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Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)


Your straightforward university pathway.

The Year 12 Western Australian Certificate of Education courses are designed to give you a range of options to complete Year 12 with the view of entering a tertiary institution. 

With your WACE certificate, you can gain entry into a Western Australian public university, government and private universities throughout Australia and overseas, as well as entry into State Training Providers.

CRICOS Course Code 097571G.


Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) for students who meet the WACE requirements. All Year 12 students on the completion of their secondary schooling will also receive a Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA) from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA).


This program starts in February and is completed in November and is a standard program suitable for all students who meet minimum entry requirements.

February Entry: 10 months (February – November)

April Entry: 8 months (April – November)


This program guarantees entry into State Training Providers as well as government and private universities throughout Australia, provided you also meet the universities’ entry requirements. You’ll have a choice of undergraduate courses.

WA public universities are Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. 


Students must study English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) and select 4 or 5 other subjects.

List A (Arts/Languages/Social Sciences)

The Business Management and Enterprise ATAR course focuses on business planning, marketing and growth, and opportunities provided for business by technology and the global environment. Students examine factors that drive international business developments, the features and traits of successful management, and how businesses operate strategically to maximise business performance in a global setting. Through the consideration of real businesses and scenarios, students develop knowledge, understanding and skills that enable them to apply financial and business literacy, analyse business opportunities, evaluate business performance, identify and create opportunities, and make sound, ethical business decisions within a business environment. The course equips students to participate proactively in the world of business, behave responsibly and demonstrate integrity in business activities.

Unit 3: Focuses on strategic international business growth. The unit explores the need for global expansion and change management. It also addresses the opportunities provided by the global environment and the factors that drive international business development.

Unit 4: Focuses on global business operations. The unit explores how businesses operate strategically and examines the features and traits of successful management. It addresses the significance of strategic planning and the concept of competitive advantage.

Economics investigates the choices which all people, groups and societies face as they attempt to resolve the ongoing problem of satisfying their unlimited wants with limited resources. Economics aims to understand and analyse the allocation, utilisation and distribution of scarce resources that determine our wealth and wellbeing. Economics develops the knowledge, reasoning and interpretation skills that form an important component of understanding individual, business and government behaviour at the local, national and global levels. The Economics ATAR course develops reasoning, logical thinking and interpretation skills demanded by the world of work, business and government. Economic literacy developed through this course enables students to actively participate in economic and financial decision-making, which promotes individual and societal wealth and wellbeing. The emphasis of the course is on the Australian economy.

Unit 3: Australia and the global economy
Explores the interdependence of Australia and the rest of the world. Australia is a relatively open economy and, as such, is influenced by changes in the world economy.

Unit 4: Macroeconomic Theory and Economic Policy
Explores the economic objectives of the Australian Government and the actions and policies taken in the pursuit of these objectives. Changes in the level of economic activity influence the policy mix and the government’s capacity to achieve its objectives.

The EAL/D courses are designed for students who speak another language or dialect as their first or ‘home’ language. EAL/D focuses on development of the competent use of Standard Australian English (SAE) in a range of contexts. The EAL/D ATAR course develops academic English skills to prepare students for tertiary study.

Unit 3: This focuses on analysing how language choices are used to achieve different purposes and effects in a range of contexts. SAE language skills are developed so that they can be used to describe, inform, express a point of view and persuade for different purposes and audiences. The ways in which language choices shape meaning and influence audiences are explored through the study and creation of a range of oral, written and multimodal texts. The representation of ideas, attitudes and values and how these vary across cultures and within different contexts, particularly the Australian context, is analysed and evaluated. Effective and independent research skills are consolidated throughout the unit.
Unit 4: This focuses on analysing, evaluating and using language to represent and respond to issues, ideas and attitudes in a range of contexts. By extending and consolidating language and communication skills, critical use of SAE for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences is developed. Independent and collaborative investigation and analysis are used to explore how language and texts achieve specific purposes and effects. Extended oral, written and multimodal texts and presentations are created, adapted and refined for a variety of contexts, purposes and audiences. Effective research strategies and referencing protocols are used to present ideas, information, conclusions, arguments and recommendations.

List B (Mathematics/Science/Technology)

The Accounting and Finance ATAR course focuses on financial literacy and aims to provide students with the knowledge, understandings and a range of skills that enables them to make sound financial judgements. Students develop an understanding that financial decisions have far reaching consequences for individuals and business. The course will provide students with the understanding of the systems and processes through which financial practices and decision making are carried out, as well as the ethical, social and environmental issues involved. Through the preparation, examination and analysis of a variety of financial documents and systems, students develop an understanding of the fundamental principles and practices upon which accounting and financial management are based. An understanding and application of these principles and practices enables students to analyse their own financial data and that of businesses and make informed decisions, forecasts of future performance, and recommendations based on that analysis.

