What is VCE English all about?

VCE English focuses on how English language is used to create meaning in written, spoken and multimodal texts of varying complexity. Literary texts selected for study are drawn from the past and present, from Australia and from other cultures. Other texts are selected for analysis and presentation of argument. The study is intended to meet the needs of students with a wide range of expectations and aspirations, including those for whom English is an additional language.


The study is made up of four units.

Unit 1 Reading and creating texts

This unit focuses on reading and understanding texts. Students read and respond to texts analytically and creatively.

Analysing and presenting argument.

Students analyse arguments and the use of persuasive language in texts and create their own texts intended to position audiences.

Unit 2 Reading and comparing texts

In this unit students will analyse a pair of texts, comparing and contrasting their exploration of shared ideas, issues and themes.

Analysing and presenting argument

Students analyse how argument and language work together to present a point of view in relation to an issue that is currently being debated in the media.

Unit 3 Reading and creating texts

In this area of study students identify, discuss and analyse how the features of selected texts create meaning and how they influence interpretation. In identifying and analysing explicit and implied ideas and values in texts, students examine the ways in which readers are invited to respond to texts. They develop and justify their own detailed interpretations of texts.

Analysing and presenting argument

In this area of study students analyse and compare the use of argument and language in media texts.  Students read and view media texts in a variety of forms, including print, non-print and multimodal, and develop their understanding of the way in which language and argument complement one another in positioning the reader.

Unit 4 Reading and comparing texts

In this area of study students explore the meaningful connections between two texts. They analyse texts, including the interplay between character and setting, voice and structure, and how ideas, issues and themes are conveyed. By comparing the texts, they gain a deeper understanding of the ideas, issues and themes that reflect the world and human experiences.

Analysing and Presenting argument

This area of study focuses on the construction of persuasive texts. Students use their understanding of argument and language as the basis for the development of an oral presentation of their point of view. Students draw on their knowledge to express their viewpoints through arguments and persuasive language selected specifically to position an audience


There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education.


Satisfactory Completion

The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. This decision will be based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on assessment tasks designated for the unit.

Levels of Achievement

Units 1 and 2

Assessment tasks and an end of unit examination.

Units 3 and 4

School assessed coursework and end-of-year examination
Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE English/EAL are as follows:

  • Unit 3 school-assessed coursework: 25 %
  • Unit 4 school-assessed coursework: 25%
  • End-of-year examination: 50 %