Subject Selection Frequently Asked Questions

Year 11-12 Subject Selection

Life at Trinity

Subject Selection Frequently Asked Questions

Year 11-12 Subject Selection

What subjects should I choose?

Students should choose subjects that they enjoy, that they feel they are confident in and, if it is applicable, that may be a pre-requisite or beneficial for future tertiary study. The Careers office will be able to assist students with information concerning tertiary courses that may have pre-requisites or assumed learning.


Higher School Certificate (HSC)

Do Year 11 (HSC) results count towards Year 12 HSC results?

No. Results obtained in Year 11 (HSC) courses do not carry over into Year 12. Essential skills are honed and foundational content is studied in Year 11 to prepare students for Year 12.

Do Assessments in Year 12 count towards a student’s HSC result?

Yes. Essentially, the Assessments that a student undertakes for a subject in Year 12 contributes to 50% of their HSC result in that subject, and the other 50% comes directly from their performance in the final HSC examination. The 50% contribution to the HSC result from Assessment is kept confidential as dictated by NESA. The Assessment result sent to NESA is essentially based on a student’s rank that has been determined by their performance in the Assessment tasks in each course in Year 12.

How does the HSC prepare me for university?

The HSC is a rigorous, robust and internationally recognised credential. Students achieving highly in the HSC must develop the skills of critical thinking, independence, time management and reflection essential to university study.

How does choosing the HSC affect my application to overseas universities?

The HSC is recognised by outstanding international universities and is successfully used as the basis of an international application.

Do I need to select an Extension Course for Year 11?

Yes. For several years the School has required students to select at least one Extension course (English, Mathematics or Trinity based Extension History) in Year 11. Extension courses challenge students and accelerate the development of critical thinking skills essential to HSC success. They contribute positively to ATAR calculations and students are firmly encouraged to keep their Extension Courses in Year 12. An alternative course may be offered to some students who have been supported by the TESS Department.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

How do the IBDP Subject Groups shape my subject selection for the DP?

Students choose ONE course from each of the following subject groups:

Group 1: Studies in language and literature
Group 2: Language acquisition
Group 3: Individuals and societies
Group 4: Sciences
Group 5: Mathematics
Group 6: The Arts.*

*Note: Students may opt to study Chemistry (as an additional sciences), Economics or Business Management (as an additional individuals and societies), or an additional foreign language course (subject to availability), instead of a course in The Arts.

What is the difference between Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL)

Students will take some subjects at Higher Level (HL) and some at Standard Level (SL). HL Subjects include all of the SL course plus additional options designed to challenge the student.  Whilst HL and SL courses differ in scope, they are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at higher level. Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at higher level, and the remaining at Standard Level.

Does the IBDP have Accelerated Courses?

In the past Trinity have offered Economics SL and Mathematics SL as Anticipated programmes. Due to the introduction of new syllabi in both of these subjects the decision has been made to suspend the offer of Anticipated programmes for the Class of 2022.

If I cannot make up my mind about HL/SL at this stage can I select more HL subjects and change my levels once I have had enough time to find out what is required?

Yes. The School will require HL/SL levels to be finalised by the end of Year 11, but up until then many students carry four HL subjects and sometimes five just to keep their options open.

Can I change subjects entirely if I find my choice no longer suits me?

Students may only change subjects, if there is availability in an alternative class, before the end of Term IV 2020 in order to adhere to IBO regulations as well as ensure students have the maximum time to catch up on any work missed. There is no flexibility after Term IV 2020 and no possibility for change if the alternative class has reached its maximum number.

If each of my six subjects are each marked against grade boundaries from 1 to 7 where do the remaining 3 grade points come from to take my score to 45?

Students can earn up to three additional points for their combined performance on the extended essay and theory of knowledge. No points are awarded for creativity, action and service, but the successful completion of this component is a mandatory requirement for the receipt of the IB Diploma.

What is Theory of Knowledge?

