THRIVE – Higher Education in VCE

Kick-start your dreams before school’s out!

Are you in school, self-motivated and keen to follow your dreams? Melbourne Polytechnic offers first-year bachelor degree subjects to Year 12 VCE students.

Boost your ATAR and earn credits towards a Melbourne Polytechnic bachelor degree, getting ahead of your peers and a real-life handle on your chosen profession.

We offer first-year subjects taken from early years education, engineering or songwriting and music production bachelor degree programs.

There are a ton of benefits…


  1. Get a foot in the door

    Earn credits towards a bachelor degree program at Melbourne Polytechnic and advanced standing when you apply to study the full degree program after school.*

  2. Get bonus ATAR points

    Study a first-year bachelor degree subject at Melbourne Polytechnic while completing Year 12 and receive an ATAR bonus at the same time.

  3. Get ahead of your peers

    Our THRIVE-approved subjects are free for VCE students, so you’ll save on tuition fees and have access to higher education facilities and services while still in school.

  4. Get industry connected

    Learn from professionals in the field, and see how a practical bachelor degree at Melbourne Polytechnic can help you carve out a career path while studying.

  5. Get a taste of campus life

    Experience what it’s like to learn with peers who are passionate and following their dreams. Learn in sophisticated facilities designed to prepare you for the real world.

  6. Get ongoing support

    You won’t be alone. We’ll be offering VCE students pastoral and academic support to monitor their progress throughout the year and give feedback when needed.

*Make sure you can fulfil the course pre-requisites, if this is your plan!


 + What subjects are available?

We’ve chosen first-year subjects that offer the perfect head start and skill-based introduction for VCE students who are working towards developing their ATAR score.

You’ll complete two first-year higher education subjects, one in each semester (in the first half and then another, in the second half of the year). They’re a package deal and can’t be studied separately, as this is how they appear in the degree.

THRIVE subjects are taken from Melbourne Polytechnic degree programs, such as:

  • Bachelor of Education (Early Years)
  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology Civil
  • Bachelor of Songwriting & Music Production

See further down for subject descriptions [insert link] and pre-requisites for entry into the whole bachelor degree program after school.

 + When and where are the classes?

THRIVE first-year higher education subjects will be taught face-to-face in a Melbourne Polytechnic classroom.

Each subject will include online learning activities and come with resources that are available on our online learning portal, Moodle.

Our bachelor degree courses are taught at different Melbourne Polytechnic sites:

  • Early Years Education (Preston campus)
  • Engineering (Epping campus)
  • Songwriting and Music Production (Fairfield campus)

Learn more about our campuses and facilities at

 + How many hours are involved?

THRIVE first-year higher education subjects generally involve a four-hour weekly class or tutorial, with another four hours for homework and completing set tasks.

 + How will I know where to go?

As VCE students, we understand this may be your first time studying outside school. We’ll have dedicated staff in place to orient you and get you involved on campus. Your teachers and faculty coordinators will also be on hand to support you.

You’ll have access to student privileges, including the library and gym facilities (at some campuses), a student email account and student card, and a range of support services that can help you with everyday life.

We’ll encourage you to make friends with other VCE students studying first-year higher education subjects at Melbourne Polytechnic – even if that’s outside your own campus – so you can develop networks with other like-minded people.

Subject Outlines

 + Early Years Education

Are you interested in working with preschool or primary school aged children? Our first year Education subjects give you a taste of the thinking behind how we train tomorrow’s teaching. We offer small class sizes and a professional learning facility designed for educators. Our degree program offers two high employment pathways.

THRIVE first-year subjects
(No pre-requisites for VCE students)

BED112 – Education for Wellbeing

Explore practices that promote children’s wellbeing in relation to social justice, human rights and equity in the early years setting. Learn about factors that influence children’s growth, their learning and social behaviours, including traditional and contemporary issues like bullying and cyber bullying.

