Subject Areas

Within each state & territory and national curriculums, there are multiple subject [learning] areas. The most important are considered Key/Core Subject Areas. These are common in all jurisdictions, with some additional subject/learning areas also common, depending on individual state or territory emphases.

While areas may be common, titles may vary between states & territories. This is more common with areas other than English [Language], Mathematics and Science. It is even more common with sub-areas, especially in secondary years.

This page provides information regarding core areas, titles by state/territory/national curriculum, and links to listings and syllabuses for subject areas.

Other Information

There are 8 nationally agreed learning areas. They are English, Mathematics, Science, the Social Sciences, The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages and Technology, though as shown below these may be listed by varying titles.

At present, there are perspectives which cross all learning areas. Examples include Indigenous and Multicultural Perspectives. Consideration is now being given to making them separate learning areas rather than integrating them in all learning areas.

Consideration is also being given to “reducing the overcrowding in the curriculum, promoting a parent-friendly version of the curriculum” [The Australian]. Both these factors stem from the Quality Schools Package.

In Primary schooling, you learn about Science rather than Chemistry, Physics or Biology. You cover the Social Sciences rather than History, Geography, Economics, Commerce or Business Studies. Many topics in Primary schools are done as Integrated Units involving more than one key area. For example, a unit on culture in a particular country could include aspects taken from all key areas.

Subject areas become more individual in Secondary schools. Courses often begin as integrated areas but evolve into individual subject components as students progress. They are also supplemented by new studies such as Career and Vocational areas. ACARA is now being asked to “drop the development of national curriculum in subjects beyond the initial five [English, Maths, Science, History and Geography] that have been written, and sitting untouched for two years”. In essence, the national curriculum will only apply up to Year 10.

From Year 9 of Secondary school there is an option of Vocational Education [VET] courses. In some states there are also endorsed courses available at selected schools.

In each Key/Core Subject Area are sub-topics depending on school level :

English - Reading, Writing, Listening & Speaking, Viewing, Literature

Mathematics - Number, Measurement, Chance & Data, Space, Algebra, Calculus, …

Science - Earth & Space, Energy, Living Things, Investigating, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, …

Social Sciences - History, Geography, Commerce, Cultures, Indigenous Studies, Civics, Environmental Studies, …

The Arts - Dance, Drama, Media, Music, Visual Arts

Health & Physical Education - Health, Drug Education, Physical Education, Sport

Languages - Core languages are Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese

Technology - Information Technology, Design & Technology, Home Economics, Agriculture, Textiles, …

Links to all subject areas are provided for each state and territory in the following sections through links to framework/syllabus listings.

Titles for the Key/Core Subject Areas are provided for each state below.

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Learning Areas F-10 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health & Physical Education and Languages. Optional area Work Studies. Fifteen senior secondary subjects across English, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography have been endorsed by the council of federal, state and territory education ministers as the agreed and common base for the development of state and territory senior secondary courses. For implementation in each state/territory, see included details below.

  • The Australian Curriculum V8.4
    ACARA. ‘It sets out, through content descriptions and achievement standards, what students should be taught and achieve, as they progress through school’. Individual sections include :
  • Quality Schools Package
    ‘Evaluated the robustness, independence and balance of the process and development of the Australian Curriculum. It also sought to understand whether the Australian Curriculum is delivering what students need, parents expect and the nation requires in an increasingly competitive world’.

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States & Territories

Australian Capital Territory

Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Languages, Health & Physical Education and Technologies. Additional areas include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, Sustainability. Work Studies is an optional subject area.

  • ACT Curriculum Requirements Policy
    ‘This policy sets out the responsibilities for the implementation of the ACT Curriculum in school plans and teaching and learning programs in ACT public schools’.
  • Everyone Everyday Program
    ‘Everyone Everyday aims to create a cultural shift in community attitudes towards disability and difference’.
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  • Our Curriculum
    Link to Australian Curriculum, Languages in Schools, Health and Wellbeing, Religious Education, Aqua Water Safety and Awareness, Program and the Board of Senior Secondary Studies.
  • Senior Secondary Courses
    Provides access to downloadable information about each in .docx format [Word].

New South Wales

Learning Areas to Year 6 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science [including Science and Technology K-6], Health & Physical Education, Human Society & Its Environment, Creative Arts, Technologies [Including all existing TAS subject areas], Languages and VET courses through one of two options.

Learning Areas for Years 7-10 are the same except Science & Technology is separated into two entities [see above]. These are maintained till Year 12, though some areas are broken into individual subjects, with the addition of separate Life Skills Courses, VET Curriculum Frameworks and VET Content Endorsed Courses.

  • Curriculum [NESA]
    For further information select either Kindergarten-Year 10 or Year 11-Year 12 from the menu. This will provide access to specific stages and Learning Areas. Here you will find Content and Outcomes, Syllabuses, senior courses, more.
  • NSW Curriculum and Syllabuses
    ‘The NSW Education Standards Authority ([ESA] is responsible for developing Kindergarten to Year 12 syllabuses for NSW schools. Each KLA includes syllabuses for K–10 and Years 11 and 12 that are inclusive of the learning needs of all students’.
  • Years 7-10 Syllabuses
    Alphabetical listing of all areas with syllabuses and a range of other support material including Life Skills Statements. Included in all syllabus K-10 listing.
  • HSC Syllabuses
    Alphabetical listing of all core area subjects, Endorsed Courses, VET, VET Content Endorsed Courses and Life Skills.

