St Brendans College