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How many students are studying for the HSC?

A record 77,433 students are studying one or more HSC courses in 2015. Of these students, 69,211 will be completing their HSC program – the most popular school credential in Australia in 2015.

For most, high school started in 2010, and the HSC marks the end of 13 years of school.

Total HSC students studying one or more courses

Male Female Total
38,184 39,249 77,433

Where are students studying their courses?

The majority are studying for the HSC at schools in the Sydney metropolitan area. The others are studying in regional areas of NSW, and a small number outside NSW.

Total HSC students by BOSTES region
BOSTES region Total students
Sydney metropolitan 45,020
Country regions 31,970
Other 443

View enrolments by region.

What courses are students studying?

To be eligible for an HSC, students must complete 12 units of preliminary and 10 units of HSC courses including a two-unit English course. In addition they must complete at least four subjects.

Over 140 Board Developed HSC courses, covering a broad range of academically rigorous, creative, vocational and life skills subjects, are available to meet students’ diverse needs.

This includes:

  • 104 examinable courses
  • 13 Industry Curriculum Frameworks (with examinations)
  • 25 Life Skills courses for students with special education needs.

In addition, there are over 130 Board Endorsed courses available, including vocational courses for which students can also achieve an Australian Qualifications Framework credential, and courses designed by schools to meet local needs.


It is compulsory to study an English course for the HSC. 70,318 students are enrolled in at least one of the following HSC English courses:

  • English Standard
  • English Advanced
  • English as a Second Language
  • English Extension 1
  • English Extension 2
  • English Studies
  • English Life Skills.


57,973 students are enrolled in at least one of the following HSC Maths courses:

  • Mathematics Extension 1
  • Mathematics Extension 2
  • Mathematics General 2
  • Mathematics General 1
  • Mathematics Life Skills.


34,662 students are enrolled in at least one for the following HSC Science courses:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Earth and Environmental Science
  • Senior Science
  • Science Life Skills.


5942 students are enrolled in at least one HSC Language course.


22,969 students are enrolled in at least one HSC Vocational Educational and Training (VET) course. Of these, 20,466 are enrolled in one or more of the VET Industry curriculum frameworks.

Life Skills

1841 students are enrolled in at least one HSC Life Skills course.

Top 15 subjects


Unique enrolments

1. English


2. Mathematics


3. Biology


4. Business Studies




6. Studies of Religion


7. Modern History


8. Chemistry


9. Ancient History


10. Legal Studies


11. Physics


12. Visual Arts


13. Community and Family Studies


14. Hospitality


15. Senior Science


Top five languages
Language Unique enrolments
1. French 1393
2. Japanese 1356
3. Chinese 935
4. Italian 645
5. German 355
Top five VET Industry Curriculum Frameworks
Framework Unique enrolments
1. Hospitality 7782
2. Construction 3467
3. Retail Services 2328
4. Business Services 2292
5. Information and Digital Technology 1393

View enrolments by course.

View enrolments by region.

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