The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a certificate that recognises the successful completion of secondary education in Victoria.

The VCE provides pathways to further study at university, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and to the world of work. Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the VCE program combines general VCE studies with vocational training and experience in the workplace. It is even possible to undertake a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship within your VCE.

A VCE ‘study’ is broken up into four units. Each VCE study unit is numbered 1, 2, 3 or 4. Student programs may include some Units 1 and 2 in Year 10 and/or some Units 3 and 4 in the first year. At Emmaus College there is a wide range of VCE Studies on offer.

In Years 11 and 12 students undertake studies accredited by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). These studies form the basis for the award of the Victorian Certificate Of Education (VCE) by that body.

Satisfactory Completion of a Unit

Within a Unit of Study each Learning Outcome completed by a student is judged as either S (Satisfactory) or N (Not Satisfactory).

A student is awarded a Unit result of S only if all of the Learning Outcomes required within that Unit have been demonstrated to a satisfactory level.

A student is awarded a Unit Result  of N if one or more of the Learning Outcomes within the Unit have not been demonstrated to a satisfactory level, or his/her attendance at class does not meet the minimum requirement.

In order to achieve a Unit Result of S, a student must have:

  • Completed all School Course Tasks
  • Achieved a Unit Grade of E or above
  • Met the minimum attendance requirement.

Satisfactory Completion of the VCE

In order to satisfactorily complete the Victorian Certificate of Education a student is required by VCAA to gain an S result in: A total of sixteen units or more, which must include at least three Units of English Studies, and at least three additional Units 3/4 sequences.

Assessment of a Unit  

Within each Unit students are required to complete a number of Assessments tasks, from which judgements are made regarding the standard of their work.

These tasks may include:

Classroom Exercises, Folios of Work, Research Reports, Practical Exercises, Tests and Examinations.  Within Unit 3 and 4 sequences (usually taken in Year 12) these tasks form the basis of the School Assessed Coursework (SACs) or School Assessed Tasks (SATs) which must be completed by all students within the VCE taking that Unit Sequence.

Each Sequence has School Assessed Coursework or School Assessed Tasks to be completed at specified times during the year and the results of these communicated to the VCAA. In addition, the sequence will include at least one examination which is externally set, marked and graded.

The Grade results on School Assessed Coursework/School Assessed Tasks and the externally set Examination will form the basis for many tertiary entrance selection procedures.

For detailed information concerning procedures for the conduct of the VCE at Emmaus College please access the Emmaus College VCE Handbook here:

Structure of VCE at Emmaus College

Students in Year 11 will normally undertake English, Religious Education and five other subjects for a full year.

Students in Year 12 will normally undertake English, Religious Education and four subjects.

Advice on English Selections

English Language

English Language is not an easy option or a subject that does not require students to read widely. Instead, it requires insight and a strong ability to interpret and analyse a variety of texts. To do this successfully, students need to be discerning readers with a well developed ability to infer the nuances of written expression in a range of texts.

While English Language is sometimes recommended to students with an affinity for Mathematics and Science subjects, it is not suitable for students who are not confident readers of media texts. The ability to recognise and analyse trends in language usage also requires students to be familiar with and have a well developed interest in current affairs and issues.

English Language is generally more demanding than  English and requires a precision of thought and expression which many students find challenging.


Literature is a subject which offers able students the opportunity to discuss and dissect a range of literary texts. However, it requires this to be done at a higher order and with a degree of autonomy and precision greater than would be typical of a mainstream English class. There is also less clarity about structure and form in responses and analyses, which some students could find daunting.

English Literature is suited to students who are confident, autonomous readers with the language and analysis skills needed to undertake a self-directed approach to text study.

To be considered for VCE English Language or Literature, Year 10 Students are required to achieve a minimum English score of 65 percent. An interview with the Learning Area leader may also form part of the selection process.

Promotion to Year 11  

(a) Normal Procedure:

Promotion to Year 11 requires the satisfactory completion of eleven semester units, including at least one unit of English, at Year 10 level, in both formal examination and learning outcomes.


Meeting the entry requirements of individual subject units within a program. Generally, this means that students need to score at least 50 in the relevant subject in each semester.

(b) Compensation:

A student may be promoted to Year 11 by compensation on satisfactory completion of either 9, 10, 11 units.

Special Consideration  

A student may be promoted to Year 11 by the Principal on grounds of Special Consideration if it can be shown that the student experienced hardship of a permanent or temporary nature which affects his/her school work. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Principal of the details or circumstance relating to the student’s application. Official forms are available from the Head of Campus.

No Special Consideration will be given to a student who has been absent from the school or study for prolonged periods e.g. overseas trips, prolonged holidays, and has therefore been unable to satisfactorily complete required work.

Entry into Specific Subjects

Because of the specialist nature of some individual studies, a number of additional promotion score apply. These are summarised below. The grade scores relate to levels of performance at Year 10 level, averaged over Semester 1 and Semester 2.


Accounting 50 in Mathematics (Recommended)
Chemistry 60 in Mathematics & 60 in Science
German 60 in German
Indonesian 60 in Indonesian
Italian 60 in Italian
Literature 65 in English
English Language 65 in English
Mathematics Methods 60 in Mathematics
General Mathematics 50 in Mathematics
Specialist Mathematics 70 in Mathematics
Music Performance 60 in Music or approval from VCE teacher
Physics 60 in Mathematics & 50 Science
Psychology 50 in Mathematics & 50 Science

Undertaking Unit 3 & 4 Studies in Year 11

Students who successfully complete VCE Units during Year 10 will be given an opportunity to undertake Units 3 and 4 in Year 11.

A student wishing to be selected for any of the Unit 3 and 4 VCE subjects while enrolled in Year 11,  must have:

  • satisfactorily completed core and elective subjects in Year 10;
  • scored 65 in both VCE Units at Year 10; and
  • strong teacher and Learning Area Leader recommendation.

Note: Students will normally be permitted to undertake only one Unit 3 and 4 sequence in Year 11.