Northern Territory

Key Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Health & Physical Education, Humanities and Social Sciences [HASS], The Arts, Technologies and Languages. An additional area is Indigenous Languages & Culture.

  • NT School Curriculum
    Introduction, Primary years curriculum, Middle years curriculum, Senior years curriculum. Links to related materials and sites.
  • NT Certificate of Education and Training
    Information on Obtaining an NTCET, Credits and grades, Subjects studied, Vocational and community learning, Admission to university and the link to SACE South Australia, on which it is based.


Major Key Learning Areas to Year 9 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Studies of Society and Environment, Health & Physical Education, Languages other than English, Technologies [Digital, Design], The Arts.

In Senior Years [11 and 12] they are titled - English, Mathematics, Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business & Economics, Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages, Career Development and ICT & Design.

  • C2C - Curriculum into the Classroom
    Books, Media and Resources. ‘The C2C supports the implementation of the Australian Curriculum in Queensland schools. The lists that you will find below are the books and media which are available’.
  • Implementing the Australian Curriculum in Queensland
    ‘Aligning learning; Implementation strategy; Advice and Guidelines; Whole school planning; Professional Development’.
  • Queensland Curriculum [QCAA]
    ‘In 2013, Queensland schools will continue to plan, teach, assess and report on the Australian Curriculum for English, Mathematics and Science, and commence implementing P-10 History. The Queensland curriculum will be maintained for all other learning areas’.
  • Year 10 Guidelines [Qld Studies Authority]
    ‘The Year 10 Guidelines provide information and advice for planning and delivery of challenging and engaging courses in a range of school settings and for different groups of students. Downloads available in PDF or Word formats.’
  • Years 11-12
    Includes subject list plus key area information and syllabuses.

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South Australia

Key Learning Areas for Reception to Year 10 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health & Physical Education and Languages. There is also Work Studies [Years 9-10].

Details of the subjects for Stages 1 and 2 for Senior years are found through the SACE link below.

  • Australian Curriculum General Capabilities
    Department for Education. ‘The 7 capabilities are developed through all the learning areas from Reception to Year 10’.
  • Curriculum in South Australian schools
    Covers Reception to Year 10, Years 10 to 12, Vocational Pathways in schools, Industry pathway programs, Alternative Schooling, Specialised courses and programs, more.
  • Curriculum taught in South Australia
    Department for Education. Covers all levels of schooling. Links to related information.
  • Learning Areas
    Detailed information from the Australian Curriculum. Each key area is broken into Early, Primary, Middle and Senior Years. You can also access cross-curriculum perspectives and Enterprise and Vocational Education information.
  • Leading Learning
    ‘A resource for schools to support working with the Australian Curriculum, to design engaging and intellectually stretching learning experiences for all students’.
  • SACE - Other Recognised Learning
    ‘The SACE Board recognises and grants SACE credits for appropriate qualifications, subjects, courses, or learning experiences gained by local, interstate, or overseas students’.
  • SACESubjects
    Senior Secondary. ‘Access draft subject outlines, subject summaries and information relevant to the subject by following the links.’
  • Curriculum and Teaching
    Covers Curriculum in the Early Years, Primary and Secondary Curriculum, Numeracy and Literacy, other cross-curriculum components.


Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities & Social Sciences [includes History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business], Health & Physical Education, Technologies, The Arts, Languages, My Education [Career and Life Planning] and there is also access to Vocational Education and Training [VET] qualifications.


Learning areas include English, Mathematics, Science, The Humanities [includes Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography, History], The Arts [includes Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design], Health & Physical Education, Languages and Technologies [Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies]. Additional Priorities include - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia and Sustainability. There are also Capabilities [including Critical and Creative Thinking and Ethical, Intercultural, and Personal and Social capabilities]. ‘The Victorian Curriculum F–10 incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards’.

  • Previous Curricula
    ‘In January 2017 Ausvels was replaced by the Victorian Curriculum F-10 as the mandated curriculum for Victorian government and Catholic schools [see link below]. Archived copies of the AusVELS curriculum are held by the National Library of Australia’.
  • VCE Studies
    Alphabetical listing of all courses. Clicking on each leads to a PDF download of areas of study, or a Word format Study Summary plus other information. Use the VET link [main menu] for further information in this area.
  • Victorian Curriculum : Foundation-10
    ‘The Victorian Curriculum F-10 sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. It incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards’.

Western Australia

Learning Areas include - English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences [including History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business], The Arts, Languages, Health & Physical Education, Languages, Technologies, VET Industry Specific and Endorsed Programs. Additional Priorities include - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia and Sustainability.

For information regarding the Western Australian Curriculum visit this site.

  • K-10 Outline
    P-10 Curriculum; Judging Standards - ‘a tool to support teachers when reporting against the Achievement Standards’ and more; ‘The Curriculum and Assessment Outline is also available in printable PDF format’.
  • WACE Courses
    Courses listed in curriculum areas. These include : WACE Courses [Click on selected courses for access to details and downloads]; Endorsed Programs [‘Endorsed programs offer Year 10, 11 and 12 students the opportunity to use workplace learning, university studies, community organisation and personal development programs to meet the completion requirement of the WACE’]; Interstate Languages and VET Industry Specific WACE Courses.

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