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Subject Areas

Within each state & territory and national curriculums, there are multiple subject [learning] areas. A number of these 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 Review of the Australian Curriculum.

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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  • The Australian Curriculum
    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 :
  • Review of the Australian Curriculum
    ‘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, Social Sciences, The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages and Technology. Additional areas include Values Education, Civics & Citizenship Education, Asia Education, Sport. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in the ACT.

New South Wales

Learning Areas to Year 6 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science & Technology, Human Society & Its Environment, Creative Arts, Personal Development, Health & Physical Education and Languages.

Learning Areas for Years 7-10 are the same except Science & Technology is separated into two entities - Science and Technological & Applied Studies. These are maintained till Year 12, with the addition of separate Life Skills Courses, VET Curriculum Frameworks and VET Content Endorsed Courses. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in NSW.

  • K-6
    Includes Foundation Statements, syllabuses, modules, work samples, more.
  • NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum
    ‘View by stage or subject, use the hyperlinked glossaries, and filter by learning across the curriculum content’.
  • The Australian Curriculum in NSW
    News, announcements, syllabuses, background information.
  • Years 7-10 Syllabuses
    Alphabetical listing of all areas with syllabuses and a range of other support material including Life Skills Statements.
  • 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, Studies of Society & Environment, The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages and Technology & Design. An additional area is Indigenous Languages & Culture. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in the Northern Territory.


Key Learning Areas to Year 9 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Studies of Society & Environment, The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages, Technology and Information and Communication Technologies [ICT].

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 In Year 10 there are some variations within these.

The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in Queensland.

  • 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 are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Society & Environment, Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages and Design & Technology. There is also Enterprise and Vocational Education, ICT, Thinking, Communication, Identity and Interdependence. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in South Australia. The SACSA Framework is used for subjects not yet implemented.

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

  • Learning Areas
    Detailed information from SACSA. 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.
  • SACE Subjects
    Senior Secondary. ‘Access draft subject outlines, subject summaries and information relevant to the subject by following the links.’
  • Teaching and Learning
    Covers Curriculum for R-10 and 10-12.


Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Society & History, The Arts, Health & Wellbeing, Vocational & Applied Learning, Information and Communication Technologies, Design & Technology, Languages. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in Tasmania.

  • Post-Compulsory Courses
    ‘This is the official register of Post-Compulsory courses currently accredited by the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority.’ Listed alphabetically. PDF downloads.
  • Tasmanian Curriculum
    ‘Information about the areas of the Tasmanian Curriculum can be accessed by selecting the appropriate section’. These include relevant Australian Curriculum areas.


Learning areas are grouped into strands titled Physical, Personal and Social Learning, Discipline-Based Learning and Interdisciplinary Learning. They include English, Mathematics, Science, The Humanities, The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages Other Than English and Design, Creativity & Technology. Additional domains include - Interpersonal Development, Personal Learning, Civics & Citizenship, Communication, ICT and Thinking Processes. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in Victoria. [See AusVELS link below.]

  • AusVELS
    ‘AusVELS is the Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum for Victorian government and Catholic schools. AusVELS outlines what is essential for all Victorian students to learn for F-10 and includes the Australian Curriculum F-10 for English, Mathematics, History and Science’. For previous VELS, see Previous Curricula, read the information and use the link provided.
  • 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.

Western Australia

Learning Areas are titled - English, Mathematics, Science, Society & Environment, The Arts, Health & Physical Education, Languages Other Than English and Technology & Enterprise. The Australian Curriculum is being implemented in Western Australia.

For information regarding The Australian Curriculum in Western Australian Public Schools 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
    A full listing of courses. 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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