Aussie Educator

Subject Areas

Within each state & territory and national curriculums, there are multiple subject [learning] areas. A number of these are considered Key/Core Subject Areas. These are common in all jurisdictions, with some additional subject/learning areas also common, depending on individual state or territory emphases.

While areas may be common, titles may vary between states & territories. This is more common with areas other than English [Language], Mathematics and Science. It is even more common with sub-areas, especially in secondary years.

This page provides information regarding core areas, titles by state/territory/national curriculum, and links to listings and syllabuses for subject areas.

Other Information

There are 8 nationally agreed learning areas. They are English, Mathematics, Science, the Social Sciences, The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages and Technology, though as shown below these may be listed by varying titles.

At present, there are perspectives which cross all learning areas. Examples include Indigenous and Multicultural Perspectives. Consideration is now being given to making them separate learning areas rather than integrating them in all learning areas.

Consideration is also being given to “reducing the overcrowding in the curriculum, promoting a parent-friendly version of the curriculum” [The Australian]. Both these factors stem from the Review of the Australian Curriculum.

In Primary schooling, you learn about Science rather than Chemistry, Physics or Biology. You cover the Social Sciences rather than History, Geography, Economics, Commerce or Business Studies. Many topics in Primary schools are done as Integrated Units involving more than one key area. For example, a unit on culture in a particular country could include aspects taken from all key areas.

Subject areas become more individual in Secondary schools. Courses often begin as integrated areas but evolve into individual subject components as students progress. They are also supplemented by new studies such as Career and Vocational areas. ACARA is now being asked to “drop the development of national curriculum in subjects beyond the initial five [English, Maths, Science, History and Geography] that have been written, and sitting untouched for two years”. In essence, the national curriculum will only apply up to Year 10.

From Year 9 of Secondary school there is an option of Vocational Education [VET] courses. In some states there are also endorsed courses available at selected schools.

In each Key/Core Subject Area are sub-topics depending on school level :

English - Reading, Writing, Listening & Speaking, Viewing, Literature

Mathematics - Number, Measurement, Chance & Data, Space, Algebra, Calculus, …

Science - Earth & Space, Energy, Living Things, Investigating, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, …

Social Sciences - History, Geography, Commerce, Cultures, Indigenous Studies, Civics, Environmental Studies, …

The Arts - Dance, Drama, Media, Music, Visual Arts

Health & Physical Education - Health, Drug Education, Physical Education, Sport

Languages - Core languages are Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese

Technology - Information Technology, Design & Technology, Home Economics, Agriculture, Textiles, …

Links to all subject areas are provided for each state and territory in the following sections through links to framework/syllabus listings.

Titles for the Key/Core Subject Areas are provided for each state below.

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  • The Australian Curriculum V8.2
    ACARA. ‘It sets out, through content descriptions and achievement standards, what students should be taught and achieve, as they progress through school’. Individual sections include :
  • Review of the Australian Curriculum
    ‘Evaluated the robustness, independence and balance of the process and development of the Australian Curriculum. It also sought to understand whether the Australian Curriculum is delivering what students need, parents expect and the nation requires in an increasingly competitive world ’.

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States & Territories

Australian Capital Territory

Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Languages, Health & Physical Education and Technologies. Additional areas include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, Sustainability. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in the ACT.

New South Wales

Learning Areas to Year 6 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science [incorporating Science and Technology K-6], Personal Development, Health & Physical Education, Human Society & Its Environment, Creative Arts, TAS [In K-6 it is combined with the Science learning area in the new Science K-10 (incorporating Science and Technology K-6)] and Languages.

Learning Areas for Years 7-10 are the same except Science & Technology is separated into two entities [see above]. These are maintained till Year 12, though some areas are broken into individual subjects, with the addition of separate Life Skills Courses, VET Curriculum Frameworks and VET Content Endorsed Courses. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in NSW.

  • New ! Curriculum [NESA]
    For further information select either Kindergarten-Year 10 or Year 11-Year 12 from the menu. This will provide access to specific stages and Learning Areas. Here you will find Content and Outcomes, Syllabuses, senior courses, more.
  • NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum
    ‘View by stage or subject, use the hyperlinked glossaries, and filter by learning across the curriculum content’.
  • The Australian Curriculum in NSW
    News, announcements, syllabuses, background information.
  • Years 7-10 Syllabuses
    Alphabetical listing of all areas with syllabuses and a range of other support material including Life Skills Statements.
  • HSC Syllabuses
    Alphabetical listing of all core area subjects, Endorsed Courses, VET, VET Content Endorsed Courses and Life Skills.

