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  VCE English Studies

All students must undertake at least two units of English Studies in each of Years 11 and 12. English Studies include:

  • English (Units 1 & 2; Units 3 & 4)
  • English Language (Units 1 & 2; Units 3 & 4)
  • Literature (Units 1 & 2; Units 3 & 4
Structure of options:
  • Students have the option to choose from English, English Language or Literature in order to fulfil the VCE English requirement.
  • No more than two English Studies can be undertaken in Year 11 and Year 12 (see table below).
  • If English Language and/or Literature is chosen at Unit 1 and 2 level, it is not a problem to move back to mainstream English for Units 3 and 4.
  • If mainstream English is chosen at Unit 1 and 2 level, there is an approval process to go through in order to take up English Language or Literature at Unit 3 and 4 level which is reliant on strong English results, teacher and coordinator recommendation.
  • Students are encouraged to consider their options for English carefully to ensure they are selecting the subject that is right for them.

Year 11 (Units 1 & 2)
A choice of either one or two of the following:


English Language






Year 12 (Units 1 & 2)
A choice of either one or two of the following:

English/EAL *
(NB: Units 3–4 EAL is available only to those students who met the eligibility criteria)

English Language **

Literature **

* Students who chose English Language or Literature at Year 11 instead of English can opt to undertake English instead of Literature or English Language (i.e. 'drop' Literature or English Language).

** Students are strongly advised not to undertake English Language or Literature if a sequence has not been undertaken in Year 11.

Students are advised that both English Language and Literature are specialist subjects and should not be viewed as a ‘soft option’ in place of English.

Advice 10 into 11
It is recommended that students should have achieved strong results for Year 10 English before considering either English Language or Literature instead of English.

Advice 11 into 12
It is strongly recommended that students keep their options open by choosing both English and English Language or Literature at Year 11. At the end of Year 11 they can then decide which subject they would like to complete in Year 12.

Before making their decision, students are advised to find out about each course from this website Year 11, Year 12, English Language, Literature and consult the respective VCE Study Designs.

Students who require further information or clarification should see the English Co-ordinator.

Year 12
Students who have not undertaken English Language or Literature at Year 11
It is strongly advised that students will have undertaken Units 1 & 2 English Language or Literature in Year 11. Nevertheless, students are advised to consult with the English Language and Literature teachers before making their subject selection to ensure they are making an informed decision and one that will not jeopardise their ATAR score.

MHS recognises the importance of students undertaking English to develop the essential and necessary language, literacy, analytical and oral skills which provide assistance in all subjects as well as preparation for undertaking further studies at tertiary level. Therefore, students are encouraged to make informed decisions and choices in order to maximise their ATAR scores.

As noted in the table above, the decision to allow a student to undertake English Language or Literature in year 12 (if not undertaken in year 11) in place of English will based upon the written recommendation of the English, English Language and Literature teachers, and only be considered when the “Request Form” has been completed and signed.

Students who may require further information or clarification should see the English Co-ordinator.

Further Information

Subject summaries

English: This is the style of English you are used to. If you struggle a little with English or feel more comfortable with familiarity it is recommended that you remain in English. If, however, you are curious about Language or Literature, consider undertaking one of them in conjunction with mainstream English. This will leave your options open for Year 12.

English Language: This subject is also recommended to strong English students who enjoy and excel at analysing language and its uses in depth. English Language is based on linguistics so takes an objective, analytical look the nature and functions of language. There is a strong emphasis on Australian English with a range of both spoken and written texts studied at Year 11 and Year 12.

Literature: Literature is recommended to strong English students who enjoy reading and analysing a range of texts in depth with specific focus on how authors create meaning through close analysis. There is also a strong emphasis on historical and cultural contexts, views and values, adaptations and endorsing or refuting differing perspectives.

See the relevant subjects on this website for more detailed information.

Last up-dated 12 November, 2018
Website constructed and maintained by G. Marotous, 2004
© George Marotous. Melbourne High School English Faculty