The TOK course provides students with an opportunity to explore and reflect on the nature of knowledge and the process of knowing. In TOK, students reflect on the knowledge, beliefs and opinions that they have built up from their years of academic studies and their lives outside the classroom. The course is intended to be challenging and thought-provoking—as well as empowering—for students.

What is the Extended Essay?

The extended essay is a 4,000 word in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of available Diploma Programme subjects for the session in question. This is normally one of the student’s six chosen DP subjects, or a subject in which the student has a background or interest. It is intended to promote academic research and writing skills, providing students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (an appropriately qualified member of Trinity staff).

How does the IBDP prepare me for university?

DP Students are taught to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and take responsibility for their learning. Many subjects cover first year university course content and some international universities may recognise this with course credit for their first year subjects.

How are IBDP subjects assessed?

DP assessment procedures measure the extent to which students have mastered academic skills, not content. The DP assesses skills such as:

  • analysing and presenting information
  • evaluating and constructing arguments
  • solving problems creatively.

Basic skills are also assessed, including:

  • retaining knowledge
  • understanding key concepts
  • applying standard methods.

In addition to academic skills, DP assessment encourages an international outlook and intercultural skills, wherever appropriate.

What are External Assessments and Internal Assessments in the IBDP?

The IBO uses both external and internal assessment in the DP.

In external assessment, examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses. This is because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability. In some courses they can contribute as much as 80% of the final result.

Examination questions include:

  • essays
  • structured problems
  • short-response questions
  • data-response questions
  • text-response questions
  • case-study questions
  • multiple-choice questions – though these are rarely used.

Internal assessment is school based and is required in most courses. This includes:

  • oral work in languages
  • fieldwork in geography
  • laboratory work in the sciences
  • investigations in mathematics
  • artistic performances

Is there ranking in the IBDP?

No. Student results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student’s position in the overall rank order. Trinity Reports do not include student ranks in the IBDP.

When are IBDP final examination results released?

17 December each year.

How does choosing the IBDP affect my enrolment in Australian Universities?

The IBO automatically sends your results to UAC and any other Australian Admissions centre you select. Most universities publish IBDP scores as entry requirements for their courses and if not, they use an ATAR conversion that is published every year by ACTAC.

How does choosing the IBDP affect my application to overseas universities?

The IBDP enjoys a high level of respect and recognition among the world’s higher education institutions. For students, success in the IBDP can result in advanced standing, course credit, scholarships, and other admissions related benefits at many universities.

Is the IBDP suited to elite Athletes who spend a great deal of time training and travelling for sport?

Yes. Trinity is an Accredited World Academy of Sport which allows us to provide some flexibilities to the usual Diploma course in terms of timings. For more information click here.

In the video you mentioned Approaches to Teaching and Learning in the IBDP. Is there somewhere we could find out more information on this?

Yes. You can read about the IBDP Approaches to Teaching and Learning here.

Course Specific Questions


I didn’t choose Commerce in Year 9 and 10, does this disadvantage me in any way?

The Stage 5 Commerce programme is to promote the awareness of commercial, business, economic and legal issues. If you are passionate about current events and activities you will not be disadvantaged at all.

What is the difference between Business Studies/Business Management & Economics?

Business Studies (HSC) and Business Management (IBDP Diploma) are more practical subjects in which students learn business terms and theories through the lens of businesses. Economics, in both the HSC and IBDP is a more theoretical subject which looks at the causes and effects of local, national and global conditions.

What is the difference between HSC Business Studies and IBDP Business Management?

Both the HSC and IBDP focus on the four key business functions of operations, marketing, finance and human resource management. HSC Business Studies is a more practical subject that analyse case studies while IBDP Business Management adopts Business theory into the course.

What is the difference between HSC Economics and IBDP Economics?

Both the HSC and IBDP focus on microeconomics and macroeconomics.

What is the difference between SL and HL in Business Management?

SL looks at the basics of Business and the key business functions. HL involves additional Business theories and tools.

What is the difference between SL and HL in Economics?

