The HSC consists of two separate years of study, the Preliminary year and the HSC year. They are made up of:-

Preliminary Courses
Preliminary courses provide a common core of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes, as a general basis for further study. Satisfactory completion of the preliminary course, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite for entry into an HSC course.

Students must complete HSC: ‘All my own work’ (or its equivalent) before they can submit any work for Preliminary courses.

The Higher School Certificate

  • The HSC recognises 13 years of schooling. In the interests of greater career choice and increased opportunities at University and TAFE, it offers a full range of study areas matching individual abilities, interests and goals.
  • Courses are linked to further education and training.
  • The HSC fairly assesses each student’s knowledge and skills.
  • For each course they receive easy to understand reports. These reports provide clear indications of what the student has demonstrated they know, understand and can do in each course.

Are there different categories of courses?
There are two main categories of courses – Board Developed Courses and Board Endorsed Courses.

Board Developed Courses
These are the large number of courses set and examined by NESA including courses in the areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Creative Arts, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Human Society and its Environment and Languages. Most Board Developed Courses contribute to the calculation of the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).

The Board Developed Courses offered at Coffs Harbour Christian Community School are all 2 units with the exception of both Extension English and Extension Maths which are 1 unit each.

Board Endorsed Courses
There are no external HSC examinations for these courses and they do not count towards an ATAR.

Content Endorsed Courses
These courses are designed by NSW Education Standards Authority in areas of special interest e.g. Exploring Early Childhood and Sport Lifestyle and Recreation. All Content Endorsed Courses count towards the Higher School Certificate and appear on the student’s Record of Achievement. However, Content Endorsed Courses do not count in the calculation of the ATAR. At Coffs Harbour Christian Community School these courses are usually run for Year 11 only.

Other Important Information
The school executive will make a final decision on what subjects will be offered to Preliminary students and to HSC students.

HSC candidates must study at least 10 units
To qualify for the HSC, students must complete a pattern of Preliminary and HSC courses containing at least 12 units of Preliminary courses and at least 10 units of HSC courses.

These HSC Courses must include at least:

  • Two (2) units of a Board Developed Course in English.
  • Six (6) units of Board Developed Courses.
  • Three (3) courses of 2 unit value or greater (either Board Developed or Board Endorsed Courses).
  • Four (4) subjects.

Students interested in pursuing University studies after Year 12
For many students, their main goal beyond the HSC would be study at University for a career of their choice. Many of the HSC courses offered at Coffs Harbour Christian Community School are designed as preparation courses for University study in a similar field.

Some university degree courses actually have HSC subjects that are prerequisites (i.e. students must have studied these HSC subjects) to be able to enrol in those degree courses. Other HSC Courses are listed as “Recommended” for a particular degree course or they will be “Assumed Knowledge” for those entering a degree course.

All of these university degree courses and the prerequisite, recommended and assumed knowledge subjects are listed in the University Admission Centre’s “University Entry Requirements” information on their website: or on our school’s career website:

Parents and students who are unsure about prerequisite subjects and course information are encouraged to speak to Mrs Narelle Jackson, our Careers Advisor.

Students must ensure they maintain a minimum of 12 Units in Year 11 and 10 Units in Year 12.

It is not recommended for a Year 12 student to undertake more than two (2) subjects which require major works. Students who wish to study more than two (2) subjects which require major works must speak with Mr Wade Parker, the Director of Studies.