To gain an HSC, students must have completed a minimum of 12 units of Preliminary courses and 10 units of HSC courses. All courses in the HSC have a unit value. Most courses are 2 units.

Students must satisfactorily complete the Preliminary course (usually studied during Year 11) before they are eligible to commence the corresponding HSC course (usually studied during Year 12). English is the only compulsory subject for the HSC.

There are two main types of courses – Board Developed and Board Endorsed.

Board Developed Courses

These are the large number of courses that are set and externally examined by the Board of Studies and include courses in the areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Creative Arts, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Human Society and its Environment, Languages and Vocational Education and Training (VET) Curriculum Frameworks. One Curriculum Framework course may contribute to the calculation of an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

Read more about the subjects available and a description of each course at the BOS site.

Board Developed Curriculum Framework courses available at St Joseph Trades Skills Centre include: Automotive, Business Services, Construction, Electrotechnology, Human Services, Hospitality, Information & Digital Technology and Retail Services

Board Endorsed Courses

These include courses that may have been developed by schools, TAFE or universities. They contribute to the HSC but do not contribute to the calculation of the ATAR.

Board Endorsed courses available at St Joseph Trades Skills Centre as of 2016 will include: Early Childhood Education & Care, Hairdressing and Fitness.

To qualify for the Higher School Certificate

Students must satisfactorily complete a Preliminary pattern of study comprising at least 12 units and an HSC pattern of study comprising at least 10 units. Both patterns must include:

– at least six units from Board Developed Courses;

– at least two units of a Board Developed Course in English (English Studies Content Endorsed Course satisfies the pattern of study English requirement);

– at least three courses of two units value or greater (either Board Developed or Board Endorsed Courses)

at least four subjects.

a maximum of six units from courses in Science in each study pattern.