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titleStructure of the Victorian Certificate of Education

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is an Australian senior school certificate operated by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA). It is one of two senior school options offered at Princes Hill Secondary College.

There are approximately 45 subjects in the VCE, some which contain several options. Most subjects have four units, each lasting one semester or half-year.

  • Units 1 and 2 are generally taken in Year 11.

  • Units 3 and 4, which are more advanced, are usually taken in Year 12.

  • Students can, however, take a unit 3 and 4 subject in Year 11 subject to approval.

  • While units 1 and 2 can be taken as single units, units 3 and 4 must be taken as a sequence.


It is anticipated that students at Princes Hill SC will undertake:

  • In Year 11: six unit 1’s and six unit 2’s, including English or EAL units 1 and 2.

  • In Year 12: five unit 3 and 4 sequences including at least one of: English or EAL or Literature units 3 and 4.

The majority of students undertake VCE over two years, although it is possible to complete units over 3 (or more) years without penalty.

For more details see the VCAA  VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook - Qualifications.

VCE (Baccalaureate)   Those students who undertake a breadth of subjects may be eligible for this certificate.


titleAttendance policy

The PHSC VCE Attendance policy was developed to fulfill VCAA requirements.

For each semester-length unit the following attendance policy applies: 

  1. No more than five unexplained parent explained absences will be permitted per subject per semester. An unexplained  A parent explained absence in VCE means that no medical certificate has been provided. An A Medically certified explained absence is where a medical certificate is provided. Up to seven absences will be accepted with medical certificates.
  2. With this in mind family holidays should ONLY be arranged during scheduled school holidays.
  3. Lateness-  each late is considered an unexplained absence. If a student accumulates 2 or more late arrivals over a 2 week period parents will be informed that the student will be required to attend on attend a detention after school on the Friday afternoon.
  4. To met meet the unit outcome/s students are required to complete work in class so teachers can verify and authenticate their work. Students who exceed the permitted absence rate of twelve, or who have reached six unexplained absences in a particular unit, will immediately be given an ‘unsatisfactory completion'.
  5. In the event of a student exceeding the permissible absence rate, the following procedures will apply:
    1. Firstly there will be an enrolment review. This means that the student may have to withdraw from the unit(s). However, they may be permitted to apply for consideration of disadvantage on grounds of illness or other hardship, or apply for redemption (e.g. making up for missed classes) after receiving ‘Not Satisfactory’. This could result in them obtaining ‘satisfactory completion’. Parents/guardians may be contacted at this stage. 

    2. If student is given the opportunity to make up missed classes, they must do so done on a Wednesday or after school. The arrangement must be made with the level coordinator and the appropriate form must be completed. The possibility of make-up classes is not automatic. If a student has not made an effort to improve attendance they might not be given the opportunity to do so. It is possible to gain an ‘N’ (not satisfactory) due to poor attendance.

    3.  If a student is ill and miss the scheduled make up class time MUST supply a medical certificate. 

Parents should check Compass regularly to view their child's attendance to ensure they are complying with the above policy.


titleSpecial examination arrangements (including the General Achievement Test (GAT))

Eligible students may apply to the VCAA for special arrangements for their exams. In the case of Year 12 exams, applications must be supported by recent independent professional advice (medical, psychological and/or educational test results). This could mean, for example, extra reading and/or writing time, rest breaks or the use of a computer in exams. Applications must be made through the Year 12 coordinator. If this applies to you, speak to Debra Icely Dani Crew as soon as possible. Applications are due in to VCAA early March. Emergency Arrangments can be made immediately prior to exams if necessary.