top of page

Senior School Pathways

AdobeStock_90338197 [Converted]-01_edited.jpg
Brains in Your Head Quote.png

There are multiple pathway options as students progress through their senior years at Trinity College. 

It is important for students and their parents/carers to map out a study plan that ensures the meet the requirements of their desired outcomes.

Students in Years 9-11 will undertake careers counselling sessions prior to submitting their subject selections.

VCE Pathways_Dark Background.png

Victorian Certificate of Education

The VCE is a two year course of study, implemented and managed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

A VCE program includes a number of different VCE subjects, with the majority consisting of four units that can be completed across the two years (ie; one unit per semester).  Units 1 and 2 are typically studied in Year 11, whilst Units 3 and 4 are usually completed in Year 12.  Trinity College provides students with the option to accelerate their studies with some Unit 1 & 2 subjects studied in Year 10 and Unit 3 & 4 subjects in Year 11.

Waterfall_Girl Hiker-01.jpg

Year 11

Year 11

  • English or Literature
    Units 1/2

  • Religion & Society
    Units 1/2

(VCE or VET)


VCE students in
will study...

Year 12

Year 12

  • English or Literature
    Units 3/4

  • New Awakenings Program or
    Religion & Society
    Units 3/4

(VCE or VET)


VCE students in
will study...

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is a senior secondary certificate of education recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). It is designed to be completed over a minimum of two years and includes general education curriculum components (VCE studies) and programs from Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.   The VCE is awarded to students who satisfactorily complete a balanced programme of studies. Students can undertake their VCE over as many years as they wish: they may stop and return as an adult student and they may still meet the VCE requirements.  Because of this, VCE Unit 1 is especially a time of exploration of possible future directions.  Students will be able to change subjects during the Unit 1 and 2 sequences according to their ability and interest.  However, Unit 3 and 4 sequences must cover one year for that subject. All VCE units are assessed on outcomes which are determined as ‘Satisfactory’ (S) or ‘Not Satisfactory’ (N).  Trinity College will provide detailed feedback at Units 1 and 2 as this will provide an indication to assist students in their subject selection for Units 3 and 4. Unit 3 and 4 subjects are externally and internally assessed, thereby providing a rank for every student in the state who selects that subject. This rank is called an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) and is used for entry into tertiary education. VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre) determines the rank based on:   - English or Literature (Units 3 and 4);   - the next 3 highest scaled scored subjects at Units 3 and 4, plus   - 10% of the next two highest scaled scored subjects at Units 3 and 4 level.  The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) requirements state that, for successful completion of the VCE, students must obtain a satisfactory pass in three English units.  English Units 1/2 and/or Literature 1/2 are compulsory for Year 11 students. Year 12 students may choose either or both of English Units 3/4 and Literature Units 3/4 as their compulsory English sequence. For satisfactory completion of VCE, students must attain a ‘Satisfactory’ in:   - at least 16 units of VCE study   - four Unit 3/4 sequences (of which one must be an English sequence)   - three units of the common study of English (Units 1, 2, 3 and 4) or Literature or English Language (two of which must be a Unit 3-4 sequence)   Choosing an appropriate VCE course can be a challenging task.  This Curriculum Handbook is intended to help students and parents/carers explore the many options available at Trinity College.  However, it is important that, before committing to a particular course, students and parents/carers avail themselves of other information sources beyond this guide. It is the responsibility of each student to arm themselves with as much information as possible in order to make informed decisions about their future. The Careers Officer, Year Level Coordinators, VCE, VCAL and VET Coordinators, subject teachers and other Trinity College staff can be of assistance in guiding students to pertinent information, but the course of their future pathway is ultimately the student’s choice.   There are many valuable resources to assist students with career education. Some are available from the Careers Office. Online resources that are recommended include:   - - VCAA - VTAC Students are encouraged to be as fully informed as possible regarding the various alternatives on offer for further study at universities and colleges. As this information is constantly under review, students should familiarise themselves with websites such as those hosted by the VCAA, VTAC and universities and colleges.   Students and parents/carers need to be aware that the move into senior secondary education has additional responsibilities and expectations for students. Skills such as time management and organisation will be dependent on students’ self-discipline and self- motivation and will hence determine their success in achieving their study goals.

Lake_Boy Hiker.jpg

VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM)

The Victorian Certificate of Education Vocational Major (VCE VM) is a vocational and applied learning program that has replaced the former Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).  It is designed to be completed over a minimum of two years.


The VCE VM is a pathway for students who:

  • are seeking a vocational pathway on completion of school who;

  • learn best with practical, experimental, "hands-on" or "applied' tasks;

  • like to work on an individual program that suits their needs or interests; and

  • are organised and can work both independently and in groups.

