Year 11 and 12

The entry into Year 11 is a significant time in your school life, when you will embark upon a programme of study which will result in you achieving one of two School Leaving Certificates: either the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) or the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).

VCAL is usually a better choice for those students who think they will go straight into work or into job-related training, such as an apprenticeship, when they leave school. Put very simply, VCAL focuses on more vocational (work-related) learning and will help to prepare you for the world of work in general and for a particular career choice specifically. As part of your VCAL course you would be required to attend a VET course and carry out one day of Structured Workplace Learning each week.

VCE is a two-year programme of study, which offers subjects, which can be used as a basis for further study at tertiary level. The VCE will provide you with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score, which you may need in order to enter university or other post-school educational providers.

For more information on either VCE/VCAL and to access the subjects offered in VCE and VCAL including VET.  Click on the files below.

Year 11 Pathway Choices Year 11 Pathway Choices (98 KB)


Year 12 Pathway Choices Year 12 Pathway Choices (46 KB)


Students in Years 11 and 12 can choose from the following programs:


Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

The VCE is the most commonly studied secondary educational certificate in Victoria. Students can begin the VCE in Year 10 but it is predominantly completed in Years 11 and 12. Student performance within the VCE is the foundation of the Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR) and is used to determine offers of placement at Australian Universities. At Damascus College Ballarat students are able to select from a wide variety of VCE units. Opportunities are provided for students to accelerate their program within the VCE.

VCE Literature and Language Application VCE Literature and Language Application (33 KB)

2018 VCE Info Policy and Procedures Handbook 2018 VCE Info Policy and Procedures Handbook (1103 KB)

2018 VCE Info Policy and Procedures - student quick guide 2018 VCE Info Policy and Procedures - student quick guide (97 KB)

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

 VCAL is an accredited Senior Secondary Certificate aimed at improving the pathway choices for young people. Based on applied learning, VCAL is a hands-on course designed to develop skills in preparation for further education, training or employment. VCAL’s flexibility enables students to undertake a study program that suits their interests and learning needs. VCAL is offered at three certificate levels; Foundation, Intermediate and Senior.
Students undertake studies in four curriculum strands:

1) Literacy and Numeracy Skills;

2) Industry Specific Skills;

3) Work Related Skills; and

4) Personal Development Skills.

Units of study in VCAL Learning Programs are selected from VCAL units and VET courses.

Students undertake structured workplace learning as part of the VCAL Work Related Skills units and, at Intermediate and Senior levels, must complete VET studies as part of their certificate.

VCAL Application Form VCAL Application Form (39 KB)

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

VET courses can be undertaken as part of the VCE or VCAL programs. There are some VET courses offered on campus at Damascus College however the majority are off campus through providers that are part of the Highlands LLEN VET Cluster which classes generally run on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, over a two year period.  VET involves both training and workplace experiences. A student on successful completion would normally gain, in addition to their VCE or VCAL, a nationally accredited qualification.

VET Application Form - Year 11 VET Application Form - Year 11 (17 KB)

VET Cluster

Damascus College is an active member of the Highlands Local Learning and Employment Network and the Highlands LLEN VET Cluster. These affiliations enable Damascus students the opportunity to participate in a diverse range of industry specific programs.  

VET cluster subjects that may be available in 2019 are: 

VET Courses VET Courses (5027 KB)

Students interested in applying for a Highlands LLEN VET cluster course in 2019 need to complete a VET application form.  Once this form has been received by the Applied Learning Coordinator (Tom Inverarity) further details will be provided on applying to the Highlands LLEN VET Cluster.

Students who will be in their 2nd Year of a Highlands LLEN VET cluster course in 2019 must also complete an online re-enrolment/application process.  Further details on this will be provided to those students by the Applied Learning Coordinator.

School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

These apprenticeships can be undertaken as part of a VCE or a VCAL program. They usually involve students in a two day ‘outside the school’ program in which they undertake paid employment and training. They complete the balance of their course in the remaining three days at school. Their training will result in a nationally accredited qualification.  Training days vary dependent on the industry that the student is undertaking their SBAT and may be in 'blocks' rather than on a weekly basis.

Retail Traineeships

Some students enter a training scheme with their employers in part time jobs, for example McDonalds and Hungry Jacks. Success in this training can in some circumstances contribute to and give unit credits in VCE and VCAL even though the training is completely outside the school program.