VCE Literature provides opportunities for students to develop their awareness of other people, places and cultures and explore the way texts represent the complexity of human experience. Students examine the evolving and dialogic nature of texts, the changing contexts in which they were produced and notions of value. They develop and understanding and appreciation of literature, and an ability to reflect critically on the aesthetic and intellectual aspects of texts.

The study of Literature enables students to consider the power and complexity of language, the ways of literary features and techniques contribute to meaning and the significance of form and structure. They develop their capacity to read and interpret texts and reflect on their interpretations and those of others, and in turn reflect on their personal experience and the experiences of others, cultivating an awareness that there are multiple readings of texts and that the nature of language and text is dynamic. They are encouraged to be independent, innovative and creative, developing the ability to read deeply and widely and to establish and articulate their views through creative and analytical responses.

Units of Study

Unit 1: Approaches To Literature

In this unit students focus on the ways in which the interaction between text and reader creates meaning. Students’ analyses of the features and conventions of texts help them to develop increasingly discriminating responses to a range of literary forms and styles. Students respond critically, creatively and reflectively to the ideas and concerns of texts and gain insights into how texts function as representations of human experience. They develop familiarity with key terms, concepts and practices that equip them for further studies in literature. They develop an awareness of how the views and values that readers hold may influence the reading of a text.

Unit 2: Context & Connections

In this unit students explore the ways literary texts connect with each other and with the world. They deepen their examination of the ways their own culture and the cultures represented in texts can influence the interpretations and shape different meanings. Drawing on a range of literary texts, students consider the relationships between authors, audiences and contexts. Ideas, language and structures of different texts from past and present eras and/or cultures are compared and contrasted. Students analyse the similarities and differences across texts and establish connections between them. They engage in close reading of texts and create analytical responses that re evidence-based. By experimenting with textual structures and language features, students understand how imaginative texts are informed by close analysis.

Unit 3: Form & Transformation

In this unit students consider how the form of a text affects meaning, and how writers construct their texts. They investigate ways writers adapt and transform texts and how meaning is affected as texts as adapted and transformed. They consider how the perspectives of those adapting texts may inform or influence the adaptions. Students draw on their study of adaptions and transformations to develop creative responses to texts.

Students develop their skills in communicating ideas in both written and oral forms.

Unit 4: Interpreting Texts

In this unit students develop critical and analytical responses to texts. They consider the context of their responses to texts as well as the ideas explored in the texts, the style of the language and points of view. They investigate literary criticism informing both the reading and writing of texts. Students develop an informed and sustained interpretation supported by close textual analysis. For the purposes of this unit, literary criticism must reflect different perspectives, assumptions and ideas about the views and values of the text/s studied.

Example pathways
  • Journalism
  • Writing
  • Education
  • Arts
  • Media
  • Communications
  • Law
  • Politics

This is a guide only, please see the careers team for pathway planning advice.


There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4.

Unit 3 and 4 Assessment

Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE English are as follows:

  • Unit 3 School-assessed Coursework: 25 per cent.
  • Unit 4 School-assessed Coursework: 25 per cent.
  • End-of-year examination: 50 per cent.