VCE Vocational Major and international students

Information for CRICOS registered schools

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Vocational Major is a vocational and applied learning program within the VCE designed to be completed over a minimum of 2 years.  It is not a new course or a new qualification.  It is a new enhancement to VCE that commences in 2023.

There are 2 key points for all students considering the VCE Vocational Major:

  1. they will receive a VCE qualification with 'Vocational Major' on the certificate.
  2. they will not receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

International student enrolment

International students can enrol in the VCE Vocational Major but CRICOS registered schools must engage with each student and their parent(s) or guardian(s) before enrolment.  This is to ensure that they: 

  • understand the impact on ther post-VCE study and Australian visa options
  • provide informed consent for a VCE course enrolment that will not receive an ATAR.

International students enrolled in the VCE are eligible to complete vocational education and training (VET) units in Australia.  This is an option available to them should they wish to include vocational units as part of their VCE without enrolling in the VCE Vocational Major. 

Checks before enrolment

CRICOS registered schools must conduct pre-enrolment checks before enrolling international students in the VCE Vocational Major.  They should ask international students and their parent(s) or guardian(s):

  • what is the student's intended post-VCE pathway?
  • is the intended pathway consistent with the options open to student visa holders?
  • will the student's pathway options be negatively impacted by not receiving an ATAR?
  • can the student's interest in vocational training be met within a standard VCE course?

The VCE Vocational Major offers pathways for Australian citizens and permanent residents including:

  • apprenticeships
  • traineeships
  • full-time employment. 

It is important to note that these options are not available to student visa holder. Limited  pathways may be available if international students are seeking entry to higher education or VET courses that do not require an ATAR. 


All CRICOS registered schools enrolling international students in a VCE Vocational Major should retain records of:

  • clear advice to students that no ATAR is available to them
  • evidence of informed consent by the student and their parent(s) or guardian(s).