Unit 3: Focuses on internal management for business.

Unit 4: Focuses on Australian reporting entities and how they are regulated by the Corporations Act 2001.

The Chemistry ATAR course equips students with the knowledge, understanding and opportunity to investigate properties and reactions of materials. Theories and models are used to describe, explain and make predictions about chemical systems, structures and properties. Students recognise hazards and make informed, balanced decisions about chemical use and sustainable resource management. Investigations and laboratory activities develop an appreciation of the need for precision, critical analysis and informed decision making.
This course prepares students to be responsible and efficient users of specialised chemical products and processes at home or in the workplace. It also enables students to relate chemistry to other sciences, including biology, geology, medicine, molecular biology and agriculture, and prepares them for further study in the sciences.

Unit 3: Equilibrium, acids and bases, and redox reactions
Students investigate the concept of reversibility of reactions and the dynamic nature of equilibrium in chemical systems; contemporary models of acid-base behaviour that explain their properties and uses; and the principles of oxidation and reduction reactions, including the generation of electricity from electrochemical cells.

Unit 4: Organic chemistry and chemical synthesis
Students develop their understanding of the relationship between the structure, properties and chemical reactions of different organic functional groups. Students also investigate the process of chemical synthesis to form useful substances and products and the need to consider a range of factors in the design of these processes.

The Computer Science ATAR course builds on the core principles, concepts and skills developed in the Digital Technologies subject in previous years. Students utilise and enhance established analysis and algorithm design skills to create innovative digital solutions to real-world problems. In the process, students develop computational, algorithmic and systems thinking skills which can be successfully applied to problems across domains outside Information Technology. In addition to the development of software, the essential concepts of networking, data management and cyber security are explored. With the vast amounts of data collected in our increasingly digital world, especially in the information-intensive business and scientific disciplines, data management is becoming essential. Similarly, with more and more devices connecting to the internet, cyber security is a major issue for society and the world continues to look for new, young experts to emerge in this field.
Python is the prescribed programming language for Computer Science ATAR.

Unit 3: Design and development of programming and networking solutions
Students gain knowledge and skills to create software solutions. They use algorithms, structured programming and object-oriented techniques to design and implement software solutions for a range of problems. They consider the complex interactions between users, developers, the law, ethics and society when computer systems are used and developed. Students learn about network communications and the transfer of data through a network.

Unit 4: Design and development of database solutions and cyber security considerations
Students learn about the design concepts and tools used to develop relational database systems. Students gain knowledge and skills to create database solutions and create queries to extract relevant information. Students consider the security of network communications, exploring a range of threats and measures used to keep networks secure. Students examine attitudes and values involved in the creation and use of computer-based systems, and their effect on society. They examine the ethical and legal obligations of the user and developer in the collection and storage of data.

*Units 1 and 3; 2 and 4 have the same descriptions, however, the Year 12 units build on knowledge and skills from Year 11. Units 3 and 4 have increased specialisation and complexity.

Human Biology covers a wide range of ideas relating to the functioning human. Students learn about themselves, relating structure to function and how integrated regulation allows individuals to survive in a changing environment. They research new discoveries that are increasing our understanding of the causes of dysfunction, which can lead to new treatments and preventative measures. Reproduction is studied to understand the sources of variation that make each of us unique individuals. Through a combination of classical genetics, and advances in molecular genetics, dynamic new biotechnological processes have resulted. Population genetics is studied to highlight the longer-term changes leading to natural selection and evolution of our species.
As a science, the subject matter of this course is founded on knowledge and understanding that has been gained through systematic inquiry and scientific research. However, this knowledge is far from complete and is being modified and expanded as new discoveries and advancements are made. Students develop their understanding of the cumulative and evolving nature of scientific knowledge and the ways in which such knowledge is obtained through scientific investigations. They learn to think critically, to evaluate evidence, to solve problems and to communicate understandings in scientific ways.

Unit 3: Homeostasis and disease
Students explore the nervous and endocrine systems and the mechanisms that help maintain the systems of the body to function within normal range, and the body’s immune responses to invading pathogens.

Unit 4: Human variation and evolution
Students explore the variations in humans, their changing environment and evolutionary trends in hominids.

