build a strong platform for university in extended investigation

At CHES, we specialise in Extended Investigation which enables students to undertake extensive research in an area of interest, such as science, humanities, environmental issues, aspects of psychology, the arts, sociology, health, high performance sport and more—and to access our state-of-the-art science and design labs and our expert teaching and support.

This subject provides a strong foundation for future university studies.

Extended Investigation enables students to develop, refine and extend knowledge and skills in independent research and to carry out an investigation that focuses on a rigorous research question. The investigation may be an extension of an area of curriculum already studied or it may be completely independent of any other subject in the student’s VCE program.

Through this subject, students develop their capacity to explore, justify and defend their research findings in both oral and written forms to an educated non-specialist audience. Students develop and construct a research question, understand and apply ethical and robust research methods, explore a chosen area of investigation in depth, conduct a review of relevant literature, develop skills in research project management, rigorously analyse and evaluate findings and results, develop skills in written and oral presentation of research findings, and develop as independent, critical and reflective learners.

Aspects of critical thinking such as analysing, evaluating and synthesising information and reasoning logically are integral to the process of formulating and developing an investigation. As well as critiquing the strengths and the weaknesses of the arguments and conclusions of other researchers, students also need to apply critical thinking to their research question, methodology and research findings.

key information

Key information

Factsheet – English Language Units 1 – 4

Factsheet – Specialist Mathematics Units 1 – 4

Factsheet – Extended Investigation Units 3 & 4

Factsheet – VCE Application process and FAQs

The study is comprised of a Unit 3 and 4 sequence:

Unit 3: Designing an extended investigation

Unit 4: Presenting an extended investigation

There are no Extended Investigation Units 1 & 2; there is only the Extended Investigation Units 3 & 4 sequence. There are no prerequisite subjects for studying VCE Extended Investigation Unit 3. Students can apply to study Extended Investigation in Year 11 or Year 12.

The skills that students develop in VCE Extended Investigation are essentially transferable to any higher education course because critical thinking and effective research skills are central to university study.

In VCE Extended Investigation, many students identify an area of interest through engaging with current events, their own interests outside school, or a topic encountered through the school curriculum that they are keen to explore further. Some students construct a research question that draws on a single discipline such as sociology or physics, while others draw on more than one discipline, such as combining mathematics and health. Extended Investigation is a truly engaging multidisciplinary subject.

At CHES, we will proudly showcase and celebrate the collective learning of students in VCE Extended Investigation each year. In addition, the VCAA annually presents the “Top Talks” showcase. Top Talks presents some of the excellent oral presentations from VCE Extended Investigation students in the previous year. Examples of the types of independent research students have undertaken through Extended Investigation are available through the Top Talks recordings here: Top Talks recording

VCE Extended Investigation develops students’ understanding of what constitutes a good research question. Some examples of VCE Extended Investigation research questions include:

  • How has Japanese cultural identity been portrayed in the American film industry since 2000?
  • By looking at diverse, connected communities around the world, such as those of the Yawuru people, the Amish, and the farming communities of north Shaanxi China, what social factors can be observed that contribute to social connections and promote a sense of belonging?
  • What is the effectiveness and reliability of a spring pendulum in comparison to a passive pendulum in reduction of side to side (lateral) movement at resonant frequency of a scale-model of the Eureka Tower in Melbourne?
  • What is the association between exposure to the medical field and Loddon Mallee VCE mathematics/science students' interest in a medical career?

Key Dates


Applications open for VCE subjects through CHES (VCE Algorithmics and VCE Extended Investigation)


Information Evening: Study a VCE Subject at CHES


Applications close for 2023 VCE Subjects


Students and schools informed of Application outcome. Course confirmation and Orientation program details follow.

Key Dates

Apply now to study vce extended investigation at ches.

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further information on enrolment is available here.

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