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WACE Requirements | Post School Destinations

WACE Requirements | Post School Destinations

While the information contained on this website is intended to assist in making decisions about future education and careers, students and parents should be reassured that staff at the College are readily available to explain the nature of courses or future directions.

The material included in the Interactive Course Guide will provide you with information regarding the curriculum at the College, the requirements for the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), and University and TAFE requirements as stated to date.

This outline of the school’s curriculum is designed to:

  • give parents and students some idea of the scope and direction of the courses available at Prendiville Catholic College,
  • assist students in their course selection for Year 11 and Year 12, and
  • aid Year 11 & 12 students in the transition into either further education or the workforce.

Student choices need to reflect their current abilities and enable them to realise their future careers. Prior to choosing courses parents and students should:

  • Read all of the material in this document.
  • Be aware of the prerequisites for each course: this choice will rely on Semester 1 results; confirmation of course choices will depend upon final Year results.
  • Be aware of course choices needed for particular careers and/or post secondary courses.
  • Talk to appropriate teachers and Heads of Department if they have a question.
  • Appreciate that some courses may not eventually be timetabled if there is insufficient demand and student choice may be affected by the College Timetable grid required to cater for the majority of students.

Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)

The Western Australian Certificate of Education is awarded to secondary school students who satisfy its requirements. Most students at Prendiville Catholic College will complete two years of senior secondary study with the Courses or Vocational Education and Training Certificates counting towards the achievement of the WACE. The WACE is recognised by universities, industry, TAFEWA and other training providers.

Prendiville Catholic College caters for students who are university-bound, those who have a specific vocation in mind involving further education and training, those who are planning to enter the workforce on leaving school and those who have special requirements or disabilities.

Education and training courses are available to provide all young people with the opportunity to develop knowledge, understanding and skills about themselves, their community and the broader world in which they live. The school is the main WACE provider for students up to the age of 18 years. Schools may work in partnership with other providers to deliver courses, vocational education and training (VET) or other programmes, but retain the responsibility for managing programmes, reporting achievement to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority and maintaining a record of learning for all students.

Overview of WACE Requirement

Achievement of a WACE signifies that a student has successfully met the breadth and depth, the achievement standard and Literacy and Numeracy requirements in their senior secondary schooling. In order to meet the WACE requirements students must ensure the following requirements are met by the conclusion of Year 12.

General          requirements

Demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and a minimum standard of numeracy based on the skills regarded as essential for individuals to meet the demands of everyday life and work in a knowledge‐based economy.

Complete a minimum of 20 units or equivalents as described below.


  • at least four Year 12 ATAR courses, or
  • at least five Year 12 General courses (or a combination of General and up to three Year 12 ATAR courses) or equivalent, or
  • a Certificate II (or higher) VET qualification in combination with ATAR, General or Foundation courses.
Breadth and depth

Students will complete a minimum of 20 course units or the equivalent. This requirement must include at least:

  • a minimum of 10 Year 12 units or the equivalent
  • two completed Year 11 English units and one pair of completed Year 12 English units
  • one pair of Year 12 course units from each of List A (arts/English/languages/social sciences) and List B (mathematics/ science/technology)
Achievement Standard

Students will be required to achieve 14 grades (or equivalents) in Year 11 and Year 12, including at least six C grades in Year 12 units(or equivalents)

Unit equivalents can be obtained through VET and Endorsed programs

Literacy and Numeracy competence Demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy.


Section 1.3 of the WACE Manual provides a detailed explanation of these requirements; available at

Depth & Breadth Lists

Students must complete at least one pair of course units from each of List A and List B.  (Please note this is the full list and Prendiville does not offer every subject on the list.)

WACE List A and List B subjects for breadth of study:

List A – Arts/Languages/Social Sciences List B – Mathematics/Science/Technology
Business Management & Enterprise (General) Biology (ATAR)
Children, Family & the Community (General) Chemistry (ATAR)
Dance (ATAR & General) Computer Science (ATAR)
Drama (ATAR & General) Design – Dimensional Design (General)
Economics (ATAR) Design – Photography (General)
English (ATAR & General) Design – Technical Graphics (General)
Italian: Second Language (ATAR) Food Science and Technology (General)
Literature (ATAR) Human Biology (ATAR & General)
Media Production & Analysis (ATAR & General) Science in Practice (General)
Modern History (ATAR & General) Marine and Maritime Studies (General)
Music (ATAR & General) Materials Design & Tech – Wood (General)
Religion and Life (ATAR & General) Mathematics Applications (ATAR)
Visual Arts (ATAR & General) Mathematics Essential (General)
Mathematics Methods (ATAR)
Mathematics Specialist (ATAR)
Physical Education Studies (ATAR & General)
Physics (ATAR)
Psychology (ATAR)

These subjects must be taught and assessed in the school to count as List A or List B.

