term 1. This chart provides VCE coordinators, teachers and librarians with a quick visual reference to the entire collection of accredited VCE study designs for 2017. Each accredited study design is available on the relevant study page.

It is essential that teachers use the currently accredited study designs as the basis for all course development and assessment of VCE studies. The VCAA remains the official source of advice for all VCE studies.

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2017 School-based Assessment Audit

The purpose of the School-based Assessment Audit is to ensure that School-based Assessment is conducted in line with the VCAA's principles of assessment and the requirements of the relevant VCE study design.

All VCE providers are audited for at least one VCE study each year and all VCE studies are subject to the annual School-based Assessment Audit. The audit program incorporates a review of School-assessed Coursework (SAC) and School-assessed Tasks (SATs).

The School-based Assessment Audit is in two stages for both Unit 3 and Unit 4. The first stage consists of a study-specific online audit questionnaire, which is completed by teachers on behalf of the VCE provider and reviewed by an audit panel appointed by the VCAA.

The notification dates for the School-based Assessment Audit in 2017 are:

  • Monday 27 February: Notification of studies being audited in Unit 3
  • Monday 20 March: Unit 3 online questionnaire responses due
  • Friday 5 May: Outcome of Unit 3 online questionnaire delivered
  • Monday 22 May: Unit 3 further evidence due (if applicable)
  • Monday 17 July: Notification of studies being audited in Unit 4. Outcome of Unit 3 further evidence delivered
  • Monday 7 August: Outcome of Unit 4 online questionnaire due
  • Monday 11 September: Outcome of Unit 4 online questionnaire delivered
  • Friday 22 September: Unit 4 further evidence due (if applicable)
  • Monday 30 October: Outcome of Unit 4 further evidence delivered.

VASS will contain the studies being audited as well as the outcomes of each stage of the audit. The following VASS menu will contain all information pertaining to the School-based Assessment Audit: School Program > VCE > School-based Assessment Audit.

Further information on the School-based Assessment Audit can be obtained from Merry Young or Julia Quagliani, VCE Curriculum Unit, VCAA: (03) 9032 1735 or school.assessment.vcaa@edumail.vic.gov.au.

General information about the 2017 audit and review of all VCE Unit 3–4 studies is now available on the VCE General Advice and Policy page. Specific information in relation to School-assessed Tasks is located on the relevant individual study pages for Algorithmics (HESS), Art, Computing: Informatics, Computing: Software Development, Product Design and Technology, Media, Studio Arts, Systems Engineering and Visual Communication Design.

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Applications for 2017 VCE State Reviewer position – History Revolutions

The VCAA is seeking applications from teachers to undertake the role of State Reviewer for VCE History Revolutions. The State Reviewer is a paid position and the appointee is required to undertake a range of activities, including participation in the delivery of VCAA professional learning programs, providing feedback and advice to schools, assisting in the preparation of published advice, conducting School-assessed Coursework audits and preparing feedback as a result of the annual audits. The VCE State Reviewer must currently be teaching the study at Unit 3 and 4 level.

For more information and to apply, please go to SSMS. Applications close on Monday 20 February. For information about the roles of this position please refer to the State Reviewer roles and responsibilities and conditions of appointment on the VCAA's VCE General Advice and Policy page or contact the VCE Curriculum Unit: (03) 9032 1735 or young.meredith.e@edumail.vic.gov.au.

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VCE Dance

2017 Prescribed list of works

The 2017 prescribed list of works is available for download on the VCE Dance study page. This list must be used with the VCE Dance Study Design 2014–2018. In Unit 3, two solo dance works created by 20th- and 21st-century choreographers should be studied. In Unit 4, one group work created by a 20th- or 21st-century choreographer/s should be studied. The teaching and learning program associated with the works selected for study should focus on Outcome 1 key knowledge and skills in Units 3 and 4. For further information, contact Helen Champion, Curriculum Manager, Performing Arts, VCAA: champion.helen.h@edumail.vic.gov.au or (03) 9032 1723.

Advisory panel for 2018 Prescribed list of dance works

Applications for membership of the VCE Dance prescribed list advisory panel are now being taken through the Sessional Staff Management System (SSMS). The panel will propose works for the 2018 list of prescribed works to be approved by the VCAA. Panel members may be teaching Units 3 and 4 of the study. The closing date for applications is Friday 26 May 2017. For further information contact Helen Champion, Curriculum Manager, Performing Arts, VCAA: champion.helen.h@edumail.vic.gov.au or (03) 9032 1723.

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VCE Drama and Theatre Studies

2017 playlist

The Drama Unit 3 and Theatre Studies Units 3 and 4 playlist is available for download from the Drama and Theatre Studies study pages. The list should be used with the 2014–2018 study designs for VCE Drama and VCE Theatre Studies. Students are required to see one of the plays on the relevant list for the purposes of study and assessment in each of Drama Unit 3 and Theatre Studies Units 3 and 4. As required, additional information about specific plays will be published during 2017. The VCAA has worked closely with the submitting theatre companies to create playlists that reflect a broad range of contemporary and classic works.

