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Victorian Certificate of Education

The VCE is a senior secondary certificate that provides pathways to tertiary education, advanced certificate courses and the workforce.

It is a world-class credential that enables students to study a broad range of subjects. It is recognised nationally and internationally.

Most students in Victoria receive their VCE when they complete secondary schooling. Many students outside Australia also study the VCE, including in China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.

How is the VCE structured?

The VCE course is made up of studies and units, some of which must be studied as a sequence.

A study is a subject, for example, English or Biology. It is made up of four units (Units 1, 2, 3 and 4), each of which is a semester in length.

For most students, the VCE is completed over two years.

Students typically study Units 1 and 2 in their first year, and Units 3 and 4 in their second year of the VCE.

You can study Units 1 and 2 of a study as stand-alone units. However, you must enrol in Units 3 and 4 of a study as a sequence. This sequence needs to be completed in the same year if a study score is to be calculated.

Students usually study between 20 and 24 units (five or six studies) in Years 11 and 12.

You can take longer than two years to finish the VCE if you need to. Some students start the VCE in Year 10, and some study Units 3 and 4 in Year 11.

You should talk to your teachers or careers counsellor about how to structure your VCE program to best meet your needs.

What studies can I choose?

You have a variety of study options in the VCE through which you can pursue your interests and build your skills.

There are more than 90 VCE studies and over 20 VCE VET programs across the humanities, sciences, mathematics, technology, the arts and languages, as well as vocational studies.

Each school decides which VCE studies and VET programs it will offer. If your school doesn't offer your chosen studies, they might be available from another provider.

You may want to consider Virtual School Victoria or the Victorian School of Languages, or you can speak to your VCE coordinator about other options.

Speak to your careers counsellor for advice on your options.

How should I choose which VCE studies to do?

The best idea is to choose studies that:

  • interest you
  • you are good at
  • lead to a job that interests you
  • will help you get into a university or TAFE course that you want to do.

There is a full list of VCE studies on this webpage.

What do I have to do to achieve my VCE?

To achieve your VCE you must successfully complete 16 units, including:

  • three units from the English group, two of which must be a Unit 3 and 4 sequence
  • at least three sequences of Unit 3 and 4 studies, which can include further sequences from the English group.

Your teacher can explain the differences between the English group studies or you can find out more on the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website.

You can complete the remaining units, including the three sequences at the Unit 3 and 4 level, in any study that interests you. This could even be an additional English group study on top of the units you take to meet the minimum English requirement.

Your teacher determines if you have satisfactorily completed a unit, based on the work you submit and your adherence to VCAA and school rules.

You can use this chart to help you plan your VCE