SL looks at the economic theories of microeconomics and macroeconomics. HL involves additional economic theories and tools.

Can I do all three subjects from the Economics Department in the HSC?

Yes, you can.

Can I do both Business Management and Economics in the IBDP?

Yes, you can.


Why should I select a performing arts subject in IBDP or HSC?

Arts engendered creativity contributes to a well-rounded education.  Drama and Film foster practical collaboration skills, essential in any occupation and tertiary study.


What is the difference between IBDP Geography HL and IBDP Geography SL?

IBDP Geography HL complete three core units of work and an extra option, additional to the SL course. The content in these units of work are similar in content compared to that of the SL course.

What is the difference between HSC Geography and IBDP Geography?

Both are similar in the focus on global issues and a balance between human and physical geography units of work. Both involve fieldwork studies that allow students scope to investigate an issue at a local scale.

Can the study of Geography lead to future work opportunities?

Geographical education is used in the modern workplace through a variety of jobs that require geo-spatial awareness, critical thinking about real world issues, sustainability practise of our environment, cultural understanding of communities and innovation of the latest technologies. The solutions to problems in our world in 2020 can be resolved through a greater understanding of the geographical dimensions will live in.

What type of learning takes place in a Senior Geography class?

A typical Geography lesson involves a wide range of methods to deeply understand the content that is studied, from highly developed Canvas lessons and the latest use of technologies, to thought provoking class discussions and exploring global current affairs. The study of geography allows for a dynamic way of thinking within a subject that is ever changing both on a local, national and international level.


HSC: What’s the difference between Ancient History and Modern History?

Modern History covers mainly the 19th and 20th centuries. Ancient History stretches back to the first written records of humanity. For the HSC examination, Modern History requires 2 essays in the HSC exam compared to one for Ancient History, however, both require substantial reading and writing. Furthermore, Ancient History tends to have a social, cultural, and archaeological focus, while Modern History emphasises domestic politics and international affairs. Ancient History also requires the study of a key historical personality, while Modern History focuses on the forces, such as ideas, nations and movements that shaped the 20th century.

HSC: What is History Extension?

History Extension focuses on the field of historiography, that is, how the past is recorded, interpreted and constructed by historians. It recognises that historical interpretations are the product of the historian, their context, access to and analysis of sources, and their over-riding purposes.  As such, historical debate and competing interpretations are both central to the study of History Extension.

IBDP: What sort of history is covered in IBDP?

The SL course requires understanding of 20th century wars and authoritarian states from different regions of the world. Analysis of source material as an information skill is central. The HL course is focused on the History of Europe mainly in the 20th century with some 19th century content. Essay writing features heavily in both SL and HL courses.


Should I select HL or SL Language B for the IBDP?

The default position is SL, because HL entails a not just a study of literature, but also the requirement to discuss that literature in a speaking examination. Therefore, entry to the HL course requires an ‘A’ range grade in the language studied in Year 10. This is not to say that the SL course is not demanding, but rather that it is the most realistic choice for our students.

If I am looking at the IBDP, which language should I do in Year 11?

The language you are studying in Year 10, or, if you have not done a language since Year 8, one of three ab initio (beginners) languages we offer: French, German or Japanese.

Is there a difference between SL Language B and ab initio Language B?

It is, obviously, more of a challenge to study a brand new (ab initio) language while dealing with five other IBDP subjects and the other requirements of the Baccalaureate Diploma. However, students have shown, over the years, that this is achievable. As far as levels of difficulty go, there is not an enormous difference, by the end of Year 12, between the levels of academic challenge in the two courses. In other words, the best advice would be to continue with the language being studied in Year 10. The eligibility to do one or the other will be determined by the Languages Department.

Does the School offer HSC Languages?

If sufficient students choose the subject and they can be staffed, yes. This applies to any subject.

Can I study a language not offered by the School?