This course focuses on the use of mathematics to solve problems in contexts that involve financial modelling, geometric and trigonometric analysis, graphical and network analysis, and growth and decay in sequences. It also provides opportunities for students to develop systematic strategies based on the statistical investigation process for answering statistical questions that involve analysing univariate and bivariate data, including time series data. The Mathematics Applications ATAR course is designed for students who want to extend their mathematical skills beyond Year 10 level, but whose future studies or employment pathways do not require knowledge of calculus. The course is designed for students who have a wide range of educational and employment aspirations, including continuing their studies at university or TAFE.

Unit 3: Contains the three topics:
• Bivariate data analysis
• Growth and decay in sequences
• Graphs and networks
‘Bivariate data analysis’ introduces students to some methods for identifying, analysing and describing associations between pairs of variables, including using the least-squares method as a tool for modelling and analysing linear associations. The content is to be taught within the framework of the statistical investigation process.
‘Growth and decay in sequences’ employs recursion to generate sequences that can be used to model and investigate patterns of growth and decay in discrete situations. These sequences find application in a wide range of practical situations, including modelling the growth of a compound interest investment, the growth of a bacterial population, or the decrease in the value of a car over time. Sequences are also essential to understanding the patterns of growth and decay in loans and investments that are studied in detail in Unit 4.
‘Graphs and networks’ introduces students to the language of graphs and the way in which graphs, represented as a collection of points and interconnecting lines, can be used to analyse everyday situations, such as a rail or social network.

Unit 4: Contains the three topics:
• Time series analysis
• Loans, investments and annuities
• Networks and decision mathematics.
‘Time series analysis’ continues students’ study of statistics by introducing them to the concepts and techniques of time series analysis. The content is to be taught within the framework of the statistical investigation process. ‘Loans, investments and annuities’ aims to provide students with sufficient knowledge of financial mathematics to solve practical problems associated with taking out or refinancing a mortgage and making investments. ‘Networks and decision mathematics’ uses networks to model and aid decision-making in practical situations.

This course focuses on the use of calculus and statistical analysis. The study of calculus provides a basis for understanding rates of change in the physical world, and includes the use of functions, their derivatives and integrals, in modelling physical processes. The study of statistics develops students’ ability to describe and analyse phenomena that involve uncertainty and variation.
Mathematics Methods provides a foundation for further studies in disciplines in which mathematics and statistics have important roles. It is also advantageous for further studies in the health and social sciences. In summary, this course is designed for students whose future pathways may involve mathematics and statistics and their applications in a range of disciplines at the tertiary level.

Unit 3: Contains the three topics:
• Further differentiation and applications
• Integrals
• Discrete random variables.
The study of calculus continues by introducing the derivatives of exponential and trigonometric functions and their applications, as well as some basic differentiation techniques and the concept of a second derivative, its meaning and applications. The aim is to demonstrate to students the beauty and power of calculus and the breadth of its applications. The unit includes integration, both as a process that reverses differentiation and as a way of calculating areas. The fundamental theorem of calculus as a link between differentiation and integration is emphasised. Discrete random variables are introduced, together with their uses in modelling random processes involving chance and variation. The purpose here is to develop a framework for statistical inference.

Unit 4: Contains the three topics:
• The logarithmic function
• Continuous random variables and the normal distribution
• Interval estimates for proportions.
The logarithmic function and its derivative are studied. Continuous random variables are introduced and their applications examined. Probabilities associated with continuous distributions are calculated using definite integrals. In this unit, students are introduced to one of the most important parts of statistics, namely, statistical inference, where the goal is to estimate an unknown parameter associated with a population using a sample of that population. In this unit, inference is restricted to estimating proportions in two-outcome populations. Students will already be familiar with many examples of these types of populations.

This course provides opportunities, beyond those presented in the Mathematics Methods ATAR course, to develop rigorous mathematical arguments and proofs, and to use mathematical models more extensively. Mathematics Specialist contains topics in functions and calculus that build on and deepen the ideas presented in the Mathematics Methods course, as well as demonstrate their application in many areas. The Mathematics Specialist course also extends understanding and knowledge of statistics and introduces the topics of vectors, complex numbers and matrices. Mathematics Specialist is the only ATAR mathematics course that should not be taken as a stand-alone course and it is recommended to be studied in conjunction with the Mathematics Methods ATAR course as preparation for entry to specialised university courses such as engineering, physical sciences and mathematics.

