The range of options available in the senior secondary years of schooling is wide and continues to expand. The majority of students go on to complete the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), however, there are a number of pathways available for students to achieve a senior secondary qualification.

These pathways make it possible for a variety of student needs to be met within the school environment.

At Loreto College, we seek to provide as many of these senior secondary pathways as possible so that students can make the choice which suits them best and will allow them to achieve their own personal goals.

While many of our students will follow the pathway into a VCE program, some will include a Vocational Education and Training (VET) component in their studies. Another option open to students whose needs may not be met by VCE and VET studies is the Victorian Certificate of Education Vocational Major (VCE VM).

Senior Pathways Information Book

This handbook has been prepared to give you as much information as possible on the VCE, VCE VM and VET programs available at Loreto College. You will find information about the many units offered in the booklet below and the staff who can assist further with specific subject areas.

1. VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education)

VCE provides students with a post-compulsory certificate which allows students to access diverse pathways beyond school and attests to their readiness to enter post-school studies. It is awarded to students who satisfactorily complete a program of studies as described by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). This program, for a full-time student at Loreto College, will consist of 22 units taken over four semesters or two years. At the end of Year 12, students would normally receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), which can be used for university and/or Tertiary and Further Education (TAFE) entrance.

Victorian Curriculum Assessment Requirements:

For the award of the VCE, students must satisfactorily complete a total of no fewer than 16 units over the two years of VCE study.

These satisfactorily completed units must include:

  • Three units of the common study of English (1,2,3 and 4) or English Language or Literature
  • Three sequences of Units 3 & 4 studies other than English

Year 11 VCE Core Subject Structure

  • Unit 1 & 2 English (or English equivalent) plus five other Unit 1 & 2 subjects.
  • Religious Education

Year 12 VCE Core Subject Structure

  • Unit 3 & 4 English (or English equivalent) plus four other Unit 3 & 4 subjects.
  • Religious Education (unless chosen as a Unit 3 & 4 elective)

2. VCE Vocational Major

The VCE Vocational Major (VM) is a vocational and applied learning program within the VCE designed to be completed over a minimum of two years. The VCE VM will give students greater choice and flexibility to pursue their strengths and interests and develop the skills and capabilities needed to succeed in further education, work and life.
It prepares students to move into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, university (via non-ATAR pathways) or directly into the workforce.
The purpose of the VCE VM is to provide students with the best opportunity to achieve their personal goals and aspirations in a rapidly changing world by:

  • equipping them with the skills, knowledge, values and capabilities to be active and informed citizens, lifelong learners and confident and creative individuals; and
  • empowering them to make informed decisions about the next stages of their lives through real life workplace experiences.

The VCE VM can be tailored to the needs and interests of the student, to keep them engaged while developing their skills and knowledge. Students can also include other VCE studies and VET, and can receive structured workplace learning recognition.

Year 11 students undertaking VCE studies in 2023 will be able to study the new VCE Vocational Major. The VCE Vocational Major replaces the VCAL Program.

VCE Subjects available for VCE VM Students

The VCE subjects on offer in 2023 are:

  • VCE Art Making and Exhibiting Unit 1
  • VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies Unit 1 & 2

VET Program within VCE VM

Loreto College will be offering VET Courses in the following disciplines:
• Students will study a Certificate III in VET Business Management (compulsory).

Plus can choose one of the Below:
• Certificate II - Active Volunteering
• Certificate II - Cookery
• Certificate II and III - Sport and Recreation

Or any of the VETDSS programs offered by the Highlands LLEN*, go to for more information.

Other VET courses available are:

  • Certificate III in Design Fundamentals
    (Fashion, Interiors or Creative Direction & Styling) – Whitehouse Institute of Design (Melbourne)*
  • Certificate II in Cookery – William Angliss Institute (Melbourne)*
  • Certificate III in Make-up – Elly Lukas Beauty
    Therapy College (Melbourne)*

*Please note that there may be associated fees for Highlands LLEN and other external VET courses - please contact the Careers Team for further information.

VCE VM RE Program

Students investigate how they live in an interconnected world, and inquire how they can respect and actively contribute to an act of justice for all creation. They explore our understanding of ‘the poor and the vulnerable’ in our world, and through activity consider their social responsibility as students at a Catholic school and as young adults in our society. Exploration includes whom we serve, how we serve others and how we welcome others in our society.

Students investigate how Christians value the sacredness of human life created in the image and continuing to grow in likeness of God. They explore how they are valued and loved, and how they can best use their gifts in VCAL as they progress to their post-school world. They explore other people’s lives and their own. Students can bring their understandings to a group project that will identify themselves as an integral element of the VCE VM community.

3. VET

As part of your senior schooling, you are now able to study courses that not only contribute towards your VCE, VCE VM and ATAR (with certain restrictions), but also give you an industry recognised qualification when you complete that course. The courses are called Vocational Education Training Courses (VET) and can be studied at school or through another Registered Training Organisation such as VETIS (VET in School through a TAFE facility). These courses can also involve undertaking “Structured Workplace Learning” where you will take part in a work placement related to your course industry area.

By completing a VET course, not only do they contribute towards your VCE (and some will count towards your ATAR depending upon the course of study), but you will also gain a Nationally recognised industry qualification or partial completion. This means that if you choose to go to TAFE when you leave school, and continue your study in that same area, you will be deemed to have completed part of that TAFE course already. Employers see that qualification as being very valuable and it can really help you with getting a job.

Subject Selection Process

Students will be asked to select their course of study over their two senior years. Students need to list the units they wish to study each year. They will need to consult their current teachers for advice on their subject selection.

It is hoped that all students will make the most of the opportunities offered to them both in preparation for their senior years and in the challenge this will no doubt hold. Student choice is the central element of our planning for subject offerings. Not all subjects can be offered in any one year.

Students are required to enter subject preferences online.

Parent and student information sessions will be held throughout July. In August all students in Years 9-11 will receive an email via their school email account providing them with a web preferences link, an individual student access code and password. Please check emails, PAM or the App for details on subject preference due dates.

Information Evenings

Information evening for Year 10, 11 and 12 are held during June or July each year. Please check PAM and the Loreto App for the dates and times for all Year Level Information Evenings.