Yes. If it is an HSC course, you would study it remotely via the NSW School of Languages or the Saturday School of Community Languages. If it is an IBDP course, you would need to find a Tutor, or study online through Pamoja. While we do not recommend distance study as a rule, if you have good reasons for wanting to engage in distance education, and have demonstrated appropriate learning habits of independence and self-management, we will consider this on a case by case basis.


If my son is in a Year 10 Accelerated Mathematics class, and chooses the HSC Pathway, which Mathematics courses does he select in order to continue acceleration in Year 11?

For those following the HSC pathway, NESA has indicated that “in Years 7–12, acceleration must occur in the highest level course within the key learning area or subject. Students who are genuine accelerants, and for whom the school confidently expects a grade ‘A’ to be awarded at the completion of the Stage 5 course, may begin studying a Stage 6 course in the corresponding learning area while still in Stage 5.”  If your son qualifies for continued acceleration, then he must choose both the Year 12 Mathematics Advanced and Mathematics Extension 1 courses for Year 10 accelerants. To qualify for continued acceleration (in Year 11), we expect all applicants to have at least an A grade average in each of his current Mathematics courses (Stage 6 Year 11 Mathematics Advanced and Mathematics Extension). Each applicant will be considered on merit. The acceleration programme is continued in Year 11 on approval by the Head Master and if there is sufficient qualified applicants.

How do I know what level of HSC Mathematics I should do?

The first person you should ask is your Mathematics teacher. They have a good understanding of your abilities in the subject and can inform you which Senior Mathematics course you would be best suited to you. A guide from Year 10 Mathematics to Year 11 Mathematics for the HSC is as follows:

Year 10 Pathway Year 11 Mathematics course
Year 10 5.3 Mathematics Extension or Mathematics Advanced
Year 10 5.2 Mathematics Advanced or Mathematics Standard
Year 10 5.1 Mathematics Standard

What do I learn in Mathematics Standard?

What do I learn in Mathematics Advanced?

What do I learn in Mathematics Extension?

What is the main difference between Mathematics Standard and Mathematics Advanced?

Students in Mathematics Standard do not study any topics involving Calculus.

Can I change from Mathematics Advanced course to Mathematics Standard course during Year 11?

Yes. You can change from Mathematics Advanced to Mathematics Standard. However, you will need to catch up on the new work in Mathematics Standard as the two courses have different content.

Can I change from the Mathematics Standard course to the Mathematics Advanced course during Year 11?

Generally, no. This will depend on the time of the requested change and the Mathematics course completed by the end of Year 10 studies.

Should I start in Mathematics Extension course or the Mathematics Advanced course at the start of Year 11?

If you have an interest in Mathematics, enjoy studying Mathematics and have an excellent level of achievement in Year 10 Mathematics 5.3 you should consider starting in Mathematics Extension.

What are the Mathematics pre-requisites for study at Australian Universities (as of 2019)?

Universities list course Admission Criteria in three ways – Course Prerequisites, Assumed Knowledge and Recommended Studies.

Some University of Sydney and ANU courses list mathematics as a Course Prerequisite, which means that without having studied Mathematics Advanced as a minimum, you will not be considered for the course.  Many more courses at all universities may specify mathematics as Assumed Knowledge, which means that the course will be taught assuming students have studied Mathematics (usually referencing the Advanced course).  Recommended Studies refer to Year 12 courses that will assist students with their university course.

Ref: University Admissions Centre (UAC)
University of Sydney

What is the minimum level of achievement required in a Mathematics course to meet the University of Sydney degree pre-requisite?

Click here for more details (under the Secondary Education Year 12 section).

Will there be an opportunity to study “accelerated” HSC Mathematics courses?

NESA permits accelerating to an HSC Mathematics (calculus-based) course up to the highest level. At the time of writing, we have suspended offering HSC Mathematics accelerated courses to students who are not in a Year 10 Mathematics accelerated class due to transitioning between the “old” and “new” courses. This will be reviewed on an annual basis.


Which HSC Mathematics course in Year 11 (or 12) is regarded as “equivalent” to IBDP Mathematics courses?

