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Extra challenges

Higher Education Studies in the VCE

a young woman playing a cello

Ceridwen McCooey performing her original composition Nothing to do with Calypso at Top Class Sound 2018

a young man standing next to a clothes mannaquin

Lleyton Abdulli was selected for the Creative Museums program Internship, pictured with his textile design at Top Designs 2018

If you've done well in your studies and want an extra challenge, you might be able to do a Higher Education study in Year 12.

A Higher Education study provides you with a defined pathway into a tertiary program. It can count towards your VCE and the first year of a university course in that study.

Only one Higher Education study can contribute towards your VCE, and your school has to approve you for the program.

Higher Education studies are offered by the VCAA in conjunction with most major universities in Victoria. The VCAA website has a list of universities that offer Higher Education studies. You can find them on the VCE studies page.

VCE (Baccalaureate)

You might be eligible for the VCE – Baccalaureate in recognition of the depth, breadth and achievement level of your studies. To receive the VCE – Baccalaureate you must complete the VCE with:

  • a score of 30 or above for English, Literature or English Language, or a study score of 33 for English as an Additional Language
  • a VCE Languages study
  • VCE Mathematical Methods or Specialist Mathematics
  • study scores for at least two other Unit 3 and 4 sequences.

Your school can give you more information about the VCE – Baccalaureate.

Industry Pathways

a young man standing next to a model of a vehicle

Top Designs 2018 exhibitor Bishal Shrestha with his 'Marsmobile', created in VCE Systems Engineering

Industry Pathways in the VCE and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) provide a form of recognition for students who choose to complete a senior secondary program of study in a specific vocational area. They are two-year programs and you can be awarded your VCE or VCAL with an Industry Pathway.

Industry Pathways are currently available in the following industries:

  • Building and Construction
  • Community Services and Health
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Sport and Recreation.

Excellence and awards

There are awards and recognition available for high-achieving students who are studying the arts, design or technology, or involved in community service or public speaking:

a group of young filmmakers standing outside ACMI in Melbourne

Top Screen 2018 Filmmakers : Robert Hess, Caitlin Liston, Jenna Tang and Rachel Hooker at the Top Screen 2018 launch

Awards can provide opportunities and a portfolio that can help your career and personal development. Find out more in the Excellence and Awards section of the VCAA website.

Profile of these awards in 2017

a group of students smiling and standing in a row

PESA 2017 State finalists (L–R): Cree Oliveira, Emma Darvas, Niamh Nolan, Fergus Dale, Shahani Munaff and Anand Bharadwaj

  • nearly 14,000 people booked to attend Top Designs at Melbourne Museum
  • more than 3900 people attended Top Screen at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image
  • about 10,000 people attended Top Class and Top Acts concerts
  • over 33,000 people attended Top Arts at the National Gallery of Victoria
  • more than 220 students from across Victoria participated in PESA.

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