Northern Territory

Key Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Health & Physical Education, Humanities and Social Sciences [HASS], The Arts, Technologies and Languages. An additional area is Indigenous Languages & Culture. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in the Northern Territory.

  • NT School Curriculum
    Introduction, Primary years curriculum, Middle years curriculum, Senior years curriculum. Links to related materials and sites.
  • NT Certificate of Education and Training
    Information on Obtaining an NTCET, Credits and grades, Subjects studied, Vocational and community learning, Admission to university and the link to SACE South Australia on which it is based.
  • Australian Curriculum Implementation
    Scroll down to details about implementation in the Northern Territory.


Major Key Learning Areas to Year 9 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages, Technologies.

In Senior Years [11 and 12] they are titled - English, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business & Economics, Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages, Career Development and ICT & Design. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in Queensland.

  • Implementing the Australian Curriculum in Queensland
    ‘Aligning learning; Implementation strategy; Advice and Guidelines; Whole school planning; Professional Development’.
  • Queensland Curriculum [QCAA]
    ‘In 2013, Queensland schools will continue to plan, teach, assess and report on the Australian Curriculum for English, Mathematics and Science, and commence implementing P-10 History. The Queensland curriculum will be maintained for all other learning areas’.
  • Year 10 Guidelines [Qld Studies Authority]
    ‘The Year 10 Guidelines provide information and advice for planning and delivery of challenging and engaging courses in a range of school settings and for different groups of students. Downloads available in PDF or Word formats.’
  • Years 11-12
    Includes subject list plus key area information and syllabuses.

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South Australia

Key Learning Areas for Reception to Year 10 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Science, The Arts, Technologies, Health & Physical Education and Languages. There is also Work Studies [Years 9-10]. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in South Australia.

Details of the subjects for Stages 1 and 2 for Senior years are found through the SACE link below.


Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Society & History, The Arts, Health & Wellbeing, Vocational & Applied Learning, ICT, Design & Technology, LOTE. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in Tasmania.

  • Post-Compulsory Courses
    ‘This is the official register of Post-Compulsory courses currently accredited by the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority.’ Listed alphabetically. PDF downloads.
  • New ! Programs and Initiatives
    Covers both new and existing versions of these.
  • Tasmanian Curriculum
    ‘Information about the areas of the Tasmanian Curriculum can be accessed by selecting the appropriate section’. These include relevant Australian Curriculum areas.


Learning areas include English, Mathematics, Science, The Humanities [includes Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography, History], The Arts [includes Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design], Health & Physical Education, Languages and Technologies [includes Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies]. Additional Priorities include - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia and Sustainability. There are also Capabilities [including Critical and Creative Thinking and Ethical, Intercultural and Personal and Social capabilities]. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in Victoria.

  • Previous Curricula
    ‘In January 2017 Ausvels was replaced by the Victorian Curriculum F-10 as the mandated curriculum for Victorian government and Catholic schools [see link below]. Archived copies of the AusVELS curriculum are held by the National Library of Australia and are available at : New !’.
  • VCE Studies
    Alphabetical listing of all courses. Clicking on each leads to a PDF download of areas of study, or a Word format Study Summary plus other information. Use the VET link [main menu] for further information in this area.
  • Updated ! Victorian Curriculum : Foundation-10
    ‘The Victorian Curriculum F-10 sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. It incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards’.

Western Australia

Learning Areas include - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences [including History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business], The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages, Technologies. Additional Priorities include - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia and Sustainability. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in Western Australia.

For information regarding the New ! Western Australian Curriculum visit this site.

  • K-10 Outline
    P-10 Curriculum; Judging Standards - ‘a tool to support teachers when reporting against the Achievement Standards’ and more; ‘The Curriculum and Assessment Outline is also available in printable PDF format’.
  • WACE Courses
    Courses listed in curriculum areas. These include : WACE Courses [Click on selected courses for access to details and downloads]; Endorsed Programs [‘Endorsed programs offer Year 10, 11 and 12 students the opportunity to use workplace learning, university studies, community organisation and personal development programs to meet the completion requirement of the WACE’]; Interstate Languages and VET Industry Specific WACE Courses.

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