Mathematics Extension 1 and 2 Analysis and Approaches (HL)
Mathematics Advanced Analysis and Approaches (SL)
Applications and Interpretation (HL)
Mathematics Standard 2 Applications and Interpretation (SL)

Will there be an opportunity to study “anticipated” IBDP Mathematics courses?

The IBDP only permits “anticipation” of an IBDP course at the SL level only. At the time of writing, we have suspended offering IBDP Mathematics courses (at the SL) due to transitioning between the “old” and “new” courses. This will be reviewed on an annual basis.

What is the difference between the two IBDP Mathematics pathways or courses (any level)?

The IBDP has described the two pathways/courses as follows.

Mathematics: analysis and approaches HL or SL

  • Emphasis on algebraic methods
  • Develop strong skills in mathematical thinking
  • Real and abstract mathematical problem solving
  • For students interested in mathematics, engineering physical sciences, and some economics

Mathematics: applications and interpretation HL or SL

  • Emphasis on modelling and statistics
  • Develops strong skills in applying mathematics to the real-world
  • Real mathematical problem-solving using technology
  • For students interested in social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, statistics, business, engineering, some economics, psychology, and design

Please note that although these are descriptors of the two courses by the IBO, Universities in Australia and abroad may differ in their recommendation for pre-requisite study for some of their degree programmes. It is essential that parents and students thoroughly research such requirements before deciding to take a mathematics course at any level (HL or SL).

If I’m not sure what I want to study at University, how should I approach the decision between the two offered IBDP pathways (Analysis and Approaches or Applications and Interpretation)?

It is important for you to feel comfortable and interested in the mathematics course you choose. Either pathway will prepare you well for university-level math. If you are more interested in real-life applicable mathematics, the IBDP Applications and Interpretation pathway is more appropriate. If you enjoy the theory of pure mathematics, making connections between different topics in mathematics, and engaging in challenging problem-solving opportunities, the IBDP Analysis and Approaches pathway is more appropriate. Another lens to consider is that if you have a stronger interest in Statistics, you should take the IBDP Applications and Interpretation pathway; if you have a stronger interest in Calculus, you should take the IBDP Analysis and Approaches pathway.

What is the subject breakdown of each IBDP Mathematics course?

All the IBDP Mathematics courses (SL and HL in each) cover the same 5 topics within mathematics but with varying emphasis in each area: number and algebra, functions, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability, and calculus. The chart below may help you select the right course based on the amount of time dedicated to a given topic.

What type of calculator do I need in any IBDP Mathematics Course?

Every student in the IBDP is required to have Graphic Display Calculator (GDC). The recommended model (at the time of writing) is the Casio fx-CG50Au and is purchased through the school. Information regarding the purchase of a GDC is sent to parents in Term 3. Please do not purchase one until we advise to do so as we may change the model, depending on the supplier.


Are there any Practical lessons in Stage 6 PDHPE?

There are no practical lessons; the Stage 6 course is all theory based.


What is the difference between the Preliminary Theological Certificate and Christian Studies?

Both courses are offered one period a week and in the same time-slot in the timetable so that students choose only one of these two options. But the PTC is a course run by Moore Theological College, assessed with an external examination (during a lull in the School’s Assessment schedule) and gives a solid introduction to the foundations of Christian faith.


If I don’t want to study Science at tertiary level and want to select a science for HSC or IBDP, which one should I choose?

Choose whatever interests you. If you select one for a perceived scaling advantage, you might not be motivated to do well if you don’t enjoy it. The critical thinking and problem solving in Science applies to everyday life. The skills that you learn in science will support you in every aspect of your future life – even if, at the moment, you are not sure if you will study Science at tertiary level.

How much practical work is completed in Science?

Both the IBDP and HSC courses include hands-on practical work and secondary sourced work.

Are there any compulsory field work experiences in any of the science courses?

There are compulsory fieldwork experiences in HSC Biology and Earth and Environmental Science.

In order to be successful in Biology (HSC or IBDP) what do I need to be able to do?

