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​​Planning your Senior Program

It is important to choose subjects
carefully as your decisions may affect not only the types of careers you can follow later, but also your success at school and feelings about school as well. Even though there are many factors to consider, choosing your course of study can be made easier if you go about the task calmly and logically, and follow a set of planned steps.

As an overall plan, it is advised to choose subjects that:
  • you enjoy,
  • you have achieved in or feel confident in achieving good results,
  • reflect your interests and abilities,
  • help you reach your career and employment goals,
  • will develop skills, knowledge and attitudes useful throughout your life, and
  • will fulfil future tertiary course prerequisites.
There are many ways to move up the ladder within an industry or to change jobs as a result of further education or training. This section outlines some of the features of Australia’s education and training system that can help young people improve their job prospects or satisfaction over time. People who gain recognised qualifications have a better chance of obtaining jobs which offer the potential for more variety and, generally, higher levels of pay. 
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has been developed to provide a national system for qualifications from the three education sectors in Australia – school, vocational education and training (TAFE and private providers), and higher education (universities).  
For further information, visit .

What are the types of subjects/types of study in the Senior Phase of Learning? 

Authority subjects - Authority subjects can be used in the calculation of an Overall Position (OP) for tertiary entrance. Authority subjects are academic in nature and require intensive assessment and regular study. Assessment requires students to adhere to the dates prescribed by the school for the completion of assessment items. Students must also find a supervisor who is prepared to supervise all tests. This assessment mode requires that all students seeking an OP must sit for the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Test during Semester 2 of Year 12. 
Students who do not achieve a Sound Achievement in a Year 10 subject may find related Authority subjects in Years 11 and 12 difficult. 
A student’s OP is dependent on how well they achieve in the chosen subjects. Students should choose subjects in which they have most chance of success. Many Authority subjects may be taken in Year 11 without prior study of similar subjects. It would be very difficult, however, to attempt subjects such as Mathematics B or C, Chemistry, Physics, Music and Languages without some successful background study in related Year 10 subjects. 

Authority Registered subjects - These subjects cannot be used to calculate an Overall Position (OP) for tertiary entrance. However a selection rank can be calculated if a student has completed 20 semester units of Authority and Authority Registered subjects. These Authority Registered subjects are internally assessed. Students are assessed gradually over two years. This form of assessment requires students to adhere to the dates prescribed by the school for the completion of assessment items. Students must also find a supervisor who is prepared to supervise all tests.

VET courses offered by BSDE - BSDE offers the option of stand-alone Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications. Certificate courses are either level I, II, III or IV and are nationally recognised. These are practical subjects that will prepare students for the workforce or for further vocational study. 
Student achievement in accredited vocational education units of competence is based on industry endorsed competency standards and is recorded on the QCE. Qualifications issued are recognised within the VET Quality Framework, and these may give advanced standing towards a traineeship or apprenticeship and/or credit on entry to higher level courses at TAFE institutes, other RTOs and some tertiary institutions. 

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships - Department of Education and Training (DET) promotes School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SATs). This program allows a student to be a BSDE student and a trainee or apprentice. It is essential that any student who is interested in a SAT, contact Senior Pathways​ for further information. Students must be 14 years and 9 months of age to begin a SAT. Be sure that you understand that apprenticeships and traineeships are legally binding formal agreements. When you sign these, you are agreeing to particular work and training requirements as is your host employer. 

Offered by TAFE and other Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) - Students in Years 11 and 12 have the option of participating in certificate courses offered by TAFE and other RTOs as part of their senior phase of learning. Students can select to study a part-time certificate course offered by these institutions as equivalent to one or more school subjects. BSDE requires the student to provide proof of enrolment with TAFE/ RTO in the selected Certificate course to meet the accountabilities of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 legislation. Fees may apply and will be negotiated between families and institutions directly. 

Refer to the Course Outlines for Years 11 and 12​ . Choose a combination of subjects that suits your needs and abilities.