Leaving Certificate Applied

What is Leaving Certificate Applied?

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. It offers alternative methods of learning and assessment for students.  Students are assessed on a regular basis and all marks (credits gained) form part of the students’ Leaving Certificate grade.

There is general agreement among students who have taken Leaving Certificate Applied and their parents and teachers that the programme is an excellent preparation for adult life, for further education, training and for the world of work.

For more information check out: https://pdst.ie/lca

Who is it suitable for?

Those who are most successful at LCA and who gain most from the programme are generally students who:

  1. Are not interested in final examinations or who find the pressure of everything resting on one final exam too much
  2. Do not intend going on to an I.T. or University immediately but who do not want to rule it out as an option in the future
  3. Enjoy project work and attend school regularly

How new is the programme and is it popular?

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a two-year Senior Cycle programme introduced in 1995. It is now being offered in approx. 230 schools and centres.

What opportunities does it offer

As regards qualification for employment, the Department of Education and Science has stated that 60 credits in Leaving Certificate Applied is equivalent to six D’s at ordinary level in the Established Leaving Certificate. Students who are successful in the programme can go on to study a PLC course and this will offer them the opportunity to progress to 3rd level.


What is the advantage of the Leaving Certificate Applied?

The advantage of Leaving Certificate Applied is that it focuses on the talents of each individual student and helps students apply what they learn in the real world. The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called Sessions and achievements are credited in each of these Sessions.

Do Leaving Certificate Applied students receive a Leaving Certificate?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the programme will receive a Leaving Certificate from the State Examinations Commission. All credits awarded will be recorded on the Leaving Certificate Applied parchment.

What’s different about The Leaving Certificate Applied is that students are examined on their work as they go along. There are 3 ways in which students gain marks:

  1. Credits (marks) are awarded twice per year. 
    The programme is divided into half year blocks called ‘sessions’ of which there are four over the two year programme. Students are assessed on their work in January and May of each year when a session ends.
  2. Credits (marks) are awarded for Tasks (major projects)
    Student Tasks (projects) are assessed during an interview by external examiners appointed by the Department of Education and Science. These Tasks may be in a variety of formats – written, audio, video, artefact etc. and each student is required to produce a report on the process of completing the Task.
  3. Final examinations

These take place in June with the other Certificate Examinations. In Colaiste Mhuire CoEd students take examinations in the following areas:

  • English and Communication
  • Engineering or Childcare
  • Technology
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Language (Gaeilge Chumarsáideach & Modern European Languages)
  • Social Education

So students receive marks (credits) in January and May of each year with final examinations in June of 6th year.

What grades are awarded to LCA Students?

Students are awarded their result based on the number of Credits they have accumulated over a two year period.

Award Result Credits
Pass 60-69 % (120 – 139 credits)
Merit 70-84 % (140 – 169 credits)
Distinction 85-100 % (170 – 200 credits)

Candidates who acquire less than 120 credits will receive a Record of Experience. This will also apply to those who leave before the end of the programme.


Subjects Studied in LCA at Colaiste Mhuire Co Ed

  • Vocational Preparation & Guidance
  • English & Communications
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Information Technology
  • Technology
  • Engineering or Childcare
  • Leisure & Recreation
  • Art
  • Social Education
  • French (on alternate years)
  • P.E.

I still have questions about LCA

If you still have questions about LCA in Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed you are invited to

a. Ask the Guidance office for the code to the Google Classroom which contains a detailed presentation about LCA which you can download and talk to your parents about at home

b. Speak to the Programme Co-ordiantor (Miss Conroy) or the Gudiance Counsellor (Miss Byrne) or Miss Purtill about LCA.

c. Ask your parents to phone the office to request a meeting about LCA