Vocational Education & Training Delivered to Secondary Students (VDSS)

Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary Students (VDSS) allows secondary students to gain practical skills in a specific industry while undertaking the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) including the Vocational Major (VCE VM).

Programs are typically completed over two years and provide students with a qualification or partial completion of a nationally recognised certificate.

Victoria University Polytechnic has delivered VDSS for more than 12 years in partnership with 150 secondary schools in Melbourne’s west.

Our programs are taught by industry-experienced practitioners in world-class training facilities, and often include a workplace-learning component.


VDSS programs contribute directly to the VCE/VCE VM and can contribute towards the ATAR score.

Other advantages for students who take part in our program include:

  • gaining industry experience and employability skills
  • creating a pathway to further study (certificate, diploma qualifications) at TAFE
  • opportunities to develop effective relationships with industry employers
  • enhancing knowledge of employer and workplace expectations
  • developing the capacity for teamwork and leadership.

Our strong connections with industry, award-winning learning model, state-of-the-art facilities and specialised course content mean you’ll graduate with real-world experience.

Our class sizes are small, so you can receive support from trainers, who work in industry, and get to know your classmates.

Program duration & outcomes

VDSS programs are run over two years, part time, generally requiring a one day a week commitment over the two school years. To complete a qualification you need to successfully complete all units of competency in the two years.

If you don’t successfully complete all units of competency in the program you will still receive a Statement of Attainment (SOA) which will list the units you have achieved. These can then be used to apply for credit in future studies in the same area or simply add to your employability skills.


Students can start in VDSS programs from Year 9 onwards, although in many of our programs we don’t recommend starting that early due to the level of content and expectation.

If you start a VDSS program in Year 10, it will be counted as one of your electives at school.

Most students undertake VDSS in their final two years of secondary studies. VDSS can be undertaken in both VCE and VCE VM streams.

In VCE VM your study is broken into blocks. For every 90 hour block, you get one VCE VM unit credit.

In VCE your VDSS program can contribute in two ways:

  • In an unscored VDSS program, your studies will contribute through block credit recognition. If you undertake an unscored VDSS program as part of your VCE, the VDSS program cannot contribute directly to your ATAR however it can contribute a 10% increment of your top 4 average subject study scores towards your ATAR.
  • In a scored VDSS program, your 3 and 4 sequence will contribute directly to your ATAR as one of your top 4 subjects or as a 5th/6th.

If you need further guidance or information on how VDSS fits in with your study plans please talk to your school careers counsellor, visit the VCAA website or contact us.


Each week of the program you will attend a full day of work on campus. You will also have homework and revision to complete at home.

Being in an adult setting your trainers will expect you to demonstrate responsibility and a mature approach to your studies. You are required to meet a minimum of 90% attendance. As the programs are fast paced, missing classes will jeopardise your ability to enjoy the program and make progress as required.

Your program will consist of units of competency which means you will need to demonstrate that you have understood and mastered the skills expected. You will be assessed on your performance however it is not like an exam, instead it is an ongoing process.

Many of our programs are a great start to VET studies as the trainers you have in VDSS are the same trainers you will have if your continue to study with us after you leave school.


Our VDSS programs run on campuses that are aligned with the disciplines of study you are undertaking:

City Campus

City Campus consolidates the activities of VU's previous city campuses at Flinders Street and King Street. The campus hosts hair and make-up students, including space for their practice clinics which are open to the public.

Footscray Nicholson

Footscray Nicholson campus is home to our hospitality and kitchen operations courses. On this campus we have a full commercial student-led kitchen and working restaurant, VenU, where you will complete your studies.

Footscray Park

Footscray Park campus is home to our sport and recreation program. On this campus you have access to our full suite of state-of-the-art sport and fitness venues, including an aquatic centre, gym, indoor stadium and outdoor fields where you will be completing part of your course.


Sunshine campus is home to some of our building trades VDSS programs, including carpentry, electrotechnology, engineering and plumbing. On this campus we have the dedicated trade skills hub fully fitted workshops to undertake your studies.

St Albans

St Albans campus is home to our purpose built Cyber Security Training Centre with newly built facilities and state of the art digital resources to deliver information and digital media units.


Werribee campus is home to our civil construction course. On this campus you will have access to our purpose built workshops and site simulations where you will undertake your studies.


We do not charge any fees to you directly to undertake VDSS with us.

Your VDSS fees will be charged by your school and you will pay your home school as part of your school fees.

Discontinuing your VDSS program

Although VDSS programs are intended for a two year commitment we understand that sometimes circumstances change. It is important to communicate with your school and with us if you feel you wish to discontinue your studies or change programs.

VDSS programs only have one intake per year, so you will only be able to change after the first year as you cannot change courses mid-year.

If you wish to discontinue your VDSS program after year one, you will still get credit for any units you complete however you will not get the qualification.

If you wish to change programs after year one, you will begin the new program at year one level. You can use credits in units if they are the same across programs.

If you don’t successfully complete all units in a VDSS program, you will be able to enrol through our mainstream VET programs and complete outstanding units after you’ve exited from secondary school.