Core Subjects

TCFS students study two compulsory core subjects, which are English (Literature, Drama and English for Academic Purposes) and History of Ideas

The English course has three parts: Literature, Drama and English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Literauture is 70% of the total assessment and Drama is 30%. In addition to those assessments, students must also successfully satisfy the EAP standards set by the faculties they intend to enter at the University of Melbourne (EAP hurdle requirement). 

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

EAP is designed to help develop study skills in the following areas:

  • interpreting information understanding spoken and written academic texts, identifying relevant information, synthesising information from listening and reading texts, and recognising points of view and biasis. 

  • expressing ideas formulating an opinion, presenting an argument using academic style in both oral and written forms, paraphrasing and using academic referencing conventions, structuring academic essays, reports and presentations, participating in discussions.


Summary writing: 5%

Discussion: 10%

Individual Report: 10%

Individual Presentation: 10%

Group Research Essay: 20%

Group Project Defence Interview: 10%

Individual Final Integrated Skills Examination: 25%

Participation and Independent Learning: 10%


This subject develops communication skills, particularly using English language within the Australian social and cultural context. It promotes group skills, fosters creativity and imagination, develops self-confidence and encourages initiative, responsibility and leadership. 

Drama constitutes 30% of the overall English mark, and Literature constitutes 70%. The two subjects complement each other in the development of students’ critical and interpretive thinking.

The subject includes:

  • developing a sense of the physical self through mime and movement 
  • an understanding of dramatic elements such as space, time and tension
  • exploration, understanding and development of text, and working solo, in pairs or in larger groups
  • improvisation, characterisation, role-play, monologue and dialogue
  • theatrical storytelling – both literal and abstract (through images, text and poetry), culminating in group performances
  • ​voice projection and articulation.


There are two solo assessment tasks and two group tasks throughout the year: solo physical communication task and solo monologue task (10%); group devised performance, incorporating performance, self-evaluation and participation components (10%); and final group performance exam, incorporating performance and participation components (10%).


This subject is designed to improve English and academic skills by providing instruction in reading, analysing, discussing and writing about a variety of literary texts.
In English Literature, students will explore poetry, drama, short fiction and novels. These texts require students to interpret and use sophisticated forms of language and thought, such as symbolism, connotation, metaphor and narrative. 

By helping students develop more nuanced understandings of different uses of language and of various English-speaking cultures, the study of English Literature prepares students for life in English-speaking environments, including universities and the broader Australian community. This subject also highlights critical thinking, communication and writing skills, which are essential to all tertiary subjects.


Essays and exams: 50%

Participation and assignments: 20%


History of Ideas (HOI)

This subject is an intensive university preparation subject that examines Western society and the ideas that affect our lives. Through this subject, students develop the specific academic skills required in all university faculties, including academic communication through oral and written discussion, research and correct use of published material, critical use of data, and analysis of complex issues. Students read and discuss important philosophers, scientists, and religious and political writers, and formulate their own responses.

Within these themes, the subject examines:

  • reasoning, science and methods of achieving knowledge
  • educational methods and aims
  • scepticism and debate
  • democracy and other political views
  • power relationships and equality
  • ideas of rights and freedom
  • religious and philosophical influences on society
  • colonialism, racism and globalisation
  • the twenty-first century and the questioning of ‘truth’.


All students must pass History of Ideas in order to pass Foundation Studies. 

Essays: 50% 

Participation: 15% 

Exam: 35%