Do Year 11 and 12 Differently

Students in the Greater Brisbane area can complete Year 11 and 12 in an adult-learning environment with our Senior College program. Offered exclusively at our Alexandra Hills campus, this program is perfect for 15 to 17-year-olds who are looking for a practical and independent alternative to the traditional high school system. Our Senior College program allows you to complete your Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or gain an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). 

Completing your senior studies can open up doors to your future, including further study opportunities. With an ATAR you can choose to continue your studies at TAFE or university. Or with your QCE you can put your new knowledge and skills into practice and get straight into the workforce. Whether you're currently in high school or have left school already, we've got your pathway to work or further study sorted.

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Why study year 11 and 12 at TAFE Queensland


TAFE Queensland offers a holistic range of student

support services, including:

  • qualified counsellors
  • career guidance via counsellors
  • tutorial support
  • mentor program
  • career hub
  • AccessAbility Support Officers.


All senior college students are enrolled in our Mentor Program which is designed to prepare you for the challenges of study, regardless of your initial academic ability.

The program is comprised of both scheduled class time, involving a variety of activities, discussions and guest speakers. As well as informal time, where students can raise issues important to them. Our Mentor Program supports students throughout their time with us, enabling you to set and achieve clear, realistic goals for your future.


Year 12 students will also join the Career Hub in semester two of their Mentor Program. This prepares students for the completion of Year 12, equipping you with key skills required to be job-ready. You will get to focus on your career pathways and hear from an exciting schedule of industry guest speakers to discuss various career choices.


TAFE Queensland has AccessAbility Support Officers who:

  • offer confidential, friendly advice and support for any life situation
  • assist students to achieve their educational and career goals
  • encourage students to be independent and take responsibility for their course of study
  • liaise with relevant external agencies, organisations or government departments to gain assistance
  • undertake vocational training connected to that particular work area.

Understanding your options

Our Senior College program allows you to earn a QCE or ATAR outcome at the end of Year 12 by studying Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) registered subjects. Depending on your goals, these qualifications can help you transition to tertiary study or secure a job. 

Career starters
I want to go to university

The ATAR pathway:

  • we recommend six QCAA subjects
  • optional vocational certificate
  • could include a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SAT)
  • mentor program

Leads to:

  • gaining an ATAR score
  • employment
  • entrance to a TAFE Queensland diploma/university degree


Senior college
I want to start working

The employment pathway:

  • we recommend four QCAA-registered subjects and one vocational certificate or five QCAA-registered subjects
  • to complete, students need to have accumulated 20 points, including at least 12 core credits
  • mentor program

Leads to:

  • Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
  • vocational certificate(s)
  • employment
  • entrance to a TAFE Queensland diploma/university degree.
Course overview
  • ATAR Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway mandatory subject

English is a two-year course that is highly recommended if you want to gain an ATAR score. For entry into most university courses, you must have completed four semesters of Senior English. Assessment is predominantly written with some compulsory spoken tasks. You will have opportunities to engage with diverse texts for a variety of audiences and purposes.

  • language use
  • critical awareness
  • literary appreciation
  • writing skills
  • spoken communication
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • writing for academic purposes
  • how to deliver a formal presentation
  • textual analysis
  • how culture can change how we read

Essential English

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway mandatory subject

Essential English focuses on content and skills that will prepare you for employment. In this course, you will be expected to read, view and discuss a wide range of texts and media, including; novels, films, documentaries and songs.

  • youth issues
  • this sporting life
  • small business
  • anthology
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • writing for an audience
  • narrative structure of contemporary media
  • how to craft creative fiction and non-fiction textual analysis
  • the core elements of basic business communication

General Mathematics

Course overview
  • ATAR Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway mandatory subject

General Mathematics is a QCAA subject that can contribute to an ATAR for university entrance. General Mathematics will equip you with the skills to manage the mathematics you will encounter in everyday life, as well as those that you will experience in non-science university courses.

  • financial mathematics
  • applied geometry
  • data exploration and analysis
  • operations research
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • the knowledge and skills of computation, estimation and measurement
  • how to interpret and analyse information presented in a variety of forms
  • the ability to make judgments based upon evidence and reasoning
  • how to justify and communicate results in a variety of forms.

Essential Mathematics

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway mandatory subject

Essential Mathematics provides a broad foundation of practical mathematics if you are planning a vocational outcome. The course is organised under various themes with a focus on numeracy and basic mathematical skills that are encountered in day-to-day living with practical applications relating to vocational areas.

  • reading maps, tables and graphs
  • learning, spending, borrowing and investing money
  • taxation and GST
  • renting, buying and renovating property
  • business planning.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • calculations used for basic financial management
  • skills needed to interpret data displayed graphically
  • knowledge required to plan for and establish a small business enterprise.


Course overview
  • ATAR Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

By studying Biology you will gain an understanding of the complex and diverse world of organisms and the natural systems that affect them. You will get the chance to undertake experiments that investigate problems pertaining to the living world including plant and animal physiology, genetics and ecology.

  • cellular biology
  • animal and plant physiology

  • genetics and diversity

  • ecological studies

  • contemporary global issues in science

Students will gain an understanding of:
  • developments in biology and their impact on modern society
  • the link between biology, technology and economic development
  • basic anatomy and physiology of plants, animals and microbes.

Science in Practice

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

This course is based on a thematic, life-related approach to the study of science. It draws from the disciplines of biology, chemistry, earth sciences and physics. Science in Practice uses a contextualised approach, where units deliver the core through electives to enhance your scientific understanding of the physical world.

  • science for the workplace
  • resources, energy and sustainability
  • health and lifestyle
  • environments
  • discovery and change.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • scientific literacy and working scientifically
  • workplace health and safety
  • effective communication and self-management skills.

