Tasmanian Certificate of Education

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Tasmanian Qualifications Authority

The Tasmanian Certificate of Education, or TCE, is the main credential awarded to secondary school students who successfully complete senior high school level studies (years 11 and 12 or equivalent, referred to generally as College within Tasmania) in Tasmania, Australia. It was introduced in 1992 to replace Tasmania's old "High School Certificate", and partially restructured for 2007.


Patterns of Study[edit]

The majority of students undertake TCE-related courses over the final two years of school (out of six years of high school), however it is possible to undertake different study patterns over different time periods or through different teaching organisations. These two years are normally completed either at separate campuses of Tasmanian independent schools, or at government colleges.

The onus of TCE education is the promotion of independent learning for students, with the aim of equipping students to be able to learn independently of guided education. It is felt this is better preparation for higher education.

Available Courses[edit]

The courses offered for study within the TCE are divided into categories according to the relevant knowledge types or skills. These reflect the nature of the subject and are similar to the way universities allocate areas of study according to faculty. These are: Arts, English, Health & Physical Education, Information Technology, Languages, Mathematics, Science, Society and Environment, Student-Directed Inquiry, Technology and Manufacturing Studies.

The following is the complete list of TCE Courses available to students by area of study.

  • Arts
    • Arts Applied (This course enables students to apply art in a practical way such as concerts, creating film, media publication, or recorded production).
    • Performing Arts (Including Audio Design, Dance, Drama, Media Production & Music).
    • Visual Arts (Art Appreciation, Visual Arts and Media, & Art Production).

The study of English at TCE level is divided up into specialist sub-categories, including: English, English Applied, English Communications, English Studies, English Writing, English as a Second Language, Communicating with the Deaf, & Study Material (the study of previous examinations and course work).

Health and Physical Education is divided up into specialist sub-categories including: Adventure Education, Athlete Development, Health, Recreation and Health, Sport Studies & Sport Science

Information Technology consists of Computer Science, Computing and Information Systems.

Several languages are offered for study within the TCE and focus tends to be on languages of countries which have significant trade status with Australia, or large numbers of international speakers. The main languages included are: Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, & Japanese, although several others, particularly those of Australian ethnic minority groups can also be studied.

The study of mathematics at TCE level is offered at varying levels of complexity, ranging from maths for every day living skills, through to complex equations. The subjects within the field of mathematics are: Mathematics Applied, Mathematics Methods, Mathematics Specialised, Maths after College, Maths at Work, Maths for Living & Study Material (the study of previous examinations and course work).

The following sciences can be studied towards a TCE qualification: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Physics, Science of Natural Resources, & Science of the Physical World.

Society and Environment focuses on subjects which apply skills to the understanding of human interactions with each other, and the environment around them, including: Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Religion & Philosophy, Legal Studies, Ancient Civilisations, Modern World History and World & Environment.

This is an experimental area of study that the TCE has offered on a trial basis in 2006 and 2007 and encourages students to develop their own learning designs and research approaches. It is very much focused on allowing students to develop an academic approach to learning within an area of personal interest, and offers the freedom to approach the gathering of knowledge, research or skill acquisition through their own initiative.

Many areas of technical skills can be studied through the TCE including: Applied Technology, Automotive Technology, Catering, Computer Graphics and Design, Design Graphics, Design in Metal, Design in Wood, Electronics, Food Studies, Housing and Design & Lifestyle and Fashion.

Manufacturing studies is another new pilot area of study in 2007, and is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills related to the manufacturing industries, which are currently the second largest industry sector in Australia.

Assessment[edit]

The Tasmanian Certificate of Education is awarded based upon a criterion based assessment. This basically means students can be assessed depending upon their meeting or successful completion of standards and criteria. These criteria usually assess knowledge, skills and competencies in differing ways to ensure a wide understanding of the course syllabus has been obtained by the student. It is felt that this is fair and more practical that just relying upon traditional examinations, although many areas of study still utilise exams in conjunction with other methods of assessment.

Subjects are offered at varying levels of difficulty, ranging from a basic understanding, through to a pre-tertiary entrance qualification. The difficulty of a subject is guided by its rating as an 1-3 level subject. Subjects are also given an A, B or C rating based on the number of hours that are required for the course, C being the longest. In this way, all subjects will have a rating such as 3A, or 2C etc., depending on the time it involves and the difficulty of the work involved.

C level subjects can also be offered as pre-tertiary (level 3C), and for students wishing to gain university entrance, enough points from pre-tertiary entrance subjects must be obtained to gain a Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) score above the requirements for the applied course.

Award[edit]

Upon successful completion of a satisfactory pattern of study students are awarded the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) by way of a testamur. This may also come with a Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) if the student has nominated to attempt a university entrance qualification, and the TER score will dictate which university courses the student is eligible to apply for.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]