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Extra challenges

Higher Education Study in the VCE

If you've done well in your studies and want an extra challenge, you might be able to do a Higher Education Study in Year 12.

A Higher Education Study provides you with a defined pathway into a tertiary program. It can count towards your VCE and the first year of a university course in that study.

Only one Higher Education Study can contribute towards your VCE, and your school has to approve you for the program.

Higher Education Studies are offered by the VCAA in conjunction with most major universities in Victoria. The VCAA website has a list of universities that offer Higher Education Studies. You can find them on the VCE Studies webpage.

VCE – Baccalaureate

You might be eligible for the VCE – Baccalaureate in recognition of the depth, breadth and achievement level of your studies. To receive the VCE – Baccalaureate you must complete the VCE with:

  • a score of 30 or above for English, Literature or English Language, or a study score of 33 for English as an Additional Language
  • a VCE Languages study
  • VCE Mathematical Methods or Specialist Mathematics
  • study scores for at least two other Unit 3 and 4 sequences.

Your school can give you more information about the VCE – Baccalaureate.

Industry Pathways

Industry Pathways in the VCE and VCAL provide a form of recognition for students who choose to complete a senior secondary program of study in a specific vocational area. They are two-year programs and you can be awarded your VCE or VCAL with an Industry Pathway.

Industry Pathways are currently available in the following industries:

  • Building and Construction
  • Community Services and Health
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Sport and Recreation.

Excellence and awards

There are awards and recognition available for high-achieving students who are studying the arts, design, technology or VCE Extended Investigation, or involved in community service or public speaking. These include the:

  • VCE Season of Excellence, including Top Arts, Top Designs, Top Screen, Top Class, Top Acts and Top Talks
  • Margaret Schofield Memorial Scholarships
  • VCAA Plain English Speaking Award (PESA)
  • VCE Leadership Awards
  • Premier's VCE Awards.

As an indication of the profile of these awards, in 2018:

  • nearly 12,000 people booked to attend Top Designs at Melbourne Museum
  • more than 4100 people attended Top Screen at ACMI
  • nearly 9500 people attended Top Class and Top Acts concerts
  • over 33,000 people attended Top Arts at the National Gallery of Victoria
  • more than 220 students from across Victoria registered for PESA.