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Subjects and courses

What categories of courses are available for study in the senior secondary school credentialling program in Western Australia?

Students in Western Australia have the option of studying a range of courses, vocational education and training (VET) and endorsed programs. These courses, VET credit transfer and endorsed programs can contribute to the WACE.


There are 52 WACE courses and 10 VET industry-specific courses that schools may include in their offerings to students.

The 52 WACE courses and 10 VET industry-specific courses are grouped into List A (arts/languages/social science) and List B (mathematics/science/technology). The courses generally have units structured in three or four stages which increase in difficulty from Preliminary to Stage 3. (Click on the image to view full screen list of courses.)

WACE and VET industry specific courses
List A (arts/languages/social sciences) List B (mathematics/science/technology)
AIS Aboriginal and Intercultural Studies ACF Accounting and Finance
ABL Aboriginal Languages of Western Australia APS Animal Production Systems
HIA Ancient History AIT Applied Information Technology
ARA Arabic VAU Automotive (VET industry specific)
AST Aspects of the Tourism Industry* AET Automotive Engineering and Technology
BME Business Management and Enterprise AVN Aviation
VBS Business Services (VET industry specific) BIO Biological Sciences
CAE Career and Enterprise BCN Building and Construction
CFC Children, Family and the Community CHE Chemistry
CBS Chinese: Background Speakers CSC Computer Science
CSL Chinese: Second Language VCO Construction (VET industry specific)
VCS Community Services (VET industry specific) DES Design
VCA Creative Industries: Art (VET industry specific) EES Earth and Environmental Science
VME Creative Industries: Media (VET industry specific) EST Engineering Studies
VMU Creative Industries: Music (VET industry specific) FST Food Science and Technology
DAN Dance VHO Hospitality (VET industry specific)
DRA Drama HBS Human Biological Science
ECO Economics VIT Information Technology (VET industry specific)
ENG English ISC Integrated Science
ELD English as an Additional Language/Dialect MMS Marine and Maritime Studies
FRE French MDT Materials Design and Technology
GEO Geography MAT Mathematics
GER German MAS Mathematics: Specialist
HEA Health Studies OED Outdoor Education
HEB Hebrew PES Physical Education
IBS Indonesian: Background Speakers PHY Physics
IND Indonesian: Second Language PPS Plant Production Systems
ITA Italian VPI Primary Industries (VET industry specific)
JBS Japanese: Background Speakers PSY Psychology
JSL Japanese: Second Language VSR Sport and Recreation (VET industry specific)
LIT Literature  
MBS Malay: Background Speakers
MPA Media Production and Analysis
GRE Modern Greek
HIM Modern History
MUS Music
PAE Philosophy and Ethics
PAL Politics and Law
REL Religion and Life
VTO Tourism (VET industry specific)
VAR Visual Arts
WPL Workplace Learning
* To be included as a theme for Business Management and Enterprise in the future.

There are generally two units per stage (eg units 2A and 2B). Preliminary Stage units are available in 19 courses. Additional Stage 1 units are available in 25 courses. Mathematics has additional Stage 2 and Stage 3 units and English has additional Stage 2 units.

Stage progression chart

Students in their final year of compulsory schooling who are enrolled in at least one Stage 2 or Stage 3 pair of units in a course are required to sit for external examinations, unless exempt.  Students who enrol in Stage 1 unit pairs may choose to sit an external examination as a private candidate.

There are five courses with specific defined contexts:

Students may enrol in more than one context in each of these courses but they can only sit one external examination for the course at either Stage 2 or Stage 3.

A VET industry-specific course includes a full qualification from a training package and is recognised as a course by the Authority.  To meet VET industry-specific course requirements and achieve course units towards a WACE, students must follow the course structure, attain required units of competency and fulfil any work placement requirements.


Full and partial AQF qualifications that can contribute to the WACE may be attained through:

Endorsed programs

An endorsed program is a significant learning program developed by a school, community organisation or private provider and endorsed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority for students in years 10, 11 and 12.  A program is defined as a series of lessons, classes or activities for the achievement of a common goal or set of learning outcomes.  Programs may develop skills, knowledge and attitudes for the achievement of personal goals, civic responsibility and/or improved health and fitness.  Programs must make a positive contribution to student learning and cannot duplicate WACE courses.

There are four categories of endorsed programs.

Required program of study

The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) is issued to students who meet its requirements.  At the end of senior secondary schooling (Year 12), all students who have completed at least one course unit, endorsed program or VET unit of competency will receive a statement of results.

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