Year 11 & 12 Courses

Students are encouraged to select courses tailored to their individual requirements and academic ability. All courses offered at Prendiville Catholic College in Year 11 and Year 12 are accredited by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority.

Multiple pathways to the WACE

The WACE breadth and depth of study requirement previously outlined, specifies that students must complete a minimum of 20 units (10 courses) during Years 11 and 12, including a minimum of 10 Year 12 units or equivalents. Students may use ATAR courses, three categories of General courses (standard General, VET industry specific, Foundation, but not Preliminary), VET programs, or endorsed programs to meet this requirement.

There are limits to the number of VET programs (not VET industry specific courses) and endorsed programs that may contribute to achievement of the WACE.

School based Achievement

A student’s school-based achievement in ATAR and General courses is recorded in grades (A, B, C, D or E) and marks out of 100 for each completed course unit or pair of units.

Student achievement in VET Industry Specific (VETIS) courses is recorded as ‘completed’ upon completion of all course requirements. The notation ‘completed’ counts as a C grade or better in all other General courses.

Student achievement in Preliminary course units is recorded as ‘completed’ or ‘not completed’.

Student achievement in VET programs is competency-based and specific requirements are outlined in national training packages or accredited courses.

Student achievement in endorsed programs is reported as the particular program that has been completed.

ATAR course examinations

ATAR course examinations are conducted for each ATAR course.

Examinations are compulsory for all students enrolled in ATAR courses.

Courses available

Schools choose to offer courses to meet the needs and interests of their students in accordance with the resources they have available. The wide range of WACE courses:

  • enables students to study courses similar to those offered in other parts of Australia
  • provides multiple pathways to university, training and employment.

There are two groups of WACE courses:

  • ATAR Courses – for students who are typically aiming to enrol in university directly from school. These courses will be examined by the Authority and the results accepted by TISC for the purpose of university selection.
  • General Courses – for students who are typically aiming to enter further training or the workforce directly from school. These courses require students to sit an Externally Set Task (EST).

Students can select from ATAR or General courses  but students wishing to receive an ATAR are required to complete a minimum of four ATAR courses in Year 12.

Each course has four units, each unit is typically completed in a semester. Units 1 and 2 (Year 11) are typically studied as a pair, Units 3 and 4 (Year 12) must be studied as a pair.

The complexity of the syllabus content increases from Year 11 to Year 12. For this reason, a student cannot complete Year 12 units in a course and then enrol in Year 11 units in the same course.

There are no restrictions on course selections for achievement of the WACE except for:

  • the List A and List B requirement
  • the enrolment criteria for Languages and English as an Additional Language or Dialect.

Students considering university studies should go to the TISC website for information on university entry requirements and the ATAR.

Students in Years 11 and 12 must choose six courses each year. With English or Literature mandated under the WACE and Religion and Life mandated in Catholic Schools, students must select either ATAR or General for these courses and an additional four courses.

Vocational Education & Training (VET)

Vocational Education and Training in schools engages students in work-related learning built on strategic partnerships between schools, business, industry and the wider community. VET can be undertaken as part of the WACE and its completion by the student provides credit towards a nationally recognised VET qualification within the Australian Qualifications Framework, providing a broad range of post-school options and pathways.

Nationally recognised VET qualifications may be attained at Prendiville Catholic College through:

  • VET stand-alone certificates timetabled and delivered at Prendiville.  Year 11 certificate courses can be undertaken in the areas of Design, Music, Hospitality, Business and Sport & Recreation.
  • ONSITE – VET is taken in conjunction with Workplace Learning. Currently on offer at Prendiville are Construction (General, Electrical and Plumbing), Hairdressing, Automotive, Auto Electrical, Carpentry and Furniture.  These are typically pre-apprenticeship courses.
  • VET Delivered to Secondary School Students (VETDSS) programmes offered by TAFES or Training Providers.  For example Beauty Therapy, Population Health, Childcare, Hospitality and Sport & Recreation.  Applications are made direct to the training provider (likely to occur by the end of September).  Further application information will be disseminated when available.

Post School VET
Training providers or RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) formerly known as TAFE’s provide training opportunities for students wishing to pursue a vocational career pathway. This is usually through the delivery of nationally recognised industry based qualifications through certificate courses (I, II, III, IV) and diplomas. This is also the recognised pathway for apprenticeships and traineeships.

Entrance Requirements:

Most RTO’s require applicants to meet minimum benchmark requirements for communication and math skills or a lower level qualification ie. you may need to complete a Certificate II in a particular industry area before you enrol in the Certificate III of that area.

For some courses, for example arts and multimedia, you may need to submit a folio. There are also courses not recommended for people just leaving school either because of few job opportunities for young people or because you need specific skills gained through lower level courses.

Some highly competitive or specialist courses may require you to address selection criteria, you will need to provide documentary evidence of your previous education, volunteer/workplace experience and other relevant information. In these instances, people with the highest score against the selection criteria are offered the available places.

More Information:  For further information on Vocational Education and Training pathways you should contact individual RTO’s such as North Metro TAFE and South Metro TAFE. The Training WA website provides information on all available courses and RTO’s in Western including links to the Australian Apprentice Centre.

Workplace Learning

The Workplace Learning endorsed program provides an opportunity for a student to demonstrate and develop increasing competence in the core skills for work, often referred to as generic transferable or employability skills. A student learns to apply and adapt the workplace skills that are necessary to understand and carry out different types of work and that play a key role in lifelong learning.

Developing competence in workplace skills assists an individual to gain employment and, in the longer term, to progress within the organisation or industry area in which they are employed and to contribute successfully to the organisation’s objectives and to the wider community.

Workplace Learning is an Authority-developed endorsed program that is managed by individual schools. To complete this endorsed program, a student works in one or more real workplace/s to develop a set of transferable workplace skills. The student must record the number of hours completed and the tasks undertaken in the workplace in the Authority’s Workplace Learning Logbook. The student must also provide evidence of their knowledge and understanding of the workplace skills by completing the Authority’s Workplace Learning Skills Journal after each 55 hours completed in the workplace.


Prendiville Catholic College is part of the ONSITE cluster, which coordinates students, employer training and supervises work placements. ONSITE is the model by which Workplace Learning is delivered to students at Prendiville Catholic College and other Independent and Catholic schools in the metropolitan region. Students who apply and participate in the ONSITE programme are required to enrol in the Workplace Learning programme at Prendiville Catholic College.

ONSITE is a Workplace Learning Programme that provides students with the opportunity to develop work skills while continuing with their senior secondary education. The ONSITE staff will manage and implement the programme within policy guidelines established by the various consultative and management groups. The Workplace Learning School Coordinator (Mr Jason Todd) assists the ONSITE Coordinators at a school level to manage and implement the programme.

Students are required to attend the allocated workplace one day a week (usually a Wednesday for Prendiville students) and work as directed by the workplace supervisor. Most students complete two placements during the one year. ONSITE students are expected to make a complete commitment to learning in the workplace.

The major goals of the programme include:

  • To develop in students a wide range of work-related competencies
  • To assist students with career planning
  • To increase self-esteem and confidence
  • To develop broader communication skills with people outside the school environment
  • To enable students to complete Year 12 and attain WACE Certification and also have the benefit of ongoing work-based experience and training
  • Through workplace experience, students may gain points for admission to TAFE.

In addition, some students may elect to combine their industry experience with a VET qualification. Students interested in the Building and Construction, Hairdressing and Childcare industries will need to speak to Mr Todd to find out how they can combine their workplace experience with a VET qualification.

Students who enrol in Workplace Learning are charged a service fee for participating in the ONSITE program.  The fee will be approximately $500. This fee is subject to change prior to students commencing in the workplace as next year’s programme costs are not yet finalised. The fee partially covers the total cost charged to the school by ONSITE to facilitate, maintain and service the programme for the benefit of Prendiville Catholic College students. Costs include initial student interviews, workplace visits, telephone calls, correspondence, employer training, sourcing a placement, logbook production, insurance provision and so forth.

PLEASE NOTE: Students who withdraw from Prendiville Catholic College and/or Workplace Learning or ONSITE in writing after Week 3 of Term 1 will still be charged the FULL service fee.

Years 10 & 11 Christian Service Learning

At Prendiville Catholic College the hours of service, referred to as the Christian Service Learning Programme, are to be completed over Years 10 and 11. When completing the Christian Service Learning Programme the following conditions must be satisfied.

  • The 20 hours must be completed out of classroom time.
  • A minimum of 10 hours must be completed in Year 10 with the remaining requirement to be done in Year 11.
  • All hours must be signed by an authorised supervisor who can also make a comment on the student’s commitment, participation etc.
  • Students are required to complete a reflective journal and a final reflective essay.

Students will be able to access information through the school Service Learning Portal, available through SEQTA Learn.  The school will also offer opportunities that will count as part of Service Learning which will be announced through the newsletter and daily notices.

There are 4 areas in which Service can be completed at Prendiville:

  • Social Justice
  • Community Outreach
  • Environment
  • Sporting

Students can choose to do hours in any combination across any of these four areas, however not more than 12 hours will be recorded in any one area. If students are committed to a particular programme they are welcome to do more than the 12 hours.  If students are unsure if certain activities will meet their Service Learning requirements they need to gain approval from the Director of Faith and Mission before continuing.

During these two years student progress will be recorded on school reports.

Sanctions will be applied to students who do not meet their Christian Learning Service requirements. These may include school community service and being ineligible to attend social events such as the Year 11 River Cruise and Year 12 Dinner Dance (College Ball). Successful completion of the Christian Service Learning requirements is required for Graduation from Prendiville Catholic College.

More details are available in each student’s service learning journal.

University Entrance

The University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University use a relatively common selection system.
To be considered for university admission as a school leaver an applicant must:

  • Achieve the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), and
  • Achieve competency in English as prescribed by the individual universities, and
  • Obtain a sufficiently high Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for entry into a particular institution and/or course, and
  • Satisfy any prerequisites or special requirements for entry into particular university courses.


It is essential for students to satisfy the requirements of the WACE to enter all four public universities.


The competence in English requirement will normally be met by a scaled mark of at least 50 in the ATAR English courses or a scaled mark of at least 50 in Literature. Please note, however, that individual universities may have their own specific requirements. This information is available from the TISC website.
Each university has provided some concessions where competence in English has not been met. Visit the TISC website on for further details.


The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank is the basis of admission to most university courses. You are ranked in order of merit based on your ATAR.

What is your ATAR?
The ATAR ranges between zero and 99.95. It reports your rank relative to all other WA students of Year 12 school leaving age and takes into account the number of students with a Tertiary Entrance Aggregate (TEA) as well as the number of people of Year 12 school leaving age in the population of this State. For example, an ATAR of 75.00 indicates that you have an overall ranking equal to or better than 75% of the eligible Year 12 school leaving age population in Western Australia.
The ATAR is derived from the Tertiary Entrance Aggregate (TEA).

  • The TEA will be calculated by adding the best four scaled scores in WACE Courses, providing that for school candidates, at least two different units of the Course have been completed. No course can be counted more than once.
  • In calculating the scaled score for WACE Courses, equal weight is given to the final school score and the final external examination score, except where courses are taken as private candidates.


TISC have constructed a WA ATAR calculator to estimate your ATAR. The calculator takes into account the number of students with a TEA and the number of people of Year 12 school leaving age in the State. This calculator is updated annually.


Students need to ensure that they satisfy the prerequisites for admission to the university course of their choice. Prerequisites are courses or special requirements that must be successfully completed for entry to particular university courses. This will generally be a scaled mark of at least 50 in specified non-mathematics courses at ATAR level. Mathematics prerequisites differ across university courses.
For some university courses the special requirements may include bridging/special course units, interviews, auditions, folio presentations, manual dexterity tests, aptitude tests, fitness requirements etc. Information regarding any special requirements is only partly provided on the TISC website. Detailed information is available from the individual universities.


The enrolment procedures for the University of Notre Dame Australia differ from those of the four public universities in Western Australia. NDA utilises a comprehensive admissions process that goes beyond the use of a single score.
The admission process considers:

  • WACE
  • Personal qualities and motivation
  • Contribution to school and community life
  • Academic record (school assessment / ATAR)
  • Admissions interview

A scaled mark of 50 or more in the English Course or Literature Course will be required in order to meet the English Language Competence requirement.

Consider your Choices of Learning

Whether you meet the requirements of the WA Certificate of Education for entrance to TAFE or university will depend upon your ambitions and abilities. There are many factors to be considered when choosing your course. Even if you haven’t yet decided on a career it is important to look at a number of possibilities and check pre requisites so that you don’t restrict future options.

When choosing courses consider:
1. Interests
2. Abilities
3. Future goals

If possible, choose courses that you enjoy as you will spend a considerable amount of time studying them in Year 11 & 12.

Abilities – be realistic

It is important to realise that the courses in Year 11 and Year 12 vary.

  • They vary in content and skills.
  • They vary in level of complexity.
  • The learning styles involved vary and may not suit some students.

It is therefore important that students carefully consider their capacity to undertake studies, especially for those more difficult courses.
As it is possible to fail any course, it is important to check the recommended pre-requisite levels for different courses. Choose those in which you performed well in the past. Be realistic about your own abilities and choose those you know you can successfully complete. Check with your teachers.

Future goals

Ensure that subjects chosen meet criteria for future employment or studies. If career goals aren’t clear, select a course that offers flexibility, interest and a realistic chance of success.

Transferring from one course to another

Try and get it right the first time. Changes to courses are disadvantageous, however, students wishing to change subjects after enrolment may do so providing it is within the given time frame and:

  • it is possible on the timetable
  • it is within maximum class numbers
  • it does not interfere with future goals.

Anyone wishing to change courses must realise that work missed up to that time has to be completed. Students who wish to change subjects must do so by the College deadline of Week 6 of Semester 1. Any change must be discussed with the Deputy Principal Curriculum in consultation with parents.

Students in Years 11 and 12 must choose six courses. With English or Literature mandated under the WACE and Religion and Life mandated in Catholic Schools, students must choose either ATAR or General in these areas and an additional four courses.