Unit 3: contains the three topics:
3.1 Complex numbers
3.2 Functions and sketching graphs
3.3 Vectors in three dimensions
The Cartesian form of complex numbers was introduced in Unit 2, and in Unit 3, the study of complex numbers is extended to the polar form. The study of functions and techniques of calculus begun in the Mathematics Methods ATAR course is extended and utilised in the sketching of graphs and the solution of problems involving integration. The study of vectors begun in Unit 1, which focused on vectors in one- and two-dimensional space, is extended in Unit 3 to three-dimensional vectors, vector equations and vector calculus, with the latter building on students’ knowledge of calculus from the Mathematics Methods ATAR course. Cartesian and vector equations, together with equations of planes, enables students to solve geometric problems and to solve problems involving motion in three-dimensional space.

Unit 4: contains the three topics:
4.1 Integration and applications of integration
4.2 Rates of change and differential equations
4.3 Statistical inference
The study of differentiation and integration of functions is continued, and the techniques developed from this and previous topics in calculus are applied to the area of simple differential equations, in particular in biology and kinematics. These topics serve to demonstrate the applicability of the mathematics learnt throughout this course. Also in this unit, all of the students’ previous experience in statistics is drawn together in the study of the distribution of sample means. This is a topic that demonstrates the utility and power of statistics.

Students will learn how energy and energy transformations can shape the environment from the small scale, in quantum leaps inside an atom’s electron cloud, through the human scale, in vehicles and the human body, to the large scale, in interactions between galaxies. Students have opportunities to develop their investigative skills and use analytical thinking to explain and predict physical phenomena. Students plan and conduct investigations to answer a range of questions, collect and interpret data and observations, and communicate their findings in an appropriate format. Problem-solving and using evidence to make and justify conclusions are transferable skills that are developed in this course.

Unit 3: Gravity and electromagnetism
Students investigate models of motion in gravitational, electric and magnetic fields to explain how forces act at a distance.

Unit 4: Revolutions in modern physics
Students use the theory of electromagnetism to explain the production and propagation of electromagnetic waves and investigate how shortcomings in existing theories led to the development of the quantum theory of light and matter, the Special Theory of Relativity, and the Standard Model of particle physics.

Students will be introduced to psychological knowledge which supports an understanding of the way individuals think, feel and behave in different contexts. Students learn about major psychological theories, studies and models, and conduct scientific investigations. Students develop skills to apply their psychological knowledge to explain thoughts, feelings and behaviours in the everyday world. Students apply the principles of scientific inquiry and ethical guidelines as they analyse data used to examine phenomena, such as developmental stages, memory, attention, attitudes, personality and social influence. An understanding of psychology is very useful, both to individuals and those assisting us to improve ourselves and our relationships, and to society as a whole.

Unit 3: Memory and learning
Cognitive psychology is concerned with the process of how human beings develop understanding and apply this to the world in which they live. Memory and learning form core components of cognitive psychology. Various theories of memory and learning have been developed based on psychological research.
In this unit, students learn the roles of sensation, perception and attention in memory. They further develop understanding of memory by applying models, understanding how specific structures of the brain affect memory, and learning about some of the processes associated with memory and forgetting.
The unit explores theories of learning, including classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory, in the context of key studies. Students apply learning theories in behaviour modification to real-world contexts.
Science inquiry skills are further developed in this unit, as is the understanding that psychological knowledge develops over time and in response to ongoing research.

Unit 4: Psychology of motivation, wellbeing and health
A key concern in psychology is developing the understanding of human cognition, emotion and behaviour to inform improvements in the wellbeing of individuals and groups in society. In this unit, students develop a psychological understanding of the relationship between motivation and wellbeing, and apply this to the development of effective strategies related to stress and sleep.
This unit uses analysis of theories and models associated with motivation and wellbeing to establish psychological understandings of these concepts. It introduces some elements of the relationships between stress, sleep and wellbeing. Students learn psychological models and techniques to improve wellbeing in these contexts.
The unit emphasises the role and relevance of science inquiry, where the psychological research is applied to contemporary concerns.


Students are required to have an English standard approximately equal to IELTS 5.5 (no band less than 5.0). Students must also have satisfactory completion of Year 11 studies or equivalent.


  • January Entry 2024: AUD$23,578 plus Overseas Student Health Cover*
  • April Entry 2024: AUD$23,578 plus OSHC*

*OSHC — BUPA Overseas Student Health Cover. This is a compulsory medical cover for ALL international students, as required by the Department of Home Affairs. The price varies according to the length of the course.