Senior Studies

The ACT College System

The ACT operates a system of school-based curriculum and assessment within the policy and procedures of ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS).

School-based curriculum means that college teachers are involved in all curriculum development that the colleges determine what courses they offer to students. In partnership with the BSSS, the colleges commit to offering high-quality educational programs from a wide range of academic and vocational areas.

Assessment in the ACT is continuous, school-based assessment. This means that there are no external subject-based examinations. Courses are taught and assessed unit by unit. A unit of study is organised around a particular theme or skill set and has a value based on the time the unit took to deliver; for example, one standard unit of study towards the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate (ACT SSC) represents a minimum of 55 hours of timetabled classes generally over one semester. Moderation is conducted every semester to ensure comparability of grades from different schools.

The BSSS website gives further information about the senior secondary system within the ACT: www.bsss.act.edu.au including governing policies. These include

  • minimum hours of attendance and course delivery
  • moderation procedures
  • plagiarism and academic misconduct
  • assessment procedures
  • course content and prerequisites.

Course Package

All courses of study for the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate are designed to develop student capabilities through an integrated and interconnected set of knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions across the curriculum. These capabilities include:

  • literacy
  • numeracy
  • information and communication technology (ICT)
  • critical and creative thinking
  • personal and social capability
  • ethical behaviour
  • intercultural understanding

Inspired by the Australian Curriculum and using similar design protocols, courses of study for the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate are relevant to the lives of students. Courses address the following three priorities:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability

The package chosen may be either a Tertiary Package leading to the award of the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or a Standard Package leading to the award of the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate. Both packages provide scope to obtain Vocational Certificates.

Selecting Courses

In planning a program of senior study, students are encouraged to consider not only their post secondary objectives but to choose courses that relate to their interests and abilities. Students usually achieve in the subjects they are interested in rather than those they perceive they ‘need’.

Students should avoid over-specialisation. The best preparation for a place in the workforce or further study is a broad general education. Students who do well at university are able to think critically, who can write and speak and who have an understanding of the world and their place in it. Advancement in the workforce is available to those who can speak, read and write with confidence and who have a useful general knowledge of their world.

The College provides counselling and advisory services to assist students in career and course choices; however, it remains the student’s responsibility to ensure that courses and units selected are appropriate to their further needs. Students are to:

  • Ascertain vocational requisites and relevant prerequisites before establishing a course pattern
  • Check that their package meets the requirements of the College and of the Senior Secondary Certificate
  • Ensure that additional requirements for entry into tertiary institutions are met where a student intends to proceed to further study
  • Ensure that the Teaching and Learning Coordinator is consulted before any change in course, even when that change is to a different level within a course
  • Ensure that changes are only made after consultation between students, parents, teachers, and the Teaching and Learning Coordinator.

Senior Electives

To permit flexibility and scope for package variations, the College recommends the study of six courses in Year 11 with the option of reducing to four or five majors in Year 12.

English
English (T)Essential English (A/M)
Literature (T)
Languages
French Continuing & Advanced (T)
Italian Continuing & Advanced (T/A)
Japanese Continuing & Advanced (T)
Mathematics
Essential Mathematics (A/M)
Mathematical Applications (T)
Mathematical Methods (T)
Specialist Methods (T)
Specialist Mathematics (T)
Physical Education and Health
Exercise Science (T)
Physical Education (A/M)
Sport Recreation and Leadership (A/V)
Studies of Religion
Religious Studies (T/A/M)World Religions (T/A/M)Studies of Religion (T/A/M)
Science
Biology (T/A)
Chemistry (T)
Earth & Environmental Science (T/A)
Human Biology (T/A)
Physics (T)
SOSE
Australian & Global Politics (T/A/M)
Business (T/A/M)

Economics (T)

Geography (T/A)

History (Ancient and Modern) (T/A/M)

Legal Studies (T/A/M)

Psychology (T/A/M)
Sociology (T/A/M)
Social & Community Work (A/M/V)
Technologies
Data Science (T/A/V/M)Design and Emerging Technologies (T/A/M)Designed Environments (T/A/M)
Design and Graphics (T/A/M)Digital Products (A/V)Digital Technologies (T/A/V)
Hospitality (T/A/M/V)Robotics and Mechatronics (T/A/M/V)Design and Textiles (T/A/M/V)
Timber Products (A/M)
The Arts
Dance (T/A/M)
Drama (T/A/M)
Media (T/A/M)
Music (T/A/M)
Photography (T/A/M)
Visual Arts (T/A/M)
Inclusive Education
Pathways to Work & Learning (A/M)