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Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)

The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) is Queensland’s senior school qualification. It is awarded to eligible students (usually at the end of Year 12) by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

The QCE offers flexibility in what is learnt, as well as where and when learning occurs. A QCE can help graduates improve their job prospects.

The requirements for a QCE are different to those for tertiary entrance. A QCE does not give you an Overall Position (OP). An OP is a statewide rank that is used for tertiary entrance only.

Read about pathways to tertiary studies.

QCE subjects

To be awarded a QCE you must complete a minimum of 20 credit points from a combination of courses including:

  • core—the senior school subjects most students study
  • preparatory—can include vocational education and training (VET) courses
  • enrichment—courses that develop high level skills and knowledge in a specific area
  • advanced—can include university courses and diploma or advance diploma programs.

See the different course categories.

Student transfers and the QCE

You can receive a credit transfer if you change schools during Year 11 or 12—your previous study at a school within Queensland, interstate or overseas may count towards your QCE. You may also be eligible for a relaxation of completed core requirements.

Read about credit transfers and relaxation of completed core requirements.

For more information:

Getting your QCE as an adult

You can complete your senior education and gain a QCE as an adult (aged over 18) through TAFE, distance education, some Education Queensland centres and high schools. Conditions apply (see returning to high school below for details).

Distance education

Queensland has 7 schools of distance education. You don't have to live in a remote location to study by distance education.

Contact your preferred school to find out more about home-based learning.

Centres for continuing secondary education

Day and evening classes for adult students are offered at 4 Education Queensland centres for continuing secondary education. Conditions apply (see returning to high school below for details).

Contact your preferred learning centre directly to find out about their courses.

Returning to high school

Returning to high school to complete your senior education may be an option.

Conditions apply if you want to enrol as a mature-age student including:

  • a criminal history check
  • the length of your previous state school enrolment.

You must:

  • not have been permanently excluded from your preferred school in the past
  • comply with all relevant enrolment requirements.

Read the full procedure for Mature Age Student applications.

Contact the principal of your preferred school to discuss your options.

Senior External Examination

Sitting 1 or more subject exams in the Senior External Examination can help you get the necessary results to gain a QCE, meet tertiary study requirements or improve your job prospects.

Exams are held across Queensland in October and November each year and cover 21 subjects including:

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Mathematics (A and B)
  • Visual Art

Read more about important dates, registration and adult learner options for the Senior External Examination.

For more information: