Subject Areas

Within each state & territory and national curriculum, there are multiple subject [learning] areas. The most important are considered Key/Core Subject Areas. These are common in all jurisdictions, with a number of 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

The following three groups make up the Australian curriculum. There are links to these in the National section below.

There are 8 nationally agreed Learning Areas plus one [1] optional subject. They are English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health & Physical Education, Languages and Work Studies [optional in Years 9 and 10]. As shown below these may be listed by varying titles in different state and territory jurisdictions.

There are also General Capabilities. These include Literacy, Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology [ICT] Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social capability, Ethical Understanding and Intercultural Understanding.

There are further Cross Curriculum Priorities including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History and Cultures, Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia and Sustainability.

In Primary schooling, you learn about Science rather than Chemistry, Physics or Biology. You cover 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.

In Secondary schools courses often begin as integrated areas but evolve into individual subject components as students progress through the years. They are also supplemented by new studies such as Career and Vocational areas. In senior years, ‘State and territory curriculum, assessment and certification authorities are responsible for determining how the Australian Curriculum content and achievement standards are to be integrated into their courses. The state and territory authorities also determine assessment and certification specifications for their courses and any additional information, guidelines and rules to satisfy local requirements, including advice on entry and exit points and credit for completed study’. [Senior secondary curriculum - The Australian Curriculum]

From Year 9 of Secondary school there is also an option of Vocational Education [VET] courses. In some states there are also Endorsed Programs. For example, in Western Australia, the ‘Endorsed Program may have been developed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, or it may have been developed by a private provider or a school and subsequently endorsed by the Authority’.

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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F-10 content areas are listed above, as is the optional choice. Fifteen senior secondary subjects across English, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography have been endorsed by the council of federal, state and territory Education Ministers as the agreed and common base for the development of state and territory senior secondary. For implementation in each state/territory, see included details below.

Information regarding The Australian Curriculum is provided via the links below. For extended information, use the initial link and then the various menus available.

  • The Australian Curriculum V8.4
    ACARA. ‘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
    ‘On 12 June 2020, Education Ministers agreed that it was timely to review the Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum, which had been in place since 2015. ACARA is to complete the review by the end of 2021. If approved by Education Ministers, the revised Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum will be released on a redesigned Australian Curriculum website by the start of 2022’. Relevant items linked to the review are listed below.
  • Updated !Quality Schools Package
    ‘The information on this page helps you learn about school funding and reform arrangements. The Quality Schools funding arrangements provide funding to schools and school systems based on student and school need’.

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Australian Capital Territory

Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences [HASS], The Arts, Languages, Health & Physical Education [HPE] and Technologies plus the General Capabilities and Cross-Curriculum Priorities detailed above. Several other items are listed on Our Curriculum page listed below.

  • ACT Curriculum Requirements Policy
    ‘This policy sets out the responsibilities for the implementation of the ACT Curriculum in school plans and teaching and learning programs in ACT public schools’.
  • New !BSSS Frameworks
    Provides access to subject area Frmeworks, plus access to A/T/M/Ccourses downloadable information about each in .docx format [Word]. Access various course grouping, [e.g. A/T/M/C/V plus R, E and H Courses, as well as New and Updated Courses and Frameworks for 2022 . In addfition there menunlinks to a range of related information.
  • Updated !Everyone Everyday Program
    The Everyone Everyday program is currently being revised and updated. Everyone Everyday aims to create a cultural shift in community attitudes towards disability and difference’.
  • Our Curriculum
    Link to Australian Curriculum, Languages in Schools, Health and Wellbeing, Religious Education, Aqua Water Safety and Awareness, Program and the Board of Senior Secondary Studies.

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New South Wales

Learning Areas up to Year 6 are - English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Human Society & Its Environment [HSIE], personal Development, Health & Physical Education [PDHPE], Creative Arts.

Learning Areas for Years 7-10 are the same except Science & Technology is separated into two entities [Science and Technologies]. Several areas are broken into individual subjects [e.g. Creative Arts - Dance, Drama, Music, Photographic and Digital Media, Visual Arts and Visual Design] with the addition of VET in Years 9 and 10.

Learning Areas for Years 11 and 12 are the same as for Years 7-10, However, the individual Syllabus list is extensive as you can tell from the Syllabus A–Z listing [See link below].