Firstly, a curiosity about the living world. Students who have strong literacy skills can do very well at Biology. While there is some numeracy required in this course it is not at a high level.

In order to be successful in Chemistry (HSC or IBDP) what do I need to be able to do?

A liking for chemistry is important. Students who have stronger Mathematics skills can do very well in this subject, however, the ability to solve problems is a key required skill in this subject.

In order to be successful in Earth and Environmental Science (HSC or IBDP) what do I need to be able to do?

A love for the environment and Earth sciences is key. Students require numeracy skills and skills in analyzing and interpreting data.

In order to be successful in Physics (HSC or IBDP) what do I need to be able to do?

Students who choose Physics must enjoy the subject. They require stronger mathematics skills and problem-solving skills in order to do well in this course.

How many Science subjects can I choose in the HSC?

No more than 6 units of Science in Year 11 and 7 units of Science in Year 12.

Can Science Extension be selected in Year 11 for the HSC?

No. It is a one-unit Year 12 subject.

How many Science subjects can I choose in the IBDP?

You can choose up to two sciences.

What makes IBDP Science different to the HSC?

There are two levels within course to choose from (HSC has one level for each course). The course content is slightly different between HSC and IBDP for each of the sciences and the assessment is different between the courses.


How do I make a decision between Design and Technology and Industrial Technology?

Although both have an element of design resulting in a project, Design and Technology utilises design thinking and the design process more to solve system and product-based problems, which are very much based on exploring a societal need. Investigation and experimentation are emphasised which will often result in a prototyping methodology. Industrial Technology focusses on the planning, making, skill and techniques in achieving a quality product and is assessed accordingly. The craftsmanship skills are transferable to a variety of occupations where confidence and precision with tools is a requirement. Both require supporting folio to communicate the development of the project.

What is the difference between IB and HSC Design and Technology?

We offer both IB Design Technology (Standard Level and Higher Level) as well as HSC Design and Technology. Students at Trinity normally do Higher Level. IB Design and Technology is part of the Sciences Group and therefore has a more prescriptive design process with a focus on the engineering aspects, theory of materials and more recently the marketing aspects of a product. It recognises that a more philosophical approach will result in a design with depth with an international flavour. Although, also utilising the design process, HSC Design and Technology provides a broader investigation process often resulting in a greater range of design solutions ranging from systems, environment, product and new media. HSC is externally marked allowing the student to showcase their work to an external audience. The IB has a slighter emphasis on exam and supporting documentation of the design project.

Is Engineering Studies just book work?

Engineering in year 12 is focussed on exciting Engineering fields such as aerodynamics and Biomedical engineering. Year 11 is more theory based with the application explored with practicals more so in year 12. Reports are an important part of engineering which helps the student achieve in their written HSC examination. The principles investigated provide the fundamentals for University entrance.

What career paths are there for Technology and Applied Studies subjects?

Just because you want to pursue a career in new technologies, that doesn’t mean you necessarily need to study that exact technology right from the start. Technology and Applied Studies subjects provide the entry fundamentals to Careers in range of pathways. The design thinking provided, combined with new and emerging technology experience is essential in gaining the fundamentals of your area of interest. The 21st century skills inherent in the subjects are what organisations are looking for.

Do we need prerequisite knowledge, special tools or devices for Technology subjects?

The school is well resourced with workshops and new and emerging technologies. Courses are geared for students coming into the subject with no prerequisites. We recommend a minimum specification for Student owned devices in Industrial Technology Multimedia to account for the processing requirements that digital media often requires.

How many Projects are there in Year 11 and Year 12 in Project based Technology subjects? And is there a lot of theory work?

Year 11 generally has a range of skill attainments by way of mini projects giving the student techniques and skills to tackle the more self-directed Major Project in the Year 12 HSC. The project work is combined with documentation, most often by way of a folio, that outlines, explains and analyses the development of the project. Being able to justify your decisions well is an important part of achieving. Learning self-management and taking a planned approach early in the process tends to advantage students. Exams are not as weighted as high as other subjects due to the Major Project practical aspect.

