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 Structure 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. 

 Requirements for graduating with the VCE

Students must satisfactorily complete 16 units to gain a VCE including:
           at least 3 units from English, Literature or EAL

   and three other unit 3/4 sequences.

All students must study English/English as an Additional language and/or English Literature at Year 11 and 12 levels.

Important note: to gain an ATAR, both units 3 and 4 from the English group must be satisfactorily completed. 


Students must complete units 1 and 2 of any VET course prior to enrolling in units 3 and 4. While there are no prerequisites for undertaking any VCE 3/4 units, faculty coordinators strongly recommend that units 1 and 2 of Languages, Physics, Chemistry and Accounting are completed prior to undertaking these subjects as units 3 and 4.

Students undertaking VCE Mathematics need to consult the information under the header ‘Deciding which Mathematics units to take’ on page 50 to determine the most beneficial sequence of units.


 Authentication of work

A teacher will not accept your work if they believe that it has been copied from somewhere else. To show the teacher that your work is your own, you must:

a.   Regularly complete work in class.

b.   Hand in work regularly throughout the semester. Show the teacher drafts of work when

c.   Keep ALL drafts, notes etc. until the end of assessment.

If a teacher believes a student has cheated in a SAC, VCAA rules will apply. These rules are set out in the VCAA VCE Handbook, accessible on the VCAA website


 Assessment (Units 1 and 2)

The College determines tasks for units 1 and 2 assessment. Marks are not reported to the VCAA. Students will receive a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grade for all units and this is reported to VCAA. 

 How does a student gain an 'S' for a unit?

Teachers will determine a set of tasks for students to complete. These tasks will address a series of outcomes set by the VCAA.  Each VCE unit includes a set of two to four outcomes.  Achievement of the outcomes is based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on tasks designated for the unit. These series of tasks can include the SACs and SATS. The students will be awarded an 'S' for a unit when:

a.        The work meets the required standard as described in the outcomes, and all required course work has been completed.

b.       The work has been submitted on time.

c.        The work is clearly the student’s own.

d.       There has been no serious breach of rules, including attendance rules.

 Year 11 to 12 Promotion Policy

In order to complete the VCE in two years, a minimum of eight units (including at least one unit of English) must be satisfactorily completed in Year 11. With eight units, promotion to Year 12 is automatic. If only four to seven units have been satisfactorily completed, students will negotiate with the coordinators the most appropriate path, e.g. completing VCE over three years. 

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