What is VCE

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a senior secondary certificate of education recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). It is designed to be completed over a minimum of two years, and includes general education curriculum components (VCE studies) and programs from Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.

Each VCE study is designed to provide a two-year program. Studies are nationally and internationally benchmarked at Unit 1 and Unit 2 level to a Year 11 standard, and studies at Unit 3 and Unit 4 level are benchmarked to a Year 12 standard. Units 1 and 2 can be completed as single units and Units 3 and 4 in each study are designed to be undertaken as a sequence.

Each VCE unit involves 50 hours of scheduled classroom instruction. In addition, it is expected that students will undertake up to 50 hours of self-directed learning for each unit. Satisfactory completion of a VCE unit is based on successful completion of outcomes. Satisfactory completion of units is determined by the school, in accordance with Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) requirements.

Register for a VCE information session


Chisholm will offer VCE across 3 campuses, Dandenong (Adult VCE Year 12 only), Frankston and Berwick (Youth VCE Year 11 and 12).

VCE is offered at Berwick, Dandenong and Frankston.

ADULT VCE Year 12 Only (Dandenong) If you are 18 years and older and have not been enrolled in secondary school the previous year then you are considered an adult returning to study and classified as an ADULT Student.

YOUTH Year 11 and 12 (Berwick and Frankston) If you are under 18 years of age and were enrolled in a secondary school in the previous year then you are considered a continuing student and classified as a YOUTH Student.

Course requirements

To obtain their VCE students must pass the required number of units and meet attendance requirements.

Students who are under 18 on 1 January in the year they commence VCE need to complete 16 units in total, including three units of English (two of which must be a unit 3/4 sequence) and eight Year 12 units (four subjects or unit 3/4 sequences). Students must pass Unit 3 in order to proceed in Unit 4.

Students who are over 18 on 1 January in the year they commence VCE may qualify for adult status. These students need to complete eight Year 12 units (four subjects or unit 3/4 sequences) including two units of English and have been out of the schooling system for more than 12 months.

VCE assessments

Units 1 and 2 are marked by your school; your teachers will set a range of assessments to see how you are progressing. The assessments have deadlines and you will need to plan and submit your work on time. Deadlines can only be extended in special circumstances.

For Units 1 and 2 you will receive either S (Satisfactory), or N (Non-Satisfactory). Your school may give you a grade for each unit, but only the S counts towards your VCE.

For Units 3 and 4 you will have grades calculated from A+ to E, UG (Ungraded), or NA (Not Assessed) for your assessment tasks, as well as an S or N.

There are three graded assessments for each VCE study at Unit 3 and 4 level. All VCE VET programs with scored assessment have two graded assessments.

Depending on the study, these may be School-based Assessments and/or external assessments.

School-based assessments are set by your teacher and include School-assessed Coursework (SAC) that is completed at school, and School-assessed Tasks (SAT) that are completed at school and home. These are marked at your school. The VCAA checks the marks to make sure that all schools in Victoria are marking to the same standard. You can read about the rules for marking/assessment on the VCAA website, or you can ask your teachers.

External assessments are set and marked by the VCAA. They are the same for all students taking the same VCE study. Usually this will be an exam – whether written, oral, performance or in an electronic format.

Your external assessments are marked by assessors who are experts in their area of study. All VCE studies are marked to the same standard and there are multiple checks to make sure that marking is fair.

Exams are held each year in October and November. You will receive plenty of notice about the exact dates of your exams from your school.

A student may be eligible to sit the VCE without a score or ATAR, this can be discussed further once a student has started their course.

Not achieving graded assessments may limit a student’s options for further training, study and work. Students should be encouraged to attempt all graded assessments, as much as possible.

Study scores and ATARs

Students who study VCE at TAFE are still eligible to receive study scores and an (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) ATAR ranking. We run the same VCE course that is run in high-schools, so there is no change to any of these scores or rankings. Every VCE student who completes a VTAC application will receive an ATAR regardless of whether they have studied in a school or at TAFE.

Unscored VCE

Undertaking an unscored VCE results in the award of the VCE certificate, but will not lead to the award of study scores or an ATAR (tertiary study selection score). If this is what you would like to pursue please discuss with our administration when you are applying. A formal contract must be signed indicating your desire to do an unscored VCE.

VCE timetable 

Classes at Chisholm are timetabled in three and a half or four hour blocks. You will need to attend class once a week for each subject you undertake. Full time students usually complete five subjects. The number of days of attendance each week will depend on the timetable. Class times are as follows:

Year 12 – four hour block

  • Morning classes: 8.30am – 12.30pm
  • Afternoon classes: 1pm – 5pm

Year 11 – 3.5 hour block

  • Morning classes: 8.30am – 12pm
  • Afternoon classes: 1pm – 4.30pm

VCE Attendance

All VCE units involve at least 50 hours of scheduled classroom instruction. A student needs to attend sufficient class time to complete work. Chisholm requires a minimum 80 per cent attendance in order for a student to pass a VCE unit.

If a student has completed work but not attended class regularly it will not be possible to authenticate the student’s work and an N result will be recorded for the unit. 

Students who do not regularly attend will not be able to maintain their enrolment.

VCE Subjects

Below is a list of VCE subjects that are offered by Chisholm. These may change at any time, and classes are run subject to numbers each year.
Year 11 Youth (under 18 years) – Frankston and Berwick Year 12 Youth (under 18 years) – Frankston and Berwick Year 12 Adult (18 years+) – Dandenong Only
English (F and B) Business Management (F) Business Management (D)
Environmental Science (F) English (F and B) English (D)
General Mathematics (F and B) Environmental Science (F) EAL (D)
Health and Human Development (F and B) General Mathematics (F and B) General Mathematics (D)
History: Modern (B) History: Revolutions (B) History: Revolutions (D)
Legal Studies (F) Health and Human Development (F and B) Health and Human Development (D)
Psychology (F and B) Legal Studies (F) Legal Studies (D)
Sociology (F) Psychology (F and B) Psychology (D)
Physics (F) Sociology (F) Sociology (D)
Physical Education (B)   Physics (D)
    Persian (D)
F = Frankston campus
D = Dandenong campus
B = Berwick campus

Vocational Education Training (VET) as part of VCE

VCE students have the opportunity to complete a Vocational Education and Training course at Chisholm as part of their VCE program. Many VET classes are offered on a Wednesday or a Friday. A full list of VET options is available below. Many of the VET courses do fill up quickly and some also require the student to attend an information session prior to enrolling in the course. Contact administration to find out more information about VET courses.

It is important to note that not all VET programs are able to give students a study score.

Find VET courses offered at Chisholm VET.

Some information in this booklet has been used from the VCAA VCE Handbook which can be found on the VCAA website. Reference from Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, How VCE Works – The facts

Need further information?

The VCE department at Senior Secondary and Pathways Program are happy to discuss any further queries you may have regarding our VCE courses or processes.


(03) 9238 8140


(03) 9212 4577


(03) 9212 5167

Register for a VCE information session

See our VCE courses