​​​​​Studying at a government secondary school in Victoria, gives you the freedom to take responsibility and make decisions about the subjects you want to study.

Victorian government secondary schools offer:

  • highly flexible education with over 90 subject choices
  • high-quality learning and excellent pathways to tertiary education
  • an open learning environment
  • a strong foundation for future personal and career success
  • a balanced social and cultural life.

Whatever your interest areas or career ambitions – we've got the subjects for you.

And we're always available to offer guidance about choosing your subjects to suit your learning needs and university pathway. We can even help you to change your subjects if you find they're not the right ones for you. 

Teacher helping student in classroom.

​Secondary school years

Students study in a Victorian government secondary school after graduating from primary school.

Years 7 to 12 (with a total duration of up to 6 years) form secondary school classes in Victorian government schools.

Years 7 to 8 students

Years 7 to 8 students study a range of subjects from the Victorian Curriculum F-10. Subjects include English, Maths, Sciences, the Arts (both visual and performing arts), Humanities and Health and Sport.

Years 9 to 10 students

Years 9 to 10 students generally study two to three compulsory subjects, like English, Sciences and Maths along with your choice of subjects from other curriculum areas. Years 9 to 10 gives students the chance to try out different subjects to explore areas you're good at and might want to explore in further study.

Years 11 to 12 students

Years 11 to 12 students study the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). In VCE, the only compulsory subjects is English (or English as an Additional Language for international students). The rest of your study plan is your choice to prepare for your future tertiary education and career pathways.

There are over 90 VCE subject areas across nine key learning areas:

  • English
  • Languages other than English
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Technology
  • The Arts
  • Humanities

This enables you to study everything from dance, theatre, music and photography through to robotics, engineering and environmental studies.

Choose to graduate or simply have an education experience

Do you want to obtain a qualification? Or do you want an education experience as part of our Study Abroad Program? You can easily find an option to suit. Our online application process will assist you to find out:

  1. the program that applies to you
  2. the application form you need to use
  3. the fees you are required to pay when attending a Victorian government school
  4. the type of visa you need to apply for.

Choosing a high school

Approximately 120 accredited secondary schools in Victoria, Australia are available to international students who choose to study as part of an International Student Program. You will be able to choose a school that offers you:

  • the subjects you want to study
  • the extra-curricular activities you enjoy
  • a place at the right year level for you.

Speak to one of our accredited education agents about your school choice. Let them know your preferences and they can help will match you with the school that will be the best fit for your education.  

Download the Right School Right Place guide to find out more about schools in Victoria.

All schools hosting international students go through a rigorous accreditation process undertaken by the Department.

Accreditation ensures schools meet high-quality standards relating to:

  • program provision
  • accommodation
  • reporting to parents
  • and welfare arrangements.

To search for a school, use the find a school function on our website.

Finding the right year level

Secondary school students are aged between 12 and 20 years old.   

Academic success is important. The Victorian school curriculum offers you the opportunity to study new and interesting subjects that will widen your view of the world.

Our secondary school subjects will help you find your passions and we know you'll have fun along the way too. Our secondary schools view social growth and trying to keep students of the same ages together as important:

In secondary school, students must meet an upper age limit for each year level.

Entry level and upper age limits

  • Year 7: less than 15 years of age
  • Year 8: less than 16 years of age
  • Year 9: less than 17 years of age
  • Year 10: less than 18 years of age
  • Year 11: less than 19 years of age
  • Year 12: less than 20 years of age.

English language requirements

Secondary school students must have a good level of English language skills prior to commencing their course of study.

To meet the minimum English language requirements for secondary school students, a student must provide documented evidence that the student has:

  • been taught at a school for at least 2 years where English is the primary language of instruction; or
  • achieved:
    • a general IELTS test score of at least 5.5 for Year 10 entry; or
    • a general IELTS test score of at least 6.0 for Year 11 entry; or
    • an AEAS score of 66 or higher; or
    • an internet-based TOEFL score of at least 69; or
    • an EIKEN score of Grade 3 or higher for Year 10 entry; or
    • an EIKEN score of Grade Pre-2 or higher for Year 11 entry.

If the above requirements cannot be met, then before commencing in a Victorian government school, the student must: 

  • undertake additional English language studies in a Victorian government school as part of their course, if available; or
  • successfully complete an English language course in Victoria at a private provider.

The duration of English language provision will normally be 20 or 21 weeks (two terms), depending on when they commence in the school year. If at the end of the two terms, the student's English language proficiency is still not sufficient for them to commence their core studies, they may be required to undertake additional English language studies. For more information about getting a head start through our English language programs, see: Learning English.

Academic Requirements

Students must have achieved at least 60% on average in each core academic subject over the past two years. Please contact international@education.vic.gov.au for further information.

Welfare and accommodation options

Living with a parent, guardian or relative

International students can choose to live with a parent, guardian or relative (if aged 13 years and older). If you choose this option, the Victorian Government takes full responsibility for your welfare in Australia. Find out more about Welfare support.


Homestay with a local family is a popular option for students travelling without their parents or guardians. Having the support of another family and a connection to your local community can make all the difference to settling in and improving your English language confidence.

Find out more about accommodation options for Victorian government schools.


To learn about the costs of studying and living in Victoria, see:

Fees and program options

Use our online application process to find out:

  • the program that applies to you
  • the school fees you are required to pay for attending a Victorian government school
  • the type of visa you need to apply for
  • the application form you need to use.

CRICOS Provider Name and Code: Department of Education and Training, 00861K.
CRICOS Course Names and Codes: Primary (Prep to Year 6), 019047G; Secondary (7-12), 019048F; Victorian College of the Arts Secondary Course (7-12), 028651A.
Last Update: 27/04/2022 4:01 PM