  • 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.
  • Learning across the Curriculum
    Includes a range of other learning aspects such as Civics and Citizenship, Sustainability and Religion and Ethics.
  • NSW Curriculum and Syllabuses
    ‘Curriculum Structure; Key Learning Areas; Curriculum requirements and credentials; Syllabuses; Types of courses [6 sections here including endorsed courses]’.
  • NSW Curriculum Reform
    ‘The NSW Government is reforming the curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12 so every student is prepared and ready for their future. On this page : Review findings and A Plan for improvement’.
  • NSW Curriculum Reform [2]
    Includes links to NSW Curriculum Review Final Report; the NSW Government Response; view videos; a Summary of NSW Curriculum Review recommendations and several other resources. Designed to begin making an impact by 2022.
  • Years K-10 Syllabuses
    Alphabetical listing of all areas with syllabuses and a range of other support material including Life Skills Statements. Included is a total K-10 syllabus listing.
  • HSC Syllabuses
    Alphabetical listing of all core area subjects, Endorsed Courses, VET, VET Content Endorsed Courses and Life Skills.

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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.

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Major Key Learning Areas for P to Year 10 are - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, Technologies, Health and Physical Education, The Arts, Languages and Work Studies, while also having General Capabilities and Cross-curriculum priorities .

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.

  • Australian Curriculum in Queensland [QCAA]
    ‘Queensland schools plan, teach, assess and report using the Australian Curriculum in Prep–Year 10. Includes : Learning Areas; General Capabilities; Cross-Curriculum Priorities; Implementation Advice; Professional Development; Frequently use resources; Career/Work Education’.
  • Implementing the Australian Curriculum in Queensland
    ‘The QCAA provides advice and resources developed to support teachers as they plan, teach, assess and report using the Australian Curriculum in Prep–Year 10. The QCAA has worked in partnership with the schooling sectors to develop the following advice’.
  • New !Learning Areas P-10 [QCAA]
    ‘Disciplinary knowledge, skills and understanding are described in the Prep to Year 10 Australian Curriculum learning areas. The learning areas include : English, Mathematics, Science, Health and Physical Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Languages and Work Studies. Select an Australian Curriculum learning area to view curriculum, advice and resources’. Further information via links on the left-hand side.
  • Past Curriculum Documents
    ‘Past Queensland curriculum documents remain a valuable resource, providing guidance for scope and sequence’. Includes previous Year 1-10 Syllabuses, Lower Secondary subject areas plus other sections.
  • Senior Subjects
    ‘A–Z subjects; Applied subjects; General subjects; Short Courses; listing by subject area [e.g. Mathematics]; Syllabus amendment notices’; more.
  • Year 10 Guidelines [QCAA]
    The Year 10 Guidelines also provided information and advice for schools using the previous curriculum till the end of 2020.

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South Australia

Key Learning Areas for Reception to Year 10 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health & Physical Education and Languages. There is also Work Studies [an elective for Years 9-10].

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

  • Curriculum for Year 10 to 12 students
    ‘SACE and the Australian Curriculum; Vocational pathways; Advanced Technology Project; Additional programs; Further study options’.
  • Curriculum in South Australia
    From Early Years to Year 12. Department for Education. Covers all levels of schooling. Links to related information including curriculum and subjects.
  • Curriculum in South Australian Schools
    Covers Reception to Year 10; Years 10 to 12; Vocational Pathways in schools; Industry Pathway Programs; Alternative Schooling; Specialised courses and programs; more. Includes subject listing for Reception to Year 10 and a link in the Years 10-12 for SACE subjects.
  • For parents and families
    A special presentation covering multiple topics including a section for Curriculum and learning.
  • SACE Subjects
    Senior Secondary. ‘Access draft subject outlines, subject summaries and information relevant to the subject by following the links.’
  • SACE - Other Recognised Learning
    ‘The SACE Board recognises and grants SACE credits for appropriate qualifications, subjects, courses, or learning experiences gained by local, interstate, or overseas students’.
  • The Australian Curriculum [V8.4]
    ‘The Australian Curriculum is taught in government schools for reception to Year 10 students’. This link will give access not only to subjects, but also General Capabilities and Cross-Curriculum Priorities information.

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Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities & Social Sciences [HaSS - includes History 7-10, Geography 7-10, Civics and Citizenship 7-8, Economics and Business 7-8], Health & Physical Education, Technologies, The Arts, Languages, My Education [Career and Life Planning] and there is also access to Vocational Education and Training [VET] qualifications.

  • Australian Curriculum Years 11-12
    ‘Fifteen senior secondary subjects across English, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography have been endorsed by the council of federal, state and territory education ministers as the agreed and common base for the development of state and territory senior secondary courses’. Details are provided for each.
  • Curriculum
    The Department of Education, Tasmania. Overview, links to relevant documents [e.g. Australian Curriculum website]. In addition, there is also a selection of Parent Fact Sheets [for Department of Education schools] which includes a sheet on Curriculum that contains information, subjects, a brochure and a number of other links.
  • Programs and Initiatives
    Covers the latest versions of these, e.g. eLearning Programs and Australian School-based Apprenticeships.
  • TASC
    ‘TASC is responsible for the development of appropriate standards, the accreditation of courses and the assessment and certification of student achievement in senior secondary schooling across all educational sectors in Tasmania’. Courses [Accredited] are listed on this site [172 at time of inclusion]. Students have access to the TCE Course Planner [TASC] which covers the available courses.

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Learning areas include English [also English as an Additional Language - EAL], 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 [Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies]. Additional Priorities include - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures; Learning about Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia; Learning about Sustainability. There are also Capabilities [including Critical and Creative Thinking and; Ethical, Intercultural, and Personal and Social capabilities]. ‘The Victorian Curriculum F–10 incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards’.

  • 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’. You can also access the Victorian Essential Learning Standards [VELS] which was the curriculum before Ausvels. Click on “Domains” to see the subject listing.
  • Victorian Curriculum : Foundation - Year 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’. Provides an overview, Curriculum information and and Levels information.
  • School Studies Search
    ‘This listing of studies by school is based on which studies are actually taught by a school. Many schools, however, increase the range of studies available to students by sharing arrangements with other schools or providers; so students can enrol in studies at other schools or providers, such as Virtual School Victoria or the Victorian School of Languages [VSL]. Details of these arrangements can be obtained from individual schools’. Secondary years.
  • VCE Study Designs
    Listing of subject areas with links to resources for implementation. High-achieving, interested and able students may consider including a study from the Higher education Studies Program as part of their VCE. A 2021 VCE Study Designs wall chart is available for download via this link.

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Western Australia

Learning Areas include - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences [including History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business], The Arts, Languages, Health & Physical Education, Languages, Technologies, VET Industry Specific and Endorsed Programs. For a complete listing of General Capabilities and Cross-Curriculum Priorities select the “Teaching” menu item on the K-10 Outline page.

For information regarding the Western Australian Curriculum visit this site.

  • K-10 Outline
    ‘It sets out the mandated curriculum, guiding principles for teaching, learning and assessment and support for teachers in their assessment and reporting of student achievement’.
  • Years 11 and 12
    ‘Here you will find materials and information relating to Years 11 and 12 including : an overview of the changes to the WACE and the course materials, “Syllabus and Support material documents” [see below] and the WACE Manual’. Also : News, Event information and Useful Links.
  • Years 11 and 12 - Endorsed Programs
    ‘An endorsed program is a significant learning program that has been developed for senior secondary students. The program may have been developed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, or it may have been developed by a private provider or a school and subsequently endorsed by the Authority. Endorsed programs can be delivered as part of the school curriculum or as extra-curricular activities’. Check other details listed for these.
  • Years 11 and 12 - Syllabus and Support Materials
    Major learning areas [e.g. Mathematics] and a full listing of subjects within these. Click on the area headings [e.g. Technologies] to access information regarding individual courses within the learning area.
  • Years 11 and 12 - Interstate Languages
    ‘The School Curriculum and Standards Authority accesses a number of language courses from other states through processes established as part of the Collaborative Curriculum and Assessment Framework for Languages [CCAFL] or through arrangements made with individual states. Students can study Interstate Languages courses through a community language school or as part of a school program. These courses are available to students in Year 11 and Year 12’. Lists are provided for WACE versions of interstate language Syllabuses as well as Other interstate language syllabuses.
  • VET Industry Specific Courses
    Information regarding what these are, specific courses and levels and their recognition for the WACE is included.

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