What is the relationship between Photography and Digital Media in Art and Industrial Technology Multimedia in Technology and Applied Studies?

Synergies exist between the Key Learning Areas. Multimedia tends to be Industry focussed investigating the technical aspects that make a compelling product content. The Multimedia course investigates at a range of media looking at text, graphics, video, animation, audio and interactivity.


Can a VET subject be counted towards my ATAR?

Yes, one Category B course can contribute to your ATAR as long as you sit the HSC examination (all VET framework courses are Category B).


Why should I do Visual Arts –what is the benefit?

You get to make art! An integral part of everyday life permeating all levels of human creativity, expression, communication and understanding. Your art can be divergent – associated with new, emerging and contemporary forms of visual language. It could be political, spiritual, decorative, persuasive, subversive, enlightening or uplifting. You celebrate the visual arts by not only creating images and objects, but you also appreciate, enjoy, respect and respond to the practices of art from around the world. It is a celebration and extension of who you are.

HSC: If I have done Visual Design or Photographic and Digital Media in year 9 & 10 can I do Visual Arts in year 11 & 12?

YES. All of the Stage 5 Visual Arts courses (Visual Arts, Visual Design and Photographic and Digital Media) are designed to articulate into Stage 6 Visual Arts. You are able to continue in your area of practical interest such as photography or digital media or design within the practical streams of Years 11 and 12 Visual Arts. The language used to analyse artworks, designs and photographic images is all the same and there is consistency across all subjects on how images are analysed.

HSC: How much theory is involved in the Visual Arts course?

The HSC course is divided into two equal weighted components: Art History & Art Criticism (50%) and Art Making (50%). Two periods a week are devoted to each component.

HSC: What practical stream can I choose?

In Year 11 you are able to move through different practical experiences if you wish:

2D – painting, drawing, printmaking
3D – ceramics and sculpture
Digital Media – camera and computer based work.

You can also remain with the same option all through Year 11 if you are sure of your skill base and area of interest. Your experience in Year 11 will then inform what area to choose in Year 12;  you will most likely stay in that option for all of Year 12. There is room to work across material practice such as Collection of Works in different media.

HSC: Can I do Visual Arts in Year 11 if I have not done it in Years 9 & 10?

Yes. There is no pre-requisite for Visual Arts other than an interest in the subject. In Year 11 the theory course is an overview of some of the major periods of art making and in year 12 there are 5 case studies to be completed. This is different to the way the subject studied in Years 9 & 10 where the artists that were analysed were related to the medium you were working on at the time. So, all students are starting from a fairly level playing field in Year 11, commencing with Indigenous art of Australia and moving through the other major periods and cultures throughout history. The practical options available in year 11 will provide the opportunity to develop skills in a chosen field or explore multiple options before committing in Year 12.

If I choose photographic and digital media as a practical option, do I need my own camera and high end graphic display computer?

No, the Visual Arts department can lend digital SLR cameras and your own device should be powerful enough to run the software from the Creative Cloud (photoshop, illustrator etc). We also have large monitor Apple computers in the Digital Lab to work on. In Year 12, however, you would need to complete significant work at home and then you would need to have a computer comparable with the Apple computers in the Lab.

IBDP: Can I do Visual Arts in the IBDP if I have not done ART before?

Yes. The IBDP starts from an introductory level and all aspects of what is required in the theory and practical components will be covered in Year 11. We have many students choosing Visual Arts as a Group  6 subject who have not done the subject in Years 9 & 10.

IBDP: What is the difference between HL and SL art?

SL requires a minimum of 5 artworks, 9 screens of workbook investigation and a 15 screen essay. HL is a minimum of 8 artworks, 13 screens of workbook investigation and an 18 screen essay. You work in your chosen medium in HL or SL.

IBDP: What mediums can I work in?

You are not restricted in the type of medium, as all of your work is submitted digitally.