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The information on this page relates to students who will be graduating from school in 2018 and 2019, i.e. current Year 11 and 12 students. For information about the new QCE system starting with Year 11 students in 2019, visit the QCAA website.

To achieve a QCE you must meet set literacy and numeracy requirements and achieve 20 credits.

At least 12 credits must come from completed Core courses of study. An additional 8 credits can come from a combination of any courses of study, with a maximum of 6 credits from Preparatory courses of study.

Courses of study

Courses of study approved for the QCE are organised into 4 categories. To receive QCE credits for a course of study you must achieve a Sound, Pass or equivalent.


Core courses of study are usually undertaken by students in Years 11 and 12, such as Authority subjects, Authority-registered subjects, VET certificates and school-based apprenticeships or traineeships. A minimum of 12 credits must come from completed Core courses of study, and at least one of these must come from studies completed at school. Partial completion of a Core course of study may also contribute some credit towards your QCE.


Preparatory courses of study are generally used as stepping stones to further study or training, with different courses contributing varying credit towards a QCE. They include VET Certificate I qualifications and some recognised certificates and awards. A maximum of 6 credits from Preparatory courses can count towards your QCE. However only 2 certificate qualifications can count.


Enrichment courses of study provide you with opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge at a higher level. These courses are generally, although not exclusively, offered by organisations other than those offering Core or Preparatory courses of study. A maximum of 8 credits from Enrichment courses can count towards your QCE.


Advanced courses of study go beyond the normal range of typical senior secondary schooling. A maximum of 8 credits from Advanced courses can count towards the QCE. University courses, diplomas and advanced diplomas must be undertaken while you are enrolled at school in order to contribute credit.

Planning your pathway to a QCE

Your school or other learning provider will help you plan your pathway to a QCE.

Tracking your progress

You can use your learning account to check you're on track to achieve a QCE.

Achieving a QCE

Most students receive their QCE at the end of Year 12, but if you leave school earlier or do not achieve a QCE by the end of Year 12, you can keep working towards it. Your learning account stays open for seven years after you have (or would have) completed Year 12, so you can keep earning credits for eligible courses.

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Last updated: 15-Feb-2018