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About VCE and the Vocational Major

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is Victoria’s senior secondary qualification. It opens pathways to university, higher-level TAFE or VET certificate courses, apprenticeships, traineeships and the workforce.

The VCE has expanded to include the Vocational Major, meaning you can study a new 2-year vocational and applied learning program within the VCE.

The VCE Vocational Major will develop your personal and practical life skills. It will help to prepare you for the next important stage of your life.

Study options

  • There are a range of subjects, called studies, for you to explore in your VCE or VCE Vocational Major. Talk to your school about designing a course that suits your needs and aligns to your many talents.

    VCE and VCE VM study options


    • Art Creative Practice
    • Art Making and Exhibiting
    • Dance
    • Drama
    • Media
    • Music
      - Music†
      - Music Composition*
      - Music Contemporary Performance*
      - Music Inquiry*
      - Music Repertoire Performance*
    • Theatre Studies
    • Visual Communication Design

    Business and Economics

    • Accounting
    • Business Management
    • Economics
    • Industry and Enterprise
    • Legal Studies


    • Extended Investigation*


    • Bridging English as an Additional Language†
    • English and English as an Additional Language
    • English Language
    • Foundation English†
    • Literature

    Health and Physical Education

    • Health and Human Development
    • Outdoor and Environmental Studies
    • Physical Education


    • Australian and Global Politics
      • Australian and Global Politics†
      • Australian Politics*
      • Global Politics*
    • Classical Studies
    • Geography
    • History
      • Ancient History
      • Australian History*
      • Empires†
      • Modern History†
      • Revolutions*
    • Philosophy
    • Religion and Society
    • Sociology
    • Texts and Traditions


    • Aboriginal Languages of Victoria
    • Arabic
    • Armenian
    • Auslan
    • Bengali
    • Bosnian
    • Chin Hakha
    • Chinese First Language
    • Chinese Language Culture and Society
    • Chinese Second Language
    • Chinese Second Language Advanced
    • Classical Greek
    • Classical Hebrew
    • Croatian
    • Dutch
    • Filipino
    • French
    • German
    • Greek
    • Hebrew
    • Hindi
    • Hungarian
    • Indonesian First Language
    • Indonesian Second Language
    • Italian
    • Japanese First Language
    • Japanese Second Language
    • Karen
    • Khmer
    • Korean First Language
    • Korean Second Language
    • Latin
    • Macedonian
    • Persian
    • Polish
    • Portuguese
    • Punjabi
    • Romanian
    • Russian
    • Serbian
    • Sinhala
    • Spanish
    • Swedish
    • Tamil
    • Turkish
    • Vietnamese First Language
    • Vietnamese Second Language
    • Yiddish


    • Foundation Mathematics
    • General Mathematics
    • Mathematical Methods
    • Specialist Mathematics


    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Environmental Science
    • Physics
    • Psychology


    • Agricultural and Horticultural Studies
    • Food Studies
    • Product Design and Technology
    • Systems Engineering

    Digital Technologies

    • Algorithmics (HESS)*
    • Applied Computing
      • Applied Computing†
      • Software Development*
      • Data Analytics*

    VCE Vocational Major (VM)

    Available to VCE Vocational Major students only.

    • VCE VM Literacy
    • VCE VM Numeracy
    • VCE VM Work Related Skills
    • VCE VM Personal Development Skills


    • † Units 1 and 2 only
    • * Units 3 and 4 only

    Please ask your school careers counsellor about the studies your school offers.

You can also complete VET in the VCE or VCE Vocational Major. There are 27 VCE VET studies to choose from, and more schools across Victoria are offering priority VET programs.

Where a VCE Vocational Major can take you

The VCE Vocational Major offers a pathway into:

  • apprenticeships
  • traineeships
  • further education and training
  • university (through alternative entry programs)
  • employment.

Remember that you already have many talents and you can now pursue them under the new VCE.

Getting the VCE Vocational Major

To get your VCE Vocational Major, you must successfully finish at least 16 units. These will include units in:

  • VCE VM Literacy or VCE English
  • VCE VM Numeracy or VCE Mathematics
  • VCE VM Work Related Skills
  • VCE VM Personal Development Skills
  • VET at a Certificate II level or above (180 nominal hours)

Many VCE Vocational Major students also add other VCE studies to their program.