The diversity of works selected supports the interrelated nature of the Areas of Study in the VCE Drama and Theatre Studies study designs for Units 3 and 4. The key criteria considered in the selection were: dramatic merit; a representation of diverse forms/styles; works that challenge and sustain intensive study; and theatrical works that are accessible to and suitable for study at VCE level by a range of students. It is understood that current professional theatre practice often explores contemporary issues and themes. In discussion with the theatre companies, the VCAA provides advice on the list about issues relevant to specific plays and has deemed all works on the playlist to be suitable for study at VCE level. Advice is provided to assist schools in making appropriate choices for their students. It is important that when selecting work for their students, teachers familiarise themselves with the content and form prior to students viewing the play or studying the playscript.

In most cases this information is available by speaking directly to the theatre company, obtaining a copy of the relevant script, obtaining education resources, attending a preview or conducting research on any previous productions of the work. Teachers should read the notes and advice provided on the list, consider the culture of their school and the experience of their students, and make choices accordingly. Additional resources for some plays are provided on the VCAA website. Each playlist offers a range of choices for teachers and students, including at least one touring production. Teachers should note the dates for each play and complete the required planning and booking as early as possible. Theatre companies and venues cannot guarantee seats beyond the capacity they have available for any one show or across a season. Therefore, obtaining advice and booking early is highly recommended in order to have access to a preferred production.

Advisory panel for the 2018 playlist

Applications for membership of the VCE Drama and Theatre Studies playlist advisory panel are now being taken through SSMS. The panel of teachers, academics and industry representatives will propose plays for the 2018 playlist to be approved by the VCAA. It is expected that the bulk of the panel's work will take place between June and November. Panel members may be teaching Units 3 and 4 of the study. The closing date for applications is Friday 26 May 2017. For further information contact Helen Champion, Curriculum Manager, Performing Arts, VCAA: champion.helen.h@edumail.vic.gov.au or (03) 9032 1723.

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VCE English, English as an Additional Language and Literature

2018 text lists

Schools are advised that the 2018 VCE English/EAL and Literature text lists are now available on the VCAA website. These text lists are to be used with the study designs with the following accreditation periods:

  • VCE English/EAL 2016–2020 (2017 Units 3 and 4)
  • VCE Literature 2016–2020 (2017 Units 3 and 4).

Teachers should consider the lists in conjunction with the relevant text selection advice published on page 17 of the VCE English/EAL study design and page 15 of the VCE Literature study design.

EAL students

From 2017, for VCE EAL students only, one text in each List 2 pair will be nominated for achievement of Unit 3 Outcome 1: Reading and creating texts. This means that VCE EAL students may use the nominated text for either or both of the following:

  • the School-based Assessment, noting that EAL students are only required to produce either an analytical interpretation or a creative response
  • an analytical response to Section B of the examination.

EAL students are not required to produce a comparative analysis as part of the examination. This arrangement is to ensure that VCE EAL students continue to have two texts, with two questions each, to select from when completing the 'Reading and creating texts' section of the examination.

Enquiries can be directed to Jacqueline Moore, Curriculum Manager, English, VCAA: moore.jacqueline.j@edumail.vic.gov.au or (03) 9032 1691.

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VCE Extended Investigation professional learning

Schools delivering VCE Extended Investigation in 2017 are invited to attend a professional learning day in March. Please see the Professional Development section of this Bulletin for details.

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VCE Music

VCE Music Investigation and Music Performance prescribed lists

The same lists are used for Units 3 and 4 Music Investigation and Music Performance. Information about study-specific requirements is provided on the lists. The 2017 list of group works is available on the VCE Music Investigation study page and the VCE Music Performance study page. In Section A some works have been added to the list and works that will be deleted in 2018 are identified. Works have also been added in Section B. In the Solo lists, new works for 2017 and works for deletion in 2018 are identified. Note that for most works on the lists the editions listed are recommended only. Other equivalent editions may also be used without seeking approval from the VCAA. If a work is a specific arrangement or transcription, it is generally only published in the listed edition. It is the responsibility of schools to ensure that students perform only listed works or approved alternative works.

Alternative works and alternative instruments

Guidelines and application forms for approval of alternative works and/or alternative instruments for solo performance are available on the VCE Music Investigation and VCE Music Performance study pages. Note that separate guidelines and application forms are provided for Music Investigation and for Music Performance. These forms must be received at the VCAA by 5.00pm Wednesday 1 March 2017.

Solo prescribed list reviews

Teachers who are interested in contributing to reviews of the VCE Music prescribed lists of notated solo works for Bassoon, Contemporary Piano, Contemporary Double Bass, Electric Bass, Guitar – Contemporary Popular, Oboe, Percussion, Pianoforte, Pipe Organ, Voice – Contemporary Popular, Soprano Cornet and Tenor Horn in E Flat and/or Trombone should email Helen Champion, Curriculum Manager, Performing Arts, VCAA: champion.helen.h@edumail.vic.gov.au.

