Senior Pathways - Year 11 & 12

We encourage all students to follow their own preference to undertake VCAL or VCE and study subjects for which they have a natural disposition and interest and that will assist them in the industry into which they will begin their study or work life.  

At Clonard we recognise that everyone is different which is why we offer both the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), a vibrant and engaging Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and a full Vocational Education and Training (VET) suite of subjects.  The diagram below might help you understand how these different programs operate and how they all, either directly or indirectly, lead students to higher education at TAFE or University.  

Most students undertake the VCE while others choose the VCAL pathway.  VET is available in both programs.  VCAL leads directly to TAFE and then university while VCE leads directly to university.  
For more information about Subject Selection in the Senior Years, please watch the video below or see the links.

Everything you need to know about programs and subjects offered at Clonard College: 
Senior Years Handbook 2019   Senior Years Handbook 2019       (546 KB)

Everything you need to know about VCE:

Everything you need to know about VCAL:

Everything you need to know about VET:
VET in VCE and VCAL -

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

The Victorian Certificate of Education is an accredited senior school qualification. The Victorian Certificate of Education is the certificate that the majority of students in Victoria receive on satisfactory completion of their secondary education. It is an outstanding qualification that is recognised around the world. The VCE provides diverse pathways to further study or training at university or TAFE and to employment.

Studies in VCE are broken into four units (Unit1, 2, 3 and 4) and each unit runs for one semester (two terms).  Most students will study Units 1 and 2 (Semester 1 and 2) in Year 11 and Units 3 and 4 at Year 12.  All students take six subjects plus Religious Education at Year 11 and five subjects plus Religious Education at Year 12. All students must complete at least five VCE studies. 

At Clonard College students can accelerate into a VCE study at Year 10 and we recommend that all students investigate this as possibility.  This allows students to complete one subject in Year 11 which can lead to either taking on a sixth subject  or doing only four at Year 12. We undertake specific and targeted Careers’ Education from Year 7 which focuses heavily in Year 9 to support students in the beginnings of their senior education.  We do this to enable students to make decisions in VCE subjects that are informed by their own reflections on themselves, their natural talents and dispositions and skills. 


Students who complete the VCE have an Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR) through their studies (usually 50% of the ATAR is derived from school coursework (SACs) and 50% is from exams at the end of Unit 4).   Each subject has a ‘study score’ out of 50 and the ATAR is derived from a student’s top four subjects (which includes English) with 10% of the fifth and sixth study (where a sixth is undertaken). This ATAR is used by universities to determine who is offered a place in a course of study.  

Logically, the higher the ATAR a student attains, the greater choice they have of not only courses of study but universities and learning institutions.  The ATAR required for courses is published every year in the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) through which all students apply for courses.  The required ATAR does change every year in response to demand – the higher the demand, the higher the ATAR required. 

The following VCE subjects are offered and students can also undertake VCAL or VET programs.



  Religious Education (VCE and School Units)   


  Art / Studio Art

  Australian & Global Politics

  Business Management




  Environmental Science


  Food Studies



  Health & Human Development

  History - Twentieth Century (1 & 2)
  History - Australian (3 & 4)

  History - Revolutions (3 & 4)


  Legal Studies



  Media Studies

  Outdoor & Environmental Studies


  Physical Education Theory



  Theatre Studies

  General Mathematics (1 & 2)

  Further Mathematics (3 & 4)

  Mathematical Methods (1-4)

  Specialist Mathematics (3 & 4)

  Materials Technology (Food)

  Text and Traditions

  Visual Communication (Graphics)

  A number of Vocational Education 
  and Training Courses (VET) are offered 
  in co-ordination with the Gordon Institute 
  and other providers.

  The College also offers the Victorian 
  Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) 
  as an alternative to the VCE program.

  Some students are also able to undertake university subjects
as part of their VCE program


Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

The VCAL has been designed with the needs of young people in Years 11 and 12 in mind. The certificate was accredited by the Victorian Qualifications Authority (VQA) in July 2002 and is delivered as a complementary qualification to the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). Students can transfer credit for successful completion of units in a VCAL to the VCE and vice versa.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning is accredited at three award levels: 

* Vic Certificate of Applied Learning (Foundation)

* Vic Certificate of Applied Learning (Intermediate) 

* Vic Certificate of Applied Learning (Senior) 

VCAL Learning Programs must comprise four curriculum strands including compulsory studies in Literacy and Numeracy. 

The four strands are:

* Literacy and Numeracy skills;

* Industry Specific skills (Vet or SBNA’s) 

* Work Related skills; and 

* Personal Development skills.

The VCAL is designed to develop and extend pathways for young people from school to further education and work.  Successful completion of the VCAL will enable students to extend their areas of learning through enrolment in further VET Certificates and/or qualifications based on training packages. Further transition options also include apprenticeships or traineeships, enrolment in VCE and employment.