Senior School Information


The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) is a qualification awarded to students who successfully complete their senior secondary education (years 11 and 12) and is designed to give students the skills they need for work and life, whether they aim to study at university, TAFE, get a trade or go straight into employment.

The certificate is based on two stages of achievement -

  • Stage 1 (normally undertaken in Year 11)
  • Stage 2 (Year 12)

The SACE usually takes two years to complete, but may take longer and is a requirement for those students who wish to go on to higher education. Each subject or course successfully completed earns ‘credits’ towards the SACE

  • semester (half year) subjects earn 10 credits
  • full year subjects earn 20 credits
  • 70 nominal hours of Vocational Education and Training (VET) earns 10 credits


Students must -

  1. Enrol for and attain at least 200 credits of study.
  2. Within the 200 credits, complete the compulsory subjects with a “C” grade or higher
  3. The compulsory subjects are -
    • Stage 1 (usually Year 11)
      • Literacy – at least 20 credits from a range of English subjects
      • Numeracy – at least 10 credits from a range of Mathematics subjects
      • Personal Learning Plan (10 credits) - completed in year 10
    • Stage 2 (usually Year 12)
      • minimum of three Stage 2 subjects (60 credits at Stage 2). Please note: Competencies from VET Certificate III or higher can be counted as Stage 2 subjects (70 nominal hours of VET training = 10 stage 2 credits)
      • Research Project – (10 credits at Stage 2) Allows students to explore an individual interest area – a scientific study, art project, community-based project, historical investigation, or any number of other options. University/Hybrid pathway students complete the Research Project in semester 2 of year 11. Vocational Pathway students complete the Research Project in semester 1 of year 12.
    • The remaining 90 credits can be gained from additional Stage 1 or 2 subjects, SACE Board recognised courses or Vocational Education and Training (VET).
    • Community and Self Directed Learning can count towards the SACE

The SACE pattern is illustrated below.

Each subject studied in the SACE is assessed against performance standards, which describe five levels of achievement that are reported with the grades A to E at the completion of the subject. The school-based assessments and the external assessment will be marked with reference to the performance standards.


Students who complete the SACE are eligible for university entry, provided they meet certain requirements. (Details are outlined in the University Pathway section). Full details of university and TAFE entry requirements are published in the Tertiary Entrance Booklet by the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre. Go to the SATAC website for more information

TAFE SA courses offered through SATAC have Course Entry Requirements which all applicants must meet in order to be eligible for selection. Course Entry Requirements differ according to the level of the TAFE SA course. TAFE also considers a variety of other qualifications in its entry and selection processes. You can find specific admission criteria within each award course.

Many Certificate I to Advanced Diploma courses have no entry requirements. If you wish to access subsidised training, you will need to demonstrate satisfactory results in literacy and numeracy skills as part of course counselling before enrolling by completing the CORE Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA).

Admission requirements into competitive certificate I, II and III level courses will vary. Applicants are advised to refer to specific course details at

Higher Education Admission Criteria

There are several ways you can meet the entry requirements for TAFE SA higher education courses. TAFE SA will consider applicants who:

  • Have previously been enrolled in higher education study, such as a university degree
  • Have studied a vocational education and training course at TAFE SA or another Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
  • Are finishing year 12, or have completed secondary education within the last two years
  • Have other work and life experience.

Visit TAFE SA Degrees for more information about higher education admission criteria.


The Senior School curriculum offers 3 pathways -

  • University Pathway
  • Vocational Pathway
  • University/Vocational Hybrid Pathway

Each of these pathways allow students to complete the SACE.

The three pathways include supported learning for students as deemed appropriate. This may include -

  • University and Hybrid Pathway – University visits and study skill development
  • Vocational Pathway – Workplace learning, career presentations and career counselling. Flexible subject delivery tailored to the individual needs of students.

After extensive information and exploration through the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and Personal Development (PD) students nominate for a pathway. Pathway selection is determined by an interview process.


The University Pathway provides students with a knowledge-based curriculum to highlight the many university options available. This pathway is for students who wish to receive an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). Students who select a university pathway in Stage 2 are expected to excel in Stage 1 subjects in order to select Stage 2 Tertiary Admissions Subjects (TAS). Students must consult the University Guides for specific course information. Some courses have pre-requisites and assumed knowledge. There are precluded combinations of subjects and counting restrictions to consider.

To be eligible to receive an aggregate, which is converted to an ATAR, students must complete the SACE and meet the subject requirements as follows -

  • Complete at least 90 credits of study in Tertiary Admissions Subjects (TAS) and Recognised Studies at Stage 2
  • Of the 90 credits of study, a minimum of 60 credits of study must be from 20 credit Tertiary Admissions Subjects (eg Three scaled 20 credit (full year) Tertiary Admissions Subjects)

Plus either 30 credit flexible option

Your scaled score for the flexible option is the best 30 credits of scaled scores or scaled scores equivalents from -

  • The scaled score of a 20 credit Tertiary Admissions Subject
  • Half the score of one or more 20 credit Tertiary Admissions Subject
  • The scaled score of one or more 10 credit Tertiary Admissions Subject
  • Scaled score equivalents for Recognised Studies to the value of 10 or maximum of 20 credits. (Completed Certificate III for University/Vocational Hybrid Pathway students).