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Music Investigation Topic approval

All students who enrol in MCO5 Music Investigation Units 3–4 must submit an Investigation Topic for approval by the VCAA. Copies of the approval form template can be downloaded from the VCE Music Investigation study page. The template is used to prepare the application for data entry, and uploaded via VASS: Student Program > VCE > Approved Focus Area. Approval forms should be uploaded via VASS by 5.00pm on Wednesday 1 March 2017. A reply indicating 'approved' or 'not approved' will be sent by the VCAA as soon as possible after Friday 3 March.

This approval process allows the VCAA to confirm that each student enrolled in VCE Music Investigation Units 3 and 4 has selected an Investigation Topic that offers appropriate depth and breadth, has appropriate links to a work selected from a VCE Music prescribed list, and provides adequate scope for the student to prepare and present a performance examination program that allows them to address assessment criteria at the highest level. Before submitting topics for approval, schools must ensure that each student is correctly enrolled in the study:

  • The study code is MC05 3-4.
  • The correct focus (instrument) code must be identified. These codes are available as a VASS download.
  • As needed, an application for alternative instrument should be submitted in addition to Investigation Topic approval form.
  • As needed, an application for alternative work may be also be submitted.

Schools are not required to submit sheet music or audio files at this stage. During the approval process, the VCAA may contact schools and request copies of sheet music for a prescribed work and/or an audio recording of that work. Enquiries about this process should be directed to Helen Champion, Curriculum Manager, Performing Arts, VCAA: champion.helen.h@edumail.vic.gov.au or (03) 9032 1723.

Investigation Topic approval panel

Applications for membership of the VCE Music Investigation topic approval panel are now being taken through SSMS. This panel will review topics submitted for approval and provide feedback for students and teachers. It is expected that the bulk of the panel's work will take place in March. Panel members may be teaching Units 3 and 4 of the study. The closing date for applications is Friday 17 February 2017. For further information, contact Helen Champion, Curriculum Manager, Performing Arts, VCAA: champion.helen.h@edumail.vic.gov.au or (03) 9032 1723.

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Accreditation periods for VCE studies: Effective 1 January 2017

The following table summarises the accreditation periods for VCE studies approved by the VCAA Board, and accredited by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.

Accreditation period expires December 2017

 

Australian and Global Politics
Health and Human Development
Legal Studies
Media

Outdoor and Environmental Studies
Physical Education (Units 3 and 4)
Product Design and Technology
Sociology
Visual Communication Design

Accreditation period expires December 2018

(in review in 2017)

Accounting
Classical Studies
Dance
Drama
Extended Investigation
Industry and Enterprise

Philosophy
Systems Engineering
Theatre Studies

Languages: Arabic, Chinese Second Language, Chinese Second Language Advanced, French, German, Greek, Indonesian Second Language, Italian, Japanese Second Language, Korean Second Language, Spanish, Vietnamese Second Language

 

Accreditation period expires December 2019

Agricultural and Horticultural Studies
Algorithmics (HESS)
Computing
Chin Hakha (Units 1 and 2 only)
Foundation English

Foundation Mathematics
General Mathematics                
Mathematical Methods
(Units 1 and 2 only)
Specialist Mathematics
(Units 1 and 2 only)

Accreditation period expires December 2020

Bridging EAL
English/EAL
English Language
Literature
Biology (Units 1 and 2 only)
Chemistry (Units 1 and 2 only)
Environmental Science (Units 1 and 2 only)
Physics (Units 1 and 2 only)
Psychology (Units 1 and 2 only)
Chin Hakha (Units 3 and 4 only)
Geography
Karen (Units 1 and 2 only)

Further Mathematics
(Units 3 and 4 only)
Mathematics Methods
(Units 3 and 4 only)
Specialist Mathematics
(Units 3 and 4 only)
History

Languages CCAFL: Armenian, Auslan, Bosnian, Croatian, Dutch, Filipino, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Khmer, Macedonian, Maltese, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Yiddish.

Languages: Chinese First Language, Classical Greek, Classical Hebrew, Indigenous Languages of Victoria, Indonesian First Language, Japanese First Language, Korean First Language, Latin, Vietnamese First Language (Units 1 and 2 only)

Accreditation period expires December 2021

Art
Biology (Units 3 and 4)
Business Management
Chemistry (Units 3 and 4)
Chinese Language, Culture and Society
Environmental Science
(Units 3 and 4)
Economics
Food Studies

Karen (Units 3 and 4)
Music
Physical Education
(Units 1 and 2 only)
Physics (Units 3 and 4)
Psychology (Units 3 and 4)
Religion and Society
Studio Arts
Texts and Traditions
Vietnamese First Language
(Units 3 and 4)

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