Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


Faculty of Education

First Supervisor

Len King

Second Supervisor

Sybe Jongeling


In Western Australian schools, student subject selection during Year 10 determines the future career path to which students aspire. Subjects offered in Year 11 and Year 12 Upper School studies are classified as Tertiary Entrance score Subjects or certificate of Secondary Education subjects, and students are given the opportunity to select six subjects which may comprise all Tertiary Entrance score Subjects, all Certificate of Secondary Education Subjects, or a combination of both. Law is classified as a Certificate of Secondary Education subject. It is the student's intention to study Law that is the focus of this research project. The major objective is to examine the influence of the factor Law as a Tertiary Entrance Score subject on student selection of Law, and to assess the extent of influence other subjective norms may exert on student subject selection of Law. The project required the establishment of a pilot study group in School A to develop and refine an instrument based upon Likert's Summated Ratings Scale. The questionnaire was formulated through student/research interview trialled within the pilot school. Results of the instrument were examined, further interviews conducted and changes to the questionnaire made in preparation for the major study in School B. The major study involved 275 respondents and utilised the SAS computer programme for analysis. The questionnaire instrument has been evaluated for validity and reliability The results of the study indicate students support a change to the subject classification of Law from Certificate of Secondary Education Subject to Tertiary Entrance Score Subject. The subjective norms elicited and displayed in the subject selection behaviours of students in this study have special significance for school administrators. The data collected was prior to the introduction of the Andrich Report ( 1989). In 1991 this report will ensure those students seeking tertiary entrance select a minimum of 4 Tertiary Entrance Score Subjects out of a maximum of 6 subjects. The tertiary entrance requirement during this study was 3 Tertiary Entrance Score Subjects. The impact of students selecting subjects for tertiary entrance is evident in this study in relation to selecting the subject Law. The full impact of ·the effect of student subject selections on Law and other Certificate of Secondary Education subjects in the future as a consequence of new requirements is yet to be evaluated.