Please note that Recognised Subjects are those International Baccalaureate, interstate year 12, higher education studies or VET awards deemed by the SACE Board and the universities and TAFE SA as being eligible to be included in the calculation of the ATAR and TAFE SA Selection Score.

It will be recommended that University Pathway students enrol in four 20 credit (full year) tertiary admissions subjects and the Research Project with the common written assessment.

Students will have a wide variety of local and interstate University options. All offer a multitude of courses catering for a wide range of careers.

Students interested in University study are strongly recommended to obtain direct information from SATAC guides and universities, as entry requirements vary. Full details of university and TAFE entry requirements are published in the Tertiary Entrance Booklet and available online. Go to the SATAC website for more information


General Information

The Vocational Pathway provides students with a broad curriculum which highlights the many and varied post-school options and provides them with skills for work, particularly in the trades industry. It allows students to gain dual accreditation, in both the SACE and an industry recognised qualification, whilst still at school.

This pathway may suit students who wish to enter TAFE, the Defence Force or employment. Students need to consult the TAFE guides or Defence Force entry requirements for pre-requisites.

Students studying within the Vocational Pathway are able to:

  • achieve SACE and VET qualifications.
    Students can earn up to 150 of the 200 credits required to complete the SACE, through recognised Vocational Education and Training courses. The remaining 50 credits can be completed through subjects with a VET focus but students must complete the Personal Learning Plan, Research Project and Stage 1 literacy and numeracy requirements.
  • meet nationally recognised, competency based assessment standards
  • acquire industry specific skills and knowledge
  • have a tailor-made timetable, designed to maximise and individualise learning
  • work in business or industry
  • make a smooth transition from school to work or further education and training.

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is an integral part of all VET courses. Students experience real workplace conditions and achieve specific outcomes, such as:

  • demonstrating industry knowledge and awareness
  • complying with relevant health and safety requirements
  • identifying specific aspects of industrial relations
  • applying written and oral communication skills
  • interacting appropriately with both staff and clients
  • demonstrating the ability to organise work tasks and manage time efficiently
  • using a variety of equipment in a work place.

A range of VET courses, addressing the major economic, technological and social trends that individuals are likely to face are offered as four broad vocational pathway options. Several other VET courses are available through the region, and students should negotiate individual subject selection packages with the Vocational Pathway Manager.

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Certificate III Dance
  • Certificate III Visual Arts
  • Agricultural & Science
  • Certificate I, II & III Animal Studies
  • Certificate II Conservation and Land Management
  • Certificate II Horticulture
  • Certificate III Laboratory Skills
  • Automotive
  • Certificate I Automotive Vocational Preparation
  • Certificate II Automotive Servicing Technology
  • Certificate III Automotive Underbody Technology
  • Construction
  • Certificate I Construction – Plumbing
  • Certificate I Doorways 2 Construction
  • Certificate II Construction
  • Certificate III Doorways 2 Construction + Brick/Block Laying (Partial)
  • Certificate III Doorways 2 Construction + Carpentry (Partial)
  • Certificate III Roof Plumbing (Partial)
  • Electrotechnology
  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
  • Engineering
  • Certificate II in Engineering Pathways
  • Hairdressing & Make Up
  • Certificate I Directions in Hair & Beauty
  • Certificate II Retail Cosmetics
  • Certificate II Salon Assistant
  • Certificate III Beauty (Working towards completion)
  • Certificate III Hairdressing
  • Certificate III Makeup
  • Health & Community Services
  • Certificate II Community Services
  • Certificate III Community Services
  • Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Certificate III Health Services Assistance
  • Certificate III Individual Support – Ageing and Disability
  • Hospitality, Tourism & Food Processing
  • Certificate II Food Processing (Bakery Focus)
  • Certificate II Hospitality
  • Certificate II Hospitality (Kitchen Operations)
  • Certificate II Kitchen Operations
  • Certificate III Commercial Cookery
  • Certificate III Hospitality
  • Information Technology & Business
  • Certificate I Information Technology
  • Certificate II Information, Digital Media & Technology
  • Certificate III Business
  • Certificate III Information, Digital Media & Technology (Game Development Foundations)
  • Certificate III Information Technology
  • Certificate III Micro Business
  • Music & Multimedia Industries
  • Certificate I Creative Industries (Music)
  • Certificate II Creative Industries
  • Certificate II Creative Industries (Live Production & Broadcast)
  • Certificate II Music Industry
  • Certificate III Screen & Media (Game Art Foundations)
  • Certificate III Music Industry
  • Sport, Fitness and Recreation
  • Certificate II Sport & Recreation
  • Certificate III Fitness
  • Transport Industries
  • Certificate III Driving Operations

Australian School Based Apprenticeships (ASBA)

Students undergoing an ASBA work part-time, attend TAFE part-time and attend school part-time. Some of the TAFE learning can gain SACE accreditation. This needs to be negotiated individually, and students should contact the Vocational Pathway Manager or the Senior School Leader for more information.

General Course Information

Some courses require the purchase of specific equipment such as uniforms or safety equipment. Most courses are off site and transport to and from the venue is the responsibility of the student. Assessment is based on competencies achieved through practical and research assignments. Some courses also assess structured work placement. Completion allows students to gain entry into TAFE courses or enter the workforce with some industry based qualifications. Changing to another course after commencement may incur the full fee for that new course. See Vocational Pathway Manager for confirmation of costs.