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The VCE Vocational Major (VM) is a vocational and applied learning program within the VCE designed to be completed over a minimum of two years. The VCE VM will give students greater choice and flexibility to pursue their strengths and interests and develop the skills and capabilities needed to succeed in further education, work and life.

It prepares students to move into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, university (via non-ATAR pathways) or directly into the workforce.

The purpose of the VCE VM is to provide students with the best opportunity to achieve their personal goals and aspirations in a rapidly changing world by:

  • equipping them with the skills, knowledge, values and capabilities to be active and informed citizens, lifelong learners and confident and creative individuals
  • empowering them to make informed decisions about the next stages of their lives through real-life workplace experiences.

Completing the VCE VM

To be eligible to receive the VCE VM, students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 16 units, including:

  • 3 VCE VM Literacy or VCE English units (including a Unit 3–4 sequence)
  • 2 VCE VM Numeracy or VCE Mathematics units
  • 2 VCE VM Work Related Skills units
  • 2 VCE VM Personal Development Skills units
  • 2 VET credits at Certificate II level or above (180 nominal hours)

Students must complete a minimum of three other Unit 3–4 sequences as part of their program. Units 3 and 4 of VM studies may be undertaken together over the duration of the academic year to enable these to be integrated.

The VCE VM can be tailored to the needs and interests of the student, to keep them engaged while developing their skills and knowledge. Students can also include other VCE studies and VET, and can receive structured workplace learning recognition.

Most students will undertake 16–20 units over the two years.

Vocational and applied learning in the VCE VM

New curriculum in VCE VM Literacy, Numeracy, Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills has been developed by panels of current applied learning practitioners. The new curriculum is engaging, based in real life and gives students in-demand skills needed for the future world of work.

Applied learning teaches skills and knowledge in the context of ‘real life’ experiences. Students apply what they have learnt by doing, experiencing and relating acquired skills to the real-world. It enables flexible, personalised learning where teachers work with students to recognise their personal strengths, interest, goals, and experiences.

This is a shift from the traditional focus on discrete curriculum to a more integrated and contextualised approach to learning. Students learn and apply the skills and knowledge required to solve problems, implement projects or participate in structured workplace learning.

Find out more about the approach to applied learning in the VCE VM curriculum.

Enrolling in VCE VM studies

Students may only enrol in VCE VM studies if they are completing a program that meets the specific program requirements for the VCE VM, which are in addition to the minimum requirements for satisfactory completion of the VCE.

To be eligible to receive the VCE, a student must satisfy the minimum VCE requirements – a minimum of 16 units which must include:

  • three units from the English group (English, EAL, Literature, English Language and VCE VM Literacy) including a Unit 3–4 sequence
  • at least three other sequences of Units 3 and 4 studies, which can include further sequences from the English group.

The program requirements for the VCE VM are in addition to the minimum requirements for satisfactory completion of the VCE – a minimum 16 units which must include:

  • three VCE VM Literacy or VCE English units including a Unit 3–4 sequence
  • two VCE VM Numeracy or VCE Mathematics studies units
  • two VCE VM Work Related Skills units
  • two VCE VM Personal Development Skills units
  • a minimum of 180 nominal hours of VET at Certificate II level or above.

Schools are expected to run a VCE Vocational Major student eligibility report in VASS for all VCE VM students to make sure their program will allow completion of the VCE and the VCE VM program. If a student meets the requirements for satisfactorily completing the VCE, but not the requirements for the award of the Vocational Major appellation, the student will be awarded the VCE without an appellation. Schools should contact the Student Records and Results Unit if there are any concerns about the report.

Schools should also contact the Student Records and Results Unit for advice about:

  • student transfers
  • students arriving from overseas at the commencement of the academic year
  • criteria for eligibility
  • enrolment procedures.

Flexible delivery of the VCE VM

VCE VM studies can be delivered flexibly to meet the needs of students who may learn at different paces or transition into the VCE VM during the academic year.

