The VCE Vocational Major is a newly accredited senior secondary school qualification undertaken in Years 11 and 12. The VCE Vocational Major is the replacement for the Intermediate and Senior VCAL. It is a two year program over Year 11 and 12. Only students who enrol in the full program can choose these new VCE VM studies.
The VCE-Vocational Major is an approach that emphasises the relevance of what is being learnt to the ‘real world’ outside the classroom, and makes that connection as immediate and transparent as possible. This focus on a real-life application will often require a shift from a traditional focus on discrete curriculum areas, as students focus on learning and applying the skills and knowledge they need to solve a problem, implement a project or participate in the workforce.
As a result of this, applied learning will involve students and their teachers in partnerships and connections with organisations and individuals outside school. These partnerships provide the necessary out-of-school context for students to demonstrate the relevance of what they have learnt.
The VCE Vocational Major will prepare students to move successfully into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, university through alternative entry programs or directly into the workforce. The four main studies are assessed at a school level through authentic assessment activities. There are no external examinations for the VCE VM studies and therefore students do not receive a study score, and are not eligible to receive an ATAR.
Students who have completed the satisfactory completion requirements of the VCE VM will receive a Victorian Certificate of Education with the words Vocational Major on it to recognise their achievements.
The VCE Vocational Major will be recognised internationally, be valued by employers and will build on the strengths of VCAL including providing:
- flexible timetables that allow students to study at school, TAFE and work
- opportunities to experience real-life workplaces
- subjects that will build students’ skills and prepare them for life after school
- greater access to high quality VET learning, either in school, a neighbouring school or a local TAFE
Course selection in 2024
The following diagram sets out the senior secondary pathways for students commencing the VCE or VCE VM in 2024.
Who should do VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM)?
Students who apply for a Vocational Major program are likely to be interested in going on to:
- Vocational education (TAFE)
- Doing an SBAT/Apprenticeship/Traineeship
VCE VM is a program that requires a strong commitment to ALL of the following:
- Sound organisation and time management skills
- Working effectively at all times with teachers and other students in class and on team projects
- Working in teams on community-based projects and representing Bright P-12 College with pride at all times
- Contributing ideas and discussion to develop projects with others
- Finding and keeping a structured work placement every week
- Bright P-12 College attendance policy
- Working to your full potential in ALL of your subjects
What does a VCE VM program look like?
The VCE VM’s flexibility enables students to design a study program that suits their interests and learning needs.
Students attend classes at school 3 days per week. Students do their VET program on one of the days that they are not required to attend classes at school. Students are required to obtain and attend their structured workplace learning placement on the other day that they are not required to attend classes at school.
Subjects studied in VCE VM Include
- VCE VM Literacy
- VCE VM Numeracy
- Personal Development Skills
- Work Related Skills (WRS)
- Industry Specific Skills (VET)
- All students must also find a Structured Workplace Placement (SWL) or an SBAT
- Other VCE subjects, providing students achieve an S in Units 1&2 PDS and/or WRS
What is Structured Workplace Learning?
As a part of the VCE VM program students are required to undertake Structured Workplace Learning (SWL).
Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) involves a student finding an industry placement aligned with their VET program, which can give them experience and an understanding of work and career opportunities within that industry. The student generally observes various aspects of the work within the industry and is given relevant tasks to complete under supervision from an allowed staff member.
Therefore, SWL provides an opportunity for students to apply what they have learnt in their VET program to the real-world work context and develop their employability skills.
You will also be required to complete training in an accredited OHS module/unit before commencing a structured workplace learning placement
Assessment and Reporting in VCE VM
The VCE Vocational Major has specific subjects designed to prepare students for a vocational pathway. The subjects are VCE VM Literacy, VCE VM Numeracy, VCE VM Work Related Skills, and VCE VM Personal Development Skills (and 180 hours of VET at Certificate II level or above).
Each subject has four units and each unit has a set of outcomes which are assessed through a range of learning activities and tasks.
Students will apply knowledge and skills in practical settings and also undertake community-based activities and projects that involve working in a team.
The award of satisfactory achievement for a VCE VM unit is based on a decision that the student has achieved the learning outcomes specified for the unit. Students should be observed to demonstrate competence on more than one occasion and in different contexts to make sure that the assessment is as consistent, reliable, fair and equitable as possible.
To be awarded a satisfactory ‘S’ result students must demonstrate successful completion of all learning outcomes in the unit. Successful completion may be demonstrated during one integrated assessment activity or may be spread over a number of different activities.
A student is awarded a certificate when they gain credits for 16 units that fulfil the minimum requirements for their learning program. A credit is gained for successful completion of a unit of study.
Requirements of the VCE Vocational Major
To be awarded a VCE VM Certificate, you must successfully complete a Learning Program of 1000 nominal hours that is designed to comply with the following credit requirements. The Learning Program must include:
- 3 VCE VM Literacy or VCE English units (including a Unit 3–4 sequence)
- 2 VCE VM Numeracy or VCE Mathematics units
- 2 VCE VM Work Related Skills units
- 2 VCE VM Personal Development Skills units, and
- 2 VET credits at Certificate II level or above (180 nominal hours)
You must also complete at least 3 other unit 3–4 sequences. This means 3 other full year studies at a year 12 level. You can do other VCE studies or VET.
VCE VM and University
If you are considering going to university straight from school, VCE VM is probably not the best option for you. Students planning to go straight into higher education usually do VCE which allows them to gain an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). However, the completion of VCE VM does allow students to access some University options. It also allows entry into the Victorian Police. Entry straight from school is not the only route into university. Some people study a VET course at TAFE, perhaps leading to a Diploma or Advanced Diploma, and then decide that they would benefit from a university course. VCE VM would be a good start along this pathway.
Traineeships and VCE VM
You can gain recognition and credit for part-time work while enrolled in the VCE VM. In fact this is one of the most important strands of VCE VM. This is where the real hands-on work can be completed. Bright P-12 College actively encourages students to do a School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBAT) as a vital part of their VCE VM.
You can develop a VCE VM program that suits your particular learning needs and interests. You have the choice of selecting units and modules for each of the four compulsory VCE VM strands.