Introduction to Courses at Mindarie Senior College

Studying at the senior level means that students are expected to take greater responsibility for their decisions. Two types of study pathways are offered at the College:

  • ATAR Pathway Program
  • General Pathway Program

Students study six (6) courses in Year 11 and six (6) course equivalents in Year 12. Students should choose courses that they will continue to study for the two years. Once a student has commenced their program of study, course changes are discouraged and usually only considered in the case of a student being in a program of study that is too difficult for him or her. Year 12 students should continue a course that they studied in Year 11.


ATAR Pathway Courses (direct entry to University)

These courses are examined externally for the purposes of university entrance. It is recommended that students aiming for university entrance study a minimum of five ATAR courses in Year 11 and subsequently the corresponding five ATAR courses in Year 12.

For ATAR courses studied in Year 12, in addition to the grade (determined, as above, by the college), students will receive an external assessment based on 50% of a mark submitted by the college (covering Year 12 work only) and 50% of the mark attained in the external exam.

Unacceptable Course Combinations – ATAR Courses

You cannot use the following course combinations in calculating your ATAR. It may be possible to do both courses but the result in only one may be used in the calculation of your ATAR.

  • Chemistry ATAR with Integrated Science ATAR
  • Physics ATAR with Integrated Science ATAR
  • Mathematics Applications with Mathematics Methods
  • Mathematics Applications with Mathematics Specialist


General Pathway Courses

These courses are assessed at the College level, with one task set externally by SCSA in Year 12 for moderation purposes. These courses do not contribute to direct university entrance eligibility but will contribute to alternate entry to universit. Although some courses stand-alone each year, it is recommended that students select a course to study over the two years, as it can be very difficult to pick up a new course in Year 12 if the background has not been developed in Year 11.

Unacceptable Course Combinations - General Courses

You cannot use the following course combinations towards WACE (only one will count towards the achievement of WACE:

  • Infant/child focus (Children, Family and the Community) with Independent Living focus  (Children, Family and the Community).
  • Design—Photography with Technical Graphics.

You cannot use both the General and ATAR course towards WACE.


Vocational Education and Training (VET)

These courses are governed by the Australian Quality Training Framework and do not contribute to direct university entrance eligibility. Successful completion of these courses is an advantage for students who are aiming to apply for further training pathways (e.g. TAFE/Registered Training Organisations) and may be an advantage for students applying for alternative entry pathways to university (e.g. Portfolio Entry to Edith Cowan University.) For information on alternative pathways to university, please contact individual universities directly.


Course Choices

When choosing courses:

  • Make a COMMITMENT for two years. It is advisable to follow a Year 11 course through to the end of  Year 12.
  • Read the detailed course descriptions contained in this handbook or at 
  • Consider interest, abilities and career aspirations.
  • Check that you have met the minimum entrance requirements.


Languages Other Than English

Due to the variety of LOTE courses studied at previous schools attended by our students, a stand-alone LOTE course does not run at Mindarie Senior College.


Course Enrolment Process for Year 11

The aim for Mindarie Senior College students is that they enrol in the course that best suits their interests, abilities, commitment and future pathways.  Year 11 students will enrol, and remain enrolled in, six courses, or course equivalents.

The following information is to be provided by the student at his or her enrolment interview, prior to the finalisation of course choices.  If you do not have a copy of these documents, contact the school at which the student sat NAPLAN or OLNA.  Course selections will not be finalised until this information has been supplied.

  • Course Selection Form (the student will print this at the completion of his/her online course selection process (SSO).
  • Latest school report (Year 10 Semester One)
  • Year 9 NAPLAN results.
  • OLNA results (unless the student prequalified through his/her Year 9 NAPLAN results)

ATAR Pathway Course Selections

The philosophy at Mindarie Senior College is to allow students to attempt university pathway courses only if they meet the minimum entrance requirements outlined in the curriculum handbook.  All students aiming for entry to university directly from Year 12 will be required to enrol in a minimum of five (5) ATAR pathway courses.


Year 12 Courses

ATAR Pathway

To remain in the ATAR program, students must have achieved a predicted ATAR of greater than 60 across a minimum of FOUR ATAR courses at the end of Year 11.  If this is not achieved a student may choose one of the   following options:

  • Change to a more appropriate ATAR course.
  • Change to general courses.

Although five(5) is the recommended number of ATAR pathway courses for a student aiming for university, Year 12 students may apply to complete a minimum of four(4) ATAR pathway courses, along with two other courses or course equivalents.

Withdrawing from a Course to have Independent Study Time

This option may be available to students in Year 12 and is allocated on the basis of academic merit or when, in the opinion of College staff, it is seen to benefit a student’s educational outcomes. As a guide, Year 12 ATAR pathway students may withdraw from one course for study time at the start of Year 12, provided they have passed all six(6) courses in Year 11 and have achieved a ‘B’ average in five(5) of those courses. Students may also need to demonstrate a capacity to effectively use independent study time. Applications must be made to an Associate Principal and will be considered on an individual basis. 

Changing Courses

When a student selects a program of study, he or she is committing to the courses for the duration of the program. Course changes are discouraged and can be avoided if students:

  • Choose the appropriate courses and take note of the Minimum Entrance Requirements.
  • Discuss any problems with the teacher and their parents.
  • Work harder when the going gets tough, hand all work in on time, seek extra help and maintain 100% attendance.
  • Utilise Wednesdays by attending seminars and completing extra study.

If a student realises that he or she is not in an appropriate course (e.g. too difficult or too easy), it is recommended that the student arranges to meet with the Manager of Student Studies or an Associate Principal as soon as   possible and, at the latest, prior to the end of Week 4, Term 1. Any student who changes a course after the commencement of the course must catch up on any work missed in the new course selected. Course changes may also result in an increase in course charges.


Acknowledgement of Country
Mindarie Senior College acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We recognise and respect the connection to the land, sky and seas of this area. We recognise and respect the continuing cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.