Summary of VCE VM flexible delivery options

CategoryOptionApplication Required?
Mid-year commencementDeliver Unit 1 in Semester 2 and Unit 2 in Semester 1 in the following yearNo
Deliver Unit 3 in Semester 2 and Unit 4 in Semester 1 the following year in the standard time frameYes
Extended deliveryDeliver a single VCE VM unit across more than a semesterYes
Commence delivery of a VCE VM unit during a semester and continue in the next semester, including over multiple calendar yearsYes
Concurrent deliveryDeliver Units 1 and 2 or Units 3 or 4 concurrently across 2 semestersNo

Mid-year entry

To accommodate students commencing the VCE VM mid-year, schools may deliver VCE VM studies Units 1 and 3 in Semester 2, and Units 2 and 4 in Semester 1.

Deliver Unit 1 in Semester 2 and Unit 2 in Semester 1 in the following year

Schools do not need to apply for permission to deliver VCE Unit 1 in Semester 2 and Unit 2 in Semester 1 in the following year.

Deliver Unit 3 in Semester 2 and Unit 4 in Semester 1 the following year in the standard timeframe

Schools can apply to offer mid-year entry to VCE VM Unit 3 in Semester 2 and, subsequently, Unit 4 in Semester 1 the following year.

Permitted schools may include in a student's learning program VCE VM Units 3–4 sequences that commence mid-year and VCE studies delivered over Semesters 1 and 2 in a standard calendar year.

Extended delivery

Deliver a single VCE VM unit across more than a semester

If students require more than one semester to meet the outcomes of a VCE VM study or needs to enrol in a unit part way through the semester, schools can apply to the VCAA for permission to deliver one or more VM studies over a period longer than a semester.

Extended delivery options include:

  • delivery of a unit over two semesters (a full academic year)
  • commencing delivery of a VCE VM unit during a semester and continuing delivery in the next semester, including over multiple calendar years.

Concurrent delivery

Deliver Units 1 and 2 or Units 3 and 4 concurrently across two semesters

Schools may deliver Units 1 and 2, or Units 3 and 4, of any VCE VM study concurrently across two semesters. Schools may develop a blended unit program, where some outcomes from Unit 2 are delivered in Semester 1 and some outcomes from Unit 1 in Semester 2. All outcomes from both units will need to be taught and assessed by the conclusion of the second semester following commencement.

Schools do not need to apply for permission from the VCAA to deliver VCE VM Units 1 and 2 or 3 and 4 concurrently.

Other requirements

VCE VM satisfactory completion requirements

Students can meet Unit 3 and 4 sequence requirements when studying Units 3 and 4 of VCE VM studies concurrently over two semesters, or over multiple years, provided they complete the requisite number of units and sequences.

For example, if a student completes Unit 3 Personal Development Skills (PDS) across two semesters and then completes Unit 4 PDS over one semester in the following academic year, this would be considered a Unit 3 and 4 sequence.

From 2024, students may satisfactorily complete the VCE VM and be certified mid-year.

Accelerated completion

Flexible delivery options cannot be used to enable accelerated completion of the VCE VM in less than two years.

Further information

Applications for permission to deliver the VCE VM on a Flexible delivery program have closed for 2024. 

GuidelinesVCE VM Flexible delivery program criteria and requirements

Assessment and certification of the VCE VM

Assessment of VCE Vocational Major studies

Each VCE VM unit of study has specified learning outcomes. The VCE VM studies are standards-based. All assessments for the achievement of learning outcomes, and therefore the units, are school-based and assessed through a range of learning activities and tasks.

Unlike other VCE studies there are no external assessments of VCE VM Unit 3–4 sequences, and VCE VM studies do not receive a study score. If a student wishes to receive study scores, they can choose from the wide range of VCE studies and scored VCE VET programs that contain both internal and external assessment components.

The VCE VM studies do not contribute to the ATAR. To receive an ATAR a student must complete a scored Unit 3–4 sequence from the English group and three other Unit 3–4 scored sequences. Students must achieve two or more graded assessments in these scored sequences.


Completing the VCE VM requirements means that students have also completed the requirements of the VCE. Upon satisfactory completion of the VCE VM, students receive recognition through the appellation of ‘Vocational Major’ on their Victorian Certificate of Education and a Statement of Results.

Successful completion of VET units of competency are recognised by additional statements of attainment or certificates provided by the Registered Training Organisation.

Students who meet the requirements for satisfactory completion of the VCE, but not the requirements for the award of the Vocational Major appellation, will be awarded the VCE.

Curriculum and Assessment Audit

For information about the VCE VM audit program see VCE VM and VPC Curriculum and Assessment Audit

VCE VM students and the General Achievement Test

All students studying at least one Unit 3 and 4 VCE subject (including a VCE VM Unit 3 and 4 subject) or a scored VCE VET subject are expected to sit all or a section of the General Achievement Test (GAT). 

The GAT measures a student’s general knowledge and skills in written communication, mathematics, science, technology, humanities, the arts and social sciences. It also measures a student’s literacy and numeracy skills against new standards introduced in Victoria in 2022.

The new standards indicate whether students have demonstrated the literacy and numeracy skills typically expected of someone completing their secondary schooling – giving another indication of their readiness to move onto further education, training or employment.

While the GAT is important, it does not directly count towards a student’s final VCE results. GAT results are used to check that VCE external assessments and school-based assessments have been accurately and fairly assessed. GAT results may also play a part in determining the final score for a VCE external assessment if a student has a derived examination score approved for that assessment.

No special study is required. Past study of subjects like English, Mathematics, Science and History prepares students for the GAT by building their general knowledge and skills in writing, numeracy, and reasoning.

For more information, see GAT.

Transition from VCAL to the VCE VM

Current students completing VCAL units at Intermediate or Senior levels can receive credit into the VCE VM, see further information.

Teach-Out and Award of Intermediate VCAL in 2023

Provision of the VCE VM

Providers currently registered by the VRQA and authorised by the VCAA to offer and deliver VCE and VCAL (all levels) will transition under the Education and Training Reform Act to be able to offer and deliver the VCE (current VCE studies and VCE VM studies) and the VPC. Providers not currently registered and authorised to deliver VCAL but seeking to deliver the VCE VM in 2023 can find information at Apply to deliver the VCE, VCE VM or VPC.

Access to the VCE VM prior to the senior secondary years

The VCE VM is intended for senior secondary students in mainstream schools, NSSSPs and other educational environments.  It is designed to be completed over a minimum of two years in a senior secondary context.

It is possible for students to enrol in some VCE VM studies prior to Years 11 and 12, however students, schools and providers should take into consideration:

  • student access to the F–10 Curriculum
  • the implementation of applied learning approaches in the F–10 and middle years curriculum
  • student pathway into VCE, VCE VM or VPC
  • student ability to access an appropriate range of units in Years 11 and 12

Example programs

The following example programs represent the way schools have allowed pre senior secondary students to access applied learning through VET, VCE VM units and the F–10 curriculum. These programs should be seen as examples only and have been developed to suit the needs and interests of students in specific settings. There are a range of ways in which students may access applied learning programs before the senior secondary years, and schools and providers should consider the educational needs, interests and future pathways of students when designing applied learning programs for students prior to the senior secondary years.

Pakenham College – Year 10 VET Pathway


Year 10 students at Pakenham College are able to accelerate into their senior school pathway, whether they are planning to undertake VCE, VCE VM, or VPC.

Students can select:

  • VCE Pathway – including an accelerated VCE study as part of their program
  • VET Pathway – including a Certificate I or II VET study as part of their program
  • SBAT Pathway – including an SBAT as part of their program

Students undertaking the VET and SBAT Pathways are placed into two specific home groups in the timetable – the VET group and SBAT groups. This allows teachers to review and differentiate the year 10 curriculum for these students from the mainstream curriculum, depending on student abilities and interests. For example, changing the texts used in English, or focussing more on Economics and Business or Civics and Citizenship in Humanities depending on student interest and need. 

The VET and SBAT Pathways have an increased focus on applied learning for students who are considering enrolment into the VCE VM or VPC in Years 11 and 12. Students are recommended or referred into the VET and SBAT Pathway by their year level coordinators, teachers, or through the use of student learning data. Once referred, interviews are held with the students and their parents/caregivers to outline the course requirements and administration details for VET and SBATs.

