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 academic texts, identifying relevant information, synthesising information from reading texts, recognising points of view and bias

  • expressing ideas: formulating an opinion, presenting an argument using academic style orally and in written form, paraphrasing and using academic referencing conventions, structuring academic essays and presentations, participating in discussions.


Academic writing: 25%

Oral presentations: 20%

Exams: 45%

Homework, attendance and participation: 10%

Subject Leader

Mr Edward Rush
M.Ed (Research) Murd, GradDipEd (Tertiary and Adult) Murd.
BBus ECowan 


Ms Poi Chan
BA(Hons) Sussex, MA (TESOL) Nottingham

Ms Mayan Baker
BA Monash
MTeaching (Secondary) Melb


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. 

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, 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.


Mime, monologue, group-devised performance and performance exam: 30%

Subject Leader

Dr Rosemary Blight,
PHD Melb, MEd Melb, BA, DipEd


This subject is designed to improve English and academic skills by providing technical instruction and opportunities to read, discuss and write about a variety of literary texts. It prepares students for life in English-speaking environments, including universities and the broader Australian community.

Literature requires students to explore poetry, drama, short fiction and novels. These texts highlight sophisticated forms of language and thought—such as symbolism, connotation, metaphor and narrative—which are essential to the broad and deep, wholistic analysis that is now required from students in all tertiary subjects. 


Essays and exams: 50%
Participation and assignments: 20%

Subject Leader

Dr Mike Heald, BS(Hons), DipEd,
PhD WAust, CertTEFL Milner ICE


Dr Jennifer Mitchell,
Ph.D, M.A. Monash; Grad. Cert Tertiary Teaching, Curtin; B. Soc. Sci RMIT.

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%

Subject Leader

Dr Michael Pickering,
BA(Hons) UQ, PhD Melb


Mr Richard Finch,
BA(Hons), BCom Melb

Dr Janusz Sysak,
BA, DipEd Qld, MLitt Sorbonne
Nouvelle, PhD Melb