Your teacher or careers counsellor will help you plan your program. Most students will finish their VCE Vocational Major over 2 years.

You will apply knowledge and skills in practical settings such as workplaces. You’ll do community-based activities and projects that involve working in a team. You can also receive credit for on-the-job learning.

Your teachers will assess your progress through a range of activities. You won’t receive a study score for the VCE Vocational Major subjects, which means these subjects won’t count towards an ATAR. This is because there are no exams or other external assessments, apart from the General Achievement Test and in some scored VCE VET programs.

When you’ve completed your course, you will receive a Victorian Certificate of Education with the additional words ‘Vocational Major’.

VCE Vocational Major Pathway – Kamala’s Journey

Kamala likes learning on the job and wants to be a metal fabricator, so she’s going to enrol in the VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM). She’ll do VCE VM studies and a VCE VET Certificate II in Engineering. Kamala will finish secondary school with her Victorian Certificate of Education - Vocational Major. She discussed all this with her family, teacher and school careers counsellor.

Before this, Kamala had spent time on her grandparent’s farm and helped them build a few sheds. In year 10, Kamala participated in a TAFE taster day and experienced VET engineering. She then went on a careers excursion to a local caravan manufacturer and asked if she could do Structured Workplace learning at the company while she was in year 11. This means she’ll spend some school time at the caravan manufacturer learning on the job. She will receive credit for this time towards her VCE Vocational Major. When she completes year 12, Kamala hopes to gain an apprenticeship with this company.

Kamala’s Year 11 studies

  • VCE VM Literacy Units 1 and 2
  • VCE General Maths Units 1 and 2
  • VCE VM Work Related Skills Units 1 and 2
  • VCE VET Certificate II in Engineering Studies Units 1 and 2
  • VET Structured Workplace Learning Unit 1 (90 hours)

Kamala’s Year 12 studies

  • VCE VM Literacy Units 3 and 4
  • VCE General Maths Units 3 and 4
  • VCE VM Personal Development Skills Units 3 and 4
  • VCE VM Work Related Skills Units 3 and 4
  • VCE VET Certificate II in Engineering Studies Units 3 and 4
  • VET Structured Workplace Learning Unit 2 (90 hours)

Where the VCE can take you

The VCE offers a direct pathway to university and can provide you with an ATAR.

Getting the VCE

To get your VCE, you must successfully complete at least 16 units, including:

  • 3 units from the English group, including a unit 3 and 4 sequence
  • at least 3 other sequences of unit 3 and 4 studies.

Over years 11 and 12, most students study between 20 and 24 units, usually 6 studies in year 11 and dropping back to 5 in year 12.

You can only take the new studies of Literacy, Numeracy, Work Related Skills and Personal Development Skills if you are enrolled in the VCE Vocational Major.

Talk to your teacher or careers counsellor about how to build your VCE program to best suit you.

VCE Pathway – Deshi’s Journey

Deshi wants to be a lawyer so he’s going to enrol in VCE studies like English, Mathematics, Legal Studies, Physical Education, History and VCE VET Business. He will finish secondary school with his VCE.

Deshi has chosen studies that are relevant to his future career as well as those he has a genuine interest in. He discussed his choices with his teacher and school careers counsellor so that he meets the university course prerequisites to study law.

Deshi’s Year 10 studies

  • VCE Physical Education Units 1 & 2

Deshi’s Year 11 studies

  • VCE English Units 1 and 2
  • VCE Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2
  • VCE Legal Studies Units 1 and 2
  • VCE Modern History Units 1 and 2
  • VCE Physical Education Units 3 and 4
  • VCE VET Certificate III in Business Units 1 and 2

Deshi’s Year 12 studies

  • VCE English Units 3 and 4
  • VCE Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4
  • VCE History Revolutions Units 3 and 4
  • VCE Legal Studies Units 3 and 4
  • VCE VET Certificate III in Business Units 3 and 4

More information

VCE results and ATARExternal Link

General Achievement Test (GAT)External Link

VCE VM CurriculumExternal Link

My VCE Student guideExternal Link

Reviewed 24 January 2023


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