Career action plans and the Morrisby careers program are used to support student selection of their VET or SBAT pathway, and where possible the selection is aligned with the student’s work experience program. VET and SBAT students undertake some elective studies which are dovetailed with their selected VET or SBAT where possible, for example Hospitality VET and Food Studies, or Building and Construction VET with Product Design.

VET students are encouraged to complete at least 90 hours of competency in their selected Certificate II VET study to contribute to their senior certificate in year 11. Some students are recommended for Headstart after completing the Year 10 VET or SBAT pathway.

Course structure:

VET program

  • Students undertake one Cert II level VET study
  • Students attend school 4 days per week
  • Students attend VET 1 day per week
  • Students complete a work experience program related to their VET, for Structured Workplace Learning credit
  • Students undertake the following Year 10 studies in their VET class group:
    • English
    • Maths
    • Health and Physical Education
    • Science (1 semester)
    • Humanities (1 semester)
    • Semester electives
  • Students may access unit 1 and in some cases Units 1 and 2 of a VCE VM study as part of the VET program, as a year-long elective.

SBAT program

  • Students undertake an SBAT (Kitchen Operations, Warehousing and Logistics, or Horticulture)
  • Students attend school 3 days per week
  • Students attend their SBAT and work placement 2 days per week
  • Students undertake some year 10 studies in their SBAT class group*, including:
    • English
    • Maths
    • Health and Physical Education
    • Science (1 semester)
    • Humanities (1 semester)
    • Semester electives

*Prior to the Senior Secondary Certificate Reform, some SBAT students completed Foundation VCAL alongside their SBAT studies. In the future these students may complete some Unit 1 VCE VM studies alongside their SBAT.


Most students undertaking the year 10 VET or SBAT Pathway will continue into the VCE VM or the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC), as identified in their Career action plan and/or Morrisby careers program counselling. A small number of students from the VET program move into VCE general after Year 10.

Parade College - Edmund Rice Pathways Program


The Edmund Rice Pathways Program is a specialised, vocational learning program available to selected Year 10 students. The Learning Program provides literacy skills development for reading, writing and oral communication and practical application in the contexts of employment, community and personal development outcomes.

Students are placed in one homegroup where they access F-10 studies designed with applied and project-based learning as a focus, and all students select VET studies from those offered internally in the college, including Certificate II Building and Construction (Carpentry), Certificate II Building and Construction (Bricklaying), and Certificate II Furniture Making Pathways. The last 2 weeks of terms 1 - 4 are set aside for organised work experience, which is integrated into the curriculum and is a compulsory part of the program. Where possible students use this work experience program to gain Structured Workplace Learning credit.

The teaching program of the subjects students access in their homegroup is aligned with VCAA F-10 level 10 studies, but is also designed to provide exposure to Key Skills and Key Knowledge from the VCE Vocational Major studies. The program is therefore underpinned by both the capabilities of the F-10 curriculum and the applied learning principles from the VCE Vocational Major studies.

Selection criteria for the program is centred on student attitude, behaviour and effort over the 4 terms of Year 9, as well as career interests and aspirations. Students submit an Expression of Interest, which is reviewed by the program leaders. An interview is then arranged where the applicant and parents/guardians meet with the Dean of VCAL and the Wellbeing Coordinator in Term 3 of the preceding year. At the interview, students are required to bring a copy of their mid-year report and a referee statement recommending them for the program.

Course structure:

Students undertake a range of subjects in their homegroup where they access the F-10 curriculum through project-based, applied and collaborative learning design.

Students undertake dedicated English/Literacy and Mathematics classes, along with the following project-based classes where they access the F-10 Arts, Health & Physical Education, Humanities, Science and Technologies curriculum through group projects in the school and wider community:

  • Community Based Religious Education/Community Action
  • Work Education/Vocational Preparation
  • Physical Activity and Education

View Parade College – Year 10 Applied Learning – English - Language of Advertising sample unit.


Students undertaking the Edmund Rice Pathways program can continue into the VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM) or the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC)