Senior Studies

The ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies

The ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (ACT BSSS) is a statutory authority responsible for the certification of senior secondary school studies in government and non-government schools in the Australian Capital Territory.  Students at St  Clare’s College study courses accredited by the ACT BSSS. Students may be issued the following qualifications and statements:

  • ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and Record of Achievement
  • Tertiary Entrance Statement
  • Statement of Achievement
  • VET Certificates and Statements of Attainment.

To learn more about ACT senior secondary schools curriculum, assessment, moderation, qualifications etc, please visit the BSSS website.

Minimum Course Selection

  • Year 11:  5 courses
  • Year 12:  4 courses

Explanation of Course Types

Accredited Courses (A): A course which has been accepted by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies as being educationally sound and appropriate for students in Years 11 and 12. Accredited courses are awarded grades only and cannot be counted towards a student’s Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

Tertiary Courses (T): A course which has been accepted by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies as one which prepares students for higher education. Tertiary courses are awarded grades and course scores and can be counted towards a student’s Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

Modified Course (M): An Accredited (A) course which has been modified to provide appropriate educational outcomes for students who satisfy specific disability criteria.

Vocational Courses (V): A vocational program leads to a vocational Certificate or Statement of Attainment as defined by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The content of the vocational program is based on the competencies defined in the relevant Training Package and follows the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF). Vocational programs accredited by the Board may be classified as A, T, M, or C. Structured Workplace Learning (SWL), where students spend time in the workplace, may be part of a Vocational Education Course.

Registered Courses (R): Registered (R) unit or course has gained College Board and BSSS approval. R courses and R units are usually designed to further the student’s social, cultural, sporting and/or personal development. R units may be registered with values which are multiples of 0.1 (i.e., 5.5 hours) of a standard unit. A Registered unit or course is only awarded a Pass (P) grade if completed satisfactorily.

H Course (H): An ‘H’ classification is given to a Year 11 and 12 course, which is designed and accredited by an Australian higher education provider and where successful completion of the course will be recognised towards an undergraduate degree with that provider. H courses may contribute to a student’s ATAR calculation and the units may contribute to the college course.

C Course (C): ‘C’ classification is given to a Board accredited vocational education and training program appropriate for students in Year 11 and 12, which is delivered and assessed by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) approved by the BSSS and registered by the ACT Accreditation and Registration Council under the Australian Quality Training Framework.

E Course (E): ‘E’ classification is given to a Board registered course, which leads to a nationally recognised vocational qualification and is delivered by an external Registered Training Organisation.

Major and Minor Course: Courses are studied either as ‘majors’ or ‘minors’. A major is obtained by completing four standard units of a course, that is, studying it for all of Years 11 and 12. A minor is obtained by completing two (2) standard units of a course, that is, studying it for only one year. This could be in Year 11 or Year 12.

Major/Minor and Double Major Courses: In some courses, it is possible to do more than four (4) standard units. A student completing six (6) units gains a ‘major/minor’ in the subject. Eight (8) units provide a ‘double major’.

Senior Electives

Minimum selection of 5 courses plus Religious Studies

There is also a wide range of Registered Units available which students may have accredited as part of their ACT Senior Secondary Certificate.

English (T)Essential English (A/M)
Literature (T)
French Continuing & Advanced (T)
Italian Continuing & Advanced (T/A)
Japanese Continuing & Advanced (T)
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)
Religious Studies
Religious Studies (T)
Religious Studies (A/M)
Active Volunteering (C)
Biology (T/A)
Chemistry (T)
Earth & Environmental Science (T/A)
Human Biology (T/A)
Physics (T)
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)
Data Science (T/A/V/M)*Design and Emerging Technologies (A/T/M)*Designed Environments (A/T/M)*
Design and Graphics (A/T/M)*Digital Products (A/V)*Digital Technologies (A/T/V)*
Food Science and Management (T)Hospitality Studies (T/A/M/V)Robotics and Mechatronics (T/A/M/V)*
Textiles and Fashion (A/T/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)

*Projected new courses for 2020, these courses are still to be adopted by the BSSS.