Higher School Certificate (HSC)

The Higher School Certificate (HSC) is the culmination of your school career and the highest educational award you can achieve at secondary school in New South Wales. Study for the HSC begins with the Preliminary year, usually studied in Year 11, after completing Year 10. Study for your HSC year will begin in Term 4 meaning you officially start Year 12 around October next year.

The workforce of the future will require a range of skills and people with different types of qualifications. Year 10 students are encouraged to pursue excellence and follow their passions and interests when selecting their subjects for Years 11 and 12.

Official advice for Year 10 students is available on NESA's website.

Meeting HSC eligibility requirements

Broadly, students need to complete:

  • a preliminary pattern of study that includes at least 12 units

  • an HSC pattern of study that includes at least 10 units.

Other criteria include

Both patterns of study must include at least:

  • 6 units of Board Developed Courses

  • 2 units of a Board Developed Course in English

  • 3 courses of 2 or more units (either Board Developed or Content Endorsed Courses)

  • 4 subjects.

The NESA website includes official advice for students choosing HSC courses.At St

At St Patrick’s College, students must include at least 1 unit of Studies of Religion in their program of study.

Year 11 Subject Application Processes

The Year 11 Course Application Process begins in Term 2 for Year 10 students. Students, parents and carers are offered subject specific information in Term 2 in preparation for the Stage 6 Course Application Process:

  1. Term 2 Week 2 - Students are issued with their course selection booklet and the course selection process is presented.

  2. Term 2 Week 3 - Course selection talks provide opportunities for students to attend information sessions and speak with teachers about course selection.S

  3. Term 2 Week 4 - Students complete a course selection survey to submit expressions of interest in particular Year 11 courses. Together with student achievement data, this provides a starting point for academic counselling sessions later in the term.

  4. Term 2 Week 7 - 2023 Year 11 Course Information Evening for students, parents and carers. This event provides additional information about HSC and ATAR eligibility requirements and the College Course Application Process. Families have the opportunity to ask questions about course content, expectations and programs of study.

  5. In Week 7, the formal Course Application Process begins.

  6. Term 2 Week 8 to 10 - Year 10 students participate in one-on-one academic counselling sessions. Their career and post-school study aspirations are discussed, and course preferences are reviewed and finalised. Students and parents/carers endorse course choices by signing the course selection forms.

  7. Term 3 - Students receive a confirmation of acceptance and the official notification of courses they have been placed into for their 2022 Year 11 Preliminary courses.