Senior Phase Subject Selection

Subject Selection Process

Undertaking studies in the Senior Phase provide students with the opportunity to prepare for their future careers. It is therefore very important that they make informed decisions and subject selection choices. Students need to consider their direction of post schooling and whether they want to pursue an academic or a vocational pathway.

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) supports two types of Senior subjects as well as approved Vocational courses that contribute credits towards a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)

Authority subjects are based on syllabuses that have been approved and issued by the QCAA. Results in Authority subjects count in the calculation of Overall Positions (OP) and Field Positions (FP), the most common selection devices used by the tertiary sector.

Authority-registered subjects are developed from study area specifications (SASs) and generally include substantial vocational and practical components. Results in these subjects are not used in the calculation of OPs and FPs.

Vocational courses could include the CCM Trade Training Centre (TTC) and certificates, TAFE courses and School-based Traineeships or Apprenticeships. These courses contribute credits towards a QCE but not towards an OP

Students work towards achieving a QCE or a QCIA by the end of Year 12. A QCE will be awarded to a student when they have attained 20 credits at exit, gained 12 credits from completed core subjects and met the numeracy and literacy requirements. A QCIA will be individually designed and submitted for each qualifying student.

What is a core subject?

A core subject is any Authority or Authority Registered subject studied for four semesters (years 11 and 12) and exited with at least a Sound Achievement. To meet the ’12 credits from completed core’ requirement a student must study at least three subjects for four semesters and exit all of them with at least a Sound Achievement.

Year 10 Subjects

Students begin their individual pathways in Year 10 by selecting six subjects of their choice. They are allowed to review their subject selection during the year in consultation with the Careers Officer. The Year 10 subject programs aim to prepare students for their final years of schooling and give students a ‘taste’ of what the senior subjects involve.

Year 11 and 12 Subjects

Students continue on their individual pathways and make a choice between an academic and a vocational pathway – selecting six subjects.

Academic Pathway

  1. Choose subjects you enjoy and are good at (Check university prerequisites in the QTAC Guide provided).
  2. Continue subjects you have done well in. Previous success in a subject usually gives you a head start in tackling work at a more advanced level.  Build on your strengths!
  3. Choose subjects that keep your career options open and will help you reach career goals, i.e. choose as broad a range of subjects as possible.

OP-eligibility: A student will be OP eligible if:

  • The student studied 20 semesters of Authority subjects
  • The student studied 3 core subjects
  • The student sat the QCS test.

Vocational Pathway

  1. A set of core subjects must be studied. This must include Mathematics A or Prevocational Mathematics and English or English Communication plus 4 other subjects or their equivalence. A TAFE course, School-based Apprenticeship/Traineeship or Trade course, is equivalent to one subject.
  2. Students wishing to undertake the TTC option are encouraged to organise suitable work experience during Semester 2 of Year 10 in the relevant industry. Please speak with our Careers Officer regarding this.
How to choose subjects that suit you Check out the MyFuture extract for advice on selecting subjects.
Subject marked with an * are non OP eligible.

Subject Change Policy

Students are allowed to make minimal subject changes; however, careful consideration should be made of prerequisites for senior subjects, tertiary entrance, and QCE regulations.

Partial completion of semesters contribute zero credits towards a QCE and such changes must only be considered at the completion of semesters. Subject changes are only permitted up to the second week of Semester 1 in a given year, and prior to the end of Term 2, for a Semester 2 change.

It is the student’s responsibility to familiarise himself/herself with work covered prior to entry in a new subject. As such, any potential changes should be negotiated with the teacher prior to the end of the term preceding the change.

For further information contact our Careers Officer:
Telephone: (07) 3380 5866 or email:

Helpful Resources

Bullseye Career Information Planning QCE Pathways Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement Brochure


Reasonable care has been taken to ensure the contents of this handbook are correct at the time of publication. Whether individual non-core subjects actually run is conditional upon sufficient numbers of students choosing the subject and appropriate physical and human resources being available. The College reserves the right to alter subject offerings prior to the commencement of the school year.