BED115 – Theories of Identity

Study how a child’s identity is formed and the different influences that can change how children see themselves and build relationships. You’ll learn how to explain the impact of gender, race, education and family backgrounds and the ways a teacher’s image of a child and how they relate to them, can influence that child’s identity.

Bachelor of Education (Early Years)
(Pre-requisites for post-VCE entry)

  • Students who successfully complete Bachelor of Education (Early Years) subjects in VCE will be looked upon favourably when applying for this course.
  • Check the VTAC guide for the up-to-date ATAR score required for entry.
  • VCE Units 3 and 4: a minimum study score of 25 in English (or equivalent) or 30 in English (EAL) and a study score of at least 20 in Mathematics.
  • The Bachelor of Education (Early Years) has Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) available.

 + Engineering

Engineers are logical thinkers – creative too. If you have great attention to detail, like teamwork, communicate well and love solving problems, our first year engineering subjects will give you a chance to grow your skills in real-world settings. You’ll work on projects that rely on the skills of engineers and contribute productively to society.

THRIVE first-year subjects
(No pre-requisites for VCE students)

BET102 – Engineering Skills 1

Learn how to understand and create engineering drawings at Melbourne Polytechnic, producing 2D and 2D drawings of your own using CAD software and industry handbooks to guide you. Develop a range of different drawing techniques and apply them in accordance with industry standards on civil engineering projects.

BET108 – Engineering Skills 2

Develop your skills in CAD software, working from a technical design brief to the preparation of 2D and 3D engineering drawings. Learn how to use standard notations, labelling and information that complies with industry standards and become more confident in explaining the different features of CAD systems.

Bachelor of Engineering Technology Civil
(Pre-requisites for post-VCE entry)

  • VCE Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or at least 20 in English other than EAL and a study score of at least 20 in one of Maths (Mathematical Methods or Specialist Mathematics).
  • Students lacking the mathematics prerequisite may complete a bridging course in Engineering Mathematics.
  • Entry is through VTAC for Semester 1. Applicants may apply directly to the School of Engineering, Design and Construction for Semester 2 intake.

 + Songwriting & Music Production

Our first-year songwriting and music production subjects are designed to get you on the path to becoming a performer, singer-songwriter, composer or record producer. You’ll develop your understanding of the contemporary music industry, how it’s evolving and everything that came before, as you work out your creative path.

THRIVE first-year subjects
(No pre-requisites for VCE students)

SMP211 – Songwriters and Producers

To write the future, you have to understand the past. Learn about the history of music production and songwriting, and how it lead to what we hear today. Explore the way styles fuse together to create new genres in both disciplines, while discovering how this might inform your own creative practice.

SMP112 – Subcultures and the avant-garde

Contemporary songwriting and sound production has emerged over time and been influenced by subcultures and avant-garde movements. You’ll discover some of the more extreme and/or subversive historical trends within songwriting and music production, and examine the impact they’ve had on contemporary music cultures.

Bachelor of Songwriting & Music Performance
(Pre-requisites for post-VCE entry)

  • Successful completion of Year 12 VCE or equivalent, with a study score of at least 20 in any English subject OR satisfactory completion of a VET Advanced Diploma of Music, Music Business or Sound Production.
  • We also accept applications from people with experience in original music composition, songwriting and/or music production.

Application Process

 + How do I apply to study a HE subject in VCE?

  1. Read through the subject descriptions below.
  2. If you’re excited and motivated to apply for one of our THRIVE higher education in schools first-year subjects, call us on 03 9269 8400 to request an application form.
  3. Speak to your parents and careers counsellor as soon as you can. They’ll need to sign and support your application, and make sure your school principal is on board.
  4. Check the bachelor degree program pre-requisites, if you think you’d like to apply for the full course at Melbourne Polytechnic, once you’ve finished school.
  5. Return your application to us. We’ll be in touch within two weeks.

Register your interest for Higher Ed in VCE!

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Last Modified: 8th December 2017