Year 11

Year 11

  • VM Literacy or

  • VCE English U1/2

  • VM Numeracy or
    VCE Maths U1/2

  • VM Work Related Skills

  • VM Personal Development Skills, including RE

VET Subject


VCE VM students in
will study...


Unit 1/2 VCE or
VET sequence

Year 12

Year 12

  • New Awakenings
    RE Program

  • VM Literacy or
    VCE English U3/4

  • VM Numeracy or
    VCE Maths U3/4

  • VM Work Related Skills

  • VM Personal Development Skills

VET subject


VCE VM students in
will study...


Unit 3/4 VCE or
VET sequence

The VCE Vocational Major has four specific study designs, which are delivered in a Unit 1 to 4 sequence over the course of two years:   - VCE VM Literacy   - VCE VM Numeracy   - VCE VM Work Related Skills   - VCE VM Personal Development Skills    VCE VM students must also complete 180 nominal hours of VET at Certificate II level or above to achieve their VCE VM Certificate. Students can also choose to undertake other VCE and/or VET studies, as part of this learning pathway, and receive credit for time in the workplace through Structured Workplace Learning Recognition (SWLR). Most VCE VM students will undertake between 16-20 units over the two years of senior schooling.   These studies have been developed to ensure an engaging curriculum that delivers in-demand skills for the future world of work. The new sequential curriculum is based on past VCAL strands in an easy-to-follow structure, with enhanced assessment and reporting based on both skills and knowledge. On satisfactory completion of the VCE VM, students will receive a Victorian Certificate of Education with the additional words ‘Vocational Major’. To be eligible to receive the VCE VM, students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 16 units, including: - 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) Students must complete a minimum of three other Unit 3–4 sequences as part of their program. The VCE VM can be tailored to the needs and interests of the student, to keep them engaged while developing their skills and knowledge. Most students will undertake between 16-20 units over the two years.

Assessment of VCE Vocational Major Studies

Each VCE VM unit of study has specified learning outcomes. The VCE VM studies are standards-based. All assessments for the achievement of learning outcomes, and therefore the units, are school-based and assessed through a range of activities and tasks. Unlike other VCE studies there are no external assessments of VCE VM Unit 3–4 sequences other than the GAT. VCE VM studies do not receive a study score. If a student wishes to receive study scores, they can choose from the wide range of VCE studies and scored VCE VET programs that contain both internal and external assessment components. The VCE VM studies do not contribute to the ATAR. To receive an ATAR a student must complete a scored Unit 3-4 sequence from the English group and three other Unit 3–4 scored sequences. Students must achieve two or more graded assessments in these scored sequences.


Completing the VCE VM requirements means that students have also completed the requirements of the VCE. Upon satisfactory completion of the VCE VM, students receive recognition through the appellation of ‘Vocational Major’ on their Victorian Certificate of Education and a Statement of Results. Successful completion of VET units of competency are recognised by additional statements of attainment or certificates provided by the Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

VCE Vocational Major and the GAT

The GAT is a General Achievement Test that measures a student’s general knowledge and skills in written communication, mathematics, science, technology, humanities, the arts and social sciences. It also measures a student’s literacy and numeracy skills against a new standard introduced in 2022. The new standard will indicate whether students have demonstrated the literacy and numeracy skills typically expected of someone completing their secondary schooling – giving another indication of their readiness to move onto further education, training or employment. The reformed GAT follows a comprehensive review conducted by the VCAA. It will see Victoria join other jurisdictions who already incorporate literacy and numeracy standards as part of their senior secondary reporting. The GAT will provide specific information on each student's key skills for life beyond school. The GAT is an essential part of the VCE assessment process. While the GAT is important, it does not directly count towards a student’s final VCE results. GAT results are used to check that VCE external assessments and school-based assessments have been accurately and fairly assessed. GAT results may also play a part in determining the final score for a VCE external assessment if a student has a derived examination score approved for that assessment. No special study is required. Past study of subjects like English, Mathematics, Science and History prepares students for the GAT by building their general knowledge and skills in writing, numeracy, and reasoning.

All senior students studying at least one Unit 3 and 4 VCE, VCE VM or a scored VCE VET subject are expected to sit all, or a section of the General Achievement Test (GAT)

For more information, refer to the GAT on the VCAA website.

Vocational Education  Training (VET)

VET in the VCE or VCE VM allows students to include vocational studies within their senior secondary certificate. Students undertake nationally recognised training from either accredited state curriculum or national training packages which may contribute to their VCE and/or VCE VM.

VET, along with ASBA (Australian School Based Apprenticeships), can be completed within the standard VCE or VCE VM program. A VET subject means that students will be undertaking training in a specific industry, such as hospitality, information technology, sport and agriculture. School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeships means that students can be employed and trained under arrangements.


Students in Years 10, 11 or 12 can enrol in a VET course.   

Icy Mountain_Girl Hiker.jpg

Successful completion of VET in a senior secondary program may provide students with:  

  • A VCE or VCE VM certificate issued by the VCAA, and a VET certificate issued by a Registered Training Organisation. (RTO)  

  • Two statements of results issued by the VCAA giving details of units completed in the VCE and units of competence/modules completed in the VET qualification  

  • May contribute to ATAR calculations which can improve access to further education  

  • Pathways into employment and or further VET qualifications  

  • Workplace experience, including structured workplace training 

Students value VET because it...
  • Allows them to combine general and vocational studies which for many, provides a practical focus in a range of industry areas.

  • Provides direct experience of business and industry.  

Employers value VET because it...
  • Contributes to the development of entry level skills for their industry.

  • Provides students with a practical and focused introduction to workplace requirements.

  • Enhances the employability of students.

  • Enables industry to contribute to educational programs in schools.

  • Enables industry to participate in local community networks. 

Students can undertake VET within their senior secondary certificate in the following ways:
  • VCE VET Programs  

  • VET Further Education (VFE)  

  • Apprenticeships and Traineeships  

VET Certificates Offered at Trinity College

As part of the school's daily timetable, the following VET courses are offered in 2024:

  • VCE VET Agriculture (Certificate II)

  • VCE VET Business (Certificate III)

  • VCE VET Sport and Recreation (Certificate III)

Visit the VET page for subject descriptions. 

Where can I undertake an off-campus VET course?

Trinity College, in partnership with Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), offers VET Courses which are available on or off-campus, depending on the course.  Some of the areas available include:

  • VCE VET Hospitality is also offered as a course to be studied here at Trinity College in the COVEC Trade Training Centre (Pound Road Campus). This course is not part of the normal Trinity timetable.

  • Allied Health Assistance

  • Animal Care

  • Automotive  

  • Baking

  • Beauty Services 

  • Building and Construction - Carpentry or Bricklaying

  • Community Services

  • Cookery

  • Design Fundamentals (Design Basics or Graphic Design)

  • Early Childhood Education and Care

  • Electrotechnology 

  • Emerging Technologies

  • Engineering Studies

  • Furniture Making

  • Health Services Assistance 

  • Hospitality

  • Information Technology

  • Laboratory Skills

  • Makeup

  • Plumbing  
  • Salon Assistant
  • Screen and Media
  • Visual Arts


Further information regarding VET courses by RTOs will be available during Term 3.

When are VET courses held?

Apart from the two VET Certificates offered at Trinity College as part of the regular school timetable, all other VET courses currently operate on a Monday or Wednesday afternoon.  Students enrolled in these courses need to sign out of the College to attend their VET Course, which may be offered in Colac or Geelong. It is expected that this arrangement will continue in 2024.  

How much does it cost to do a VET course?

Final costs for the 2024 VET courses cannot be established until later in 2023 because actual costs charged by the RTOs have not yet been determined. In addition, subsidies received from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) to offset the cost of VET Courses have not yet been received.  Transport costs for VET subjects outside of Colac are also to be determined.  This is at parents’ expense.

Once details have been finalised, information will be distributed.  

How do I enrol in a VET course?

All VET students must undertake a pathways interview with the VET Coordinator, Mrs Julie Demasi, to discuss VET options and assist in their selection of a relevant course.


Please note that applications open in late July or early August and places fill quickly.  

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) allow students to combine their secondary studies with part time employment as an apprentice or trainee in their chosen industry.


Students must be fifteen years of age to take part in the programme. Registering as a school based apprentice or trainee gives students the opportunity to gain a nationally accredited certificate, whilst also completing their other studies. The SBAT scheme may also give students a contribution to their ATAR score. This is dependent on the trade or qualification.  

The benefits of the programme are that students gain practical experience in the workforce. SBATs are registered with the appropriate boards and are paid an hourly rate for work and training. For some students, it is the pathway to a full-time apprenticeship or job. This programme can offer students variety in their studies and students can also gain competence in work-related skills. This can enhance job prospects and enable students to network within the local workforce.  

Further information about SBATs is available from the Careers Officer, Mrs Julie Demasi

Ice Capped Mountains_Boy Hiker.jpg

Victorian Pathways Certificate

The VPC is a stand-alone certificate designed to meet the needs of students who are not ready to complete the VCE or VCE VM.  Entry to this certificate must be individually negotiated at the school level through an interview process.

Students undertaking the VPC will complete a minimum of 12 units, including:

  • VPC Literacy / English

  • VPC Numeracy / Maths

  • VPC Work Related Skills

  • VPC Personal Development Skills

On successful completion VPC students will receive the Victorian Pathways Certificate.

bottom of page