Social and Community Studies

Course overview
  • ATAR Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Social and Community Studies aims to foster an appreciation of, and respect for, cultural diversity and encourages responsible attitudes and behaviours essential for the effective participation in the community. This course fosters critical, creative and constructive thinking, and predominantly focuses on personal development and social skills, with emphasis placed on developing communication, personal, interpersonal and citizenship skills, problem-solving and decision making, resilience, self-esteem and self-confidence. Essential workplace, learning, and study skills are also incorporated.

  • growing and developing as an individual
  • living with and relating to others
  • receiving from and contributing to the community
  • health
  • money management
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • the development of personal, interpersonal and citizenship skills
  • social contents and issues
  • language conventions and features to communicate ideas and information
  • communicating the outcomes of social investigations
  • appraise inquiry processes and the outcomes of social investigations


  • ATAR Pathway subject

This course provides opportunities for you to develop business knowledge and skills to contribute to society, the workforce and the marketplace. You will investigate the business life cycle, develop skills in examining data and learn business concepts, theories, processes and strategies relevant to leadership, management and entrepreneurship. You will engage with the dynamic business world, the changing workforce and emerging digital technologies.

  • business fundamentals
  • establishing and growing a business
  • competitive markets
  • strategic marketing
  • business evolution and transformation.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • business environments and situations
  • concepts and strategies
  • utilising data for business
  • decision making and proposal strategies
  • responding to markets and customers

Business Studies

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Business learning involves a range of experiences that provide knowledge, processes and skills that can be applied to business in the real-world. You will gain an understanding of business environments and have the opportunity to engage in practical business projects.

  • events and sports management
  • marketing
  • retail and real estate
  • financial services.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • the technologies utilised in day to day business operations
  • how teamwork facilitates innovation and success in business
  • communication strategies that can be used to sell ideas and build partnerships.

Information and Communication Technology

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a practical course designed to train you to apply knowledge of ICT to produce solutions to simulated problems. Through practice in problem solving in a variety of contexts — both individually and collaboratively — it creates adaptable, competent, and self-motivated users and consumer of ICT who can work with clients and colleagues to identify issues and solve problems.

  • digital imaging and modelling
  • document production
  • online communication and application development
  • technology
  • webpage production.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • current and emerging hardware and software combinations
  • social, environmental and legal impacts of your actions
  • skills needed to solve technical issues
  • rapidly changing ICT practices and protocols.

Visual Arts in Practice

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Visual Arts in Practice encompasses art forms that communicate and express meaning through visual perception. This program gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge and understanding of visual arts practices, visual mediums, art-making technologies and techniques to communicate meaning through visual forms.

  • 2D media processes including drawing, painting and print making
  • digital media processes
  • 3D media processes such as ceramics and sculpture
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • how to seek creative solutions to design problems
  • how to apply critical thinking to meet deadlines
  • how to demonstrate creative and technical skills
  • relevant workplace health and safety practices.

Drama in Practice

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

This subject gives you hands-on experience in various styles of acting and aims to give you real-life practice in various plays, monologues, auditions, performances and different events throughout the year. This program is not just for ambitious actors; it is for anyone who wants to be involved in all areas of performing arts, film, entertainment and music.

  • arts management
  • performance principles
  • improvisation
  • career development.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • how to confidently perform on stage for an audience
  • the business, marketing and administration that goes into funding and planning performances
  • the intricacies of establishing a career in the performing arts.

Music in Practice

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

In this subject you will develop skills in all areas of music including performance, management, technology and creation. This is a hands-on practical subject where you have the opportunity to regularly rehearse, set-up, perform, and market.

  • music theory and production
  • music composition
  • recording processes
  • marketing in the music industry.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • developing and refining self-created musical pieces
  • technologies involved in the recording and mastering of musical work
  • business and marketing practices utilised in funding and promoting music.


Course overview
  • ATAR Pathway subject
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

The focus of Health Education is the understanding of health in the context of society, and the mechanisms necessary to develop and promote health for individuals, groups, communities and nations. Health Education offers you the opportunity to develop the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills needed to help you to participate effectively in the promotion of equitable health outcomes.

  • the ecological interaction between human health and the sociocultural, physical, political and economic environment
  • the need for health to be considered at the global, national, local and personal levels
  • individual and collective participation in the maintenance and promotion of their own health.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • the health realities of living in contemporary Australia
  • increasing community capacity and individual empowerment
  • how to develop and promote essential health initiatives.

Aquatic Practices

Course overview
  • QCE and/or employment pathway subject

Aquatic Practices is a practical course designed to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with the safe and responsible use of the marine environment. When you complete this course you will be equipped to participate more safely in a variety of marine pastimes.

This course develops your practical application of knowledge and skills using Moreton Bay and its facilities as the focus of learning and practice.

Successful completion of the specific units make you eligible for a Recreational Shipmasters Licence (Boat).

  • recreational shipmasters licence
  • weather, tides, and currents
  • personal water safety and safe working practices
  • recreational fishing and snorkelling
  • boat handling and navigations.
Students will gain an understanding of:
  • essential skills for safety on the water across a variety of vessels
  • professional practice in commercial maritime setting
  • local maritime laws and regulations.

Vocational certificates

Course overview

Our vocational courses are available in many different career fields such as engineering, health care, computer technology, tourism, office management and skilled trades. These courses are offered as part of our TAFE at School program.

The vocational courses we offer:

  • provide job-focused training for specific roles or careers
  • are developed with industry
  • offer you a nationally recognised qualification
  • give you valuable credits towards your QCE.
View TAFE at School courses
Do Year 11 and 12 Differently
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