What is the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)?

The SACE is internationally recognised, and is the main way South Australian students get into TAFE and university courses in South Australia, interstate and overseas.


Studying the SACE helps you develop communication, decision-making skills, analysis, evaluation, and project planning. These skills will help set you up for success in further study and the workplace.


You can tailor the SACE to suit your needs and aspirations. You can choose to study from a wide range of SACE subjects, or a combination of SACE subjects and Vocational Education and Training (VET) options. There may be other courses you are studying outside of school that could also count towards your SACE.


To gain the SACE, students generally complete two years of full-time study plus some work in Year 10 (PLP). There are two stages -


  • Stage 1, which students mostly do in Year 11
  • Stage 2, which students mostly do in Year 12


Each subject or course successfully completed earns ‘credits’ towards the SACE, with a minimum of 200 credits required for students to gain the certificate. Students will receive a grade, from A to E, for each subject. For compulsory subjects, they must achieve a C grade or better. As a general guide, 10 credits usually equates to a semester subject.


The compulsory subjects are -


  • Personal Learning Plan (10 credits at Stage 1) – Completed in Year 10 at Underdale High School. This subject helps students make informed decisions about career pathways and subject choices in Year 11 and 12.
  • Literacy – at least 20 credits from a range of English subjects or courses (Stage 1- Year 11)
  • Numeracy – at least 10 credits from a range of Mathematics subjects or courses (Stage 1- Year 11)
  • Research Practices / Project – an in-depth major project completed in Year 11 at Underdale High School (10 Stage1 Credits and 10 Stage 2 credits)
  • Other Stage 2 subjects totalling at least 60 credits (Year 12)

 The remaining 90 credits can be gained through additional Stage 1 or Stage 2 subjects or Board-recognised courses of a student’s choice, including VET courses.

Other subjects

You can design your SACE study to meet your needs – whether you want to go to university, study a trade, or get straight into the workforce after school.

Apart from the compulsory SACE subjects, schools decide which subjects to offer. Your subject choices can also be influenced by prerequisites for particular university courses.


For more information about the SACE, please go to https://www.sace.sa.edu.au/

VET & other courses

VET stands for Vocational Education and Training. In other words, VET is education and training that gives you skills and knowledge for work.

VET operates through a national training system and is certified by Registered Training Organisations, like TAFE. Apprenticeships and traineeships are jobs that combine work and structured training through a VET provider.


For more information about VET, please go to our Vocational Education and Training (VET) section.