Programs

“VCESS was such a valuable program going into year 12 - it left me feeling prepared and relieved going into the school year and gave me so many ideas and resources that will undoubtedly help me with my studies.” – 2022 VCESS student

Download our bonus Study Tips Handout (PDF) for students here!

Academic Program

The VCE Summer School (VCESS) provides academic support to students in subjects they’ll be studying in the coming year. Taught by a team of tutors who are university students or graduates, VCESS classes aim to create a strong foundation in relevant content and skills. All students receive a subject booklet with guidance and activities for each of their subjects. 

Tutors will also provide tips, tricks and pointers to help you reach your full potential in VCE, and many of our tutors are available for one-on-one tutoring throughout the program. A place in the Academic Program covers all classes and materials, participation in the corresponding Activities program and any focused tutoring students require. 

The subjects covered by VCESS classes in recent years can be downloaded here

In 2023, the in-person program (day or residential) will include six classes with a VCESS tutor in each subject (1/2, 3/4, or combined). We expect to cover all subjects that students apply to study at VCESS. Additional learning is delivered through two live English lectures, practical learning workshops, and recorded seminars for twelve of our most popular subjects.  

The online program will include three classes with a VCESS tutor in up to six subjects from thirteen options (3/4-focused). These subject options are English, English Language, Literature, General Maths, Maths Methods, Specialist Maths, Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Legal Studies, Business Management, and HHD. Two recorded seminars will be included for each of these subjects. 

Non-VCE Subjects

Please note that VCESS is tailored to the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) program. International Baccalaureate (IB) subjects are not offered at VCE Summer School, but students may opt to take their VCE equivalent if they wish to attend the program.

VCESS is unable to offer subjects under the Vocational Major (VM) in 2023. If you are interested in sitting classes for VM subjects at VCESS, please reach out at the email below as it helps us understand the needs of the student population. 

Please do not hesitate to contact the Program Directors at summerschool@union.unimelb.edu.au with any additional questions.

Activities & Workshops

“The mix between educational and extracurricular activities provided a nice balance between work and fun.” – 2020 VCESS Student

Summer School is not just about studying! We organise a variety of activities between academic classes to help students build teamwork skills, experience the social side of university life and have loads of fun while meeting VCE students from all around Victoria.

We run several hour-long workshops to complement the academic program and equip students with skills beyond VCE. Students select which workshops to participate in, with options ranging from sports to academic skills to life skills.

Activities and workshops for the 2023 program will be announced later in the year. Previously offered workshops  include:

  • Get That Job! Tips for Tackling Job Interviews
  • Stand and Deliver: Public Speaking Tips and Tricks
  • Film Studies
  • Auslan for Beginners
  • Activism 101
  • Crochet for Beginners
  • Understanding Shakespeare
  • Ninjutsu
  • A Basic Introduction to Climate Change
  • Statistics and Chocolate

Tertiary information Events

Unsure of what study will look like for you after high school? VCESS arranges events for students to learn about tertiary study pathways and opportunities available to them. These include tertiary expos and faculty-based panels, where tutors discuss their experience preparing for and undergoing their tertiary studies, answer questions and invite students to have more informal discussions with them for any additional queries.

The online cohort will have access to recorded tertiary seminars from the in-person program, including our UniQ&A sessions. 

Program Formats in 2023

In person cohort: Students will be invited onto the University of Melbourne campus to meet with peers and tutors for the academic program, activities and workshops and tertiary information events. Live seminars and on-campus events will include our campus tour, VCE English lectures, and the uni student Q&A. Daily group meetings are an opportunity to make friends and find support during the program.

The program will run from 9:30am to 5pm each weekday at the University of Melbourne Parkville campus in Melbourne. Students unable to travel to campus each day are encouraged to apply for the online cohort or our Residential Program.

Online cohort: For students unable to attend the standard Academic Program as day or residential students, we’re trialling a study-from-home online cohort. Online students will have the same digital resources as students in our standard program, including subject booklets and recorded English seminars. In addition, this cohort will have an online study night, online classes run for limited subjects, and an online social event to meet new friends while studying from home.

The program will run from 12pm-5pm, with live activities on three days and self-paced activities on two days each week. Spaces in this program are limited preference is given to students based on information provided in the application.

Residential Program

"I thoroughly enjoyed every part of my time with VCESS, the tutors were amazing and the regional program extras were incredibly fun.” - 2022 VCESS Student.

In addition to the VCESS Academic Program, the Residential Program provides fully catered accommodation for rural and regional students for both weeks of the program (Sunday 9–Friday 13 and Sunday 15-Friday 20). 

Located at St Mary’s College on campus, the Residential Program has gives students a rare insight into college life at the University of Melbourne, with their own private room and study space. It also allows rural students the opportunity to attend classes and events in-person. Each year, we plan a jam-packed program full of activities, workshops and seminars to introduce our residential students to Melbourne. 

Residential students are supervised by a team of tutors with strong leadership and interpersonal skills, who undergo specialised additional training. The Residential Program includes activities in the evenings to explore various parts of Melbourne, provide additional support tailored to rural students, and introduce students to the experience of living away from home in a supportive and friendly environment.

The program runs alongside the VCE Summer School, meaning students will be attending classes and workshops run by the VCE Summer School, as well as meeting and being a part of a group of students who participate in additional activities specifically designed to meet the needs of students from rural and regional backgrounds. Students will also have the opportunity to meet and form friendships with other VCE students from all across Victoria.

Places on the Residential Program are limited and preference is given to students based on information provided in the application.

Learn more about enrolling at the VCE Summer School here.

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