VCE-Vocational Major (VM)

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.

Applied Learning – the Heart of VCE Vocational Major

Applied learning teaches skills and knowledge in the context of ‘real life’ experiences. Students apply what they have learnt by doing, experiencing and relating acquired skills to the real-world. It enables flexible, personalised learning where teachers work with students to recognise their personal strengths, interest, goals, and experiences.

This is a shift from the traditional focus on discrete curriculum to a more integrated and contextualised approach to learning. Students learn and apply the skills and knowledge required to solve problems, implement projects or participate in structured workplace learning.

Unit Requirements

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. Units 3 and 4 of VM studies may be undertaken together over the duration of the academic year to enable these to be integrated.

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 learning activities and tasks.

Unlike other VCE studies there are no external assessments of VCE-VM Unit 3–4 sequences, and 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.

Students who meet the requirements for satisfactory completion of the VCE, but not the requirements for the award of the Vocational Major appellation, will be awarded the VCE.

Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) 

**The information contained within this handbook on the Vocational Pathway Certificate remains subject to the
(Victoria’s Education and Training Regulator) VRQA accreditation process that is underway. More information will be
updated when provided by the VCAA.
The Vocational Pathway Certificate (VPC) is an applied learning program that has greater flexibility than the Vocational
Major (VCE VM) to cater for individual strengths and interests and develop the skills and capabilities needed to succeed
in the transition to work, senior secondary or VET.
The Victorian Pathways Certificate has:
  • An Applied learning approach
  • S or N results are still decided by the teacher
  • No external or exam-like assessments, except for some VET subjects
  • May be completed in 12 months
  • Mid-year completion available
  • Is not a Senior Secondary Certificate Has clear suitably guidelines
  • 12 units in total
  • Will receive credit for Cert I level VET units
  • Sufficient units for certificate completion

Unit Requirements

To be eligible to receive the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC), students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of
12 units, including:
Victorian Pathways Certificate Students complete at least 12 units, including:

  • 2 Literacy units
  • 2 Numeracy units
  • 2 Work Related Skills units
  • 2 Personal Development Skills units Students

A VPC program can also include VET, VCE subjects and structured workplace learning.

PreVOC – Year 10

PreVOC is an applied learning program offered to year 10 students to better prepare our students for a pathway that leads them into the VCE-Vocational Major (VCE-VM) or the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC), whilst also giving them a range of life skills. Students who undertake this pathway can still undertake a selection of electives, however they are unable to complete VCE in Years /12 and is structured to support students to enter a VCE-VM, VPC pathway or employment.
There are three core components that can form part of a PreVOC program:

  1. The School Based Curriculum
  2. Work placement
  3. VET (optional, and selection criteria applies)

The units of study offered as part of the PreVOC are literacy, numeracy as well as Personal Development Skills. Additionally, students have the opportunity undertake a VET program (please see VET section of the handbook for selection requirements). Many VET studies are subject to availability and selection criteria in consultation with the VET Leader. There is also the option of undertaking an apprenticeship subject to selection criteria.

Students will also complete work experience blocks throughout the year (1 Wk. Term 2 and 2 Wks. Term 3).

Students will gain skills and experience in a range of areas which will include development of their literacy and numeracy as well as personal development and living skills. There will also be a strong focus on applied and authentic learning experiences and students will aim to develop their understanding of the world of work and employability and life-skills.

It is anticipated that after a successful year in this program students will be able to transition smoothly to either the VCE-VM or VPC. Students who apply for the PreVOC program are interviewed along with their parents/carers to make sure that this pathway is the most suitable option for their future.
A sample PreVOC Program may look as follows:

Literacy and Numeracy

In literacy and numeracy, students will develop their general skills that are applicable to real life and workplace situations. These may include but are not limited to:

Literacy – Reading, Oracy and writing for knowledge, reading and writing for self-expression, oral communication skills through a range of different methods such as letter and email writing.

Numeracy –Topics covered include money, shopping, travel, tax, using measurement, shape, numeric and graphing concepts.

Personal Development Skills

This is a core PreVOC subject where students develop and explore issues of social and civic responsibility, community building and their own ideas through projects here at school. PDS also focuses on student self-esteem and self-worth through creating opportunities for students to “step-up” and challenge themselves and accept extra responsibilities. PDS Involves project work, lots of group activities and excursions.

In addition to this, students complete VCE Unit 1 in Industry and Enterprise. Within this unit, students will study the following topics to prepare them for the workplace:

  • Workplace Participation
  • Building a Career Pathway
  • Developing Work Related Skills
  • Workplace Effectiveness

This unit can be used towards their VCE –VM or VPC units in year 11 and 12.

Within this unit, students will undertake a minimum 35hours structured workplace learning that may or may not be linked to their VET. Structured workplace learning provides students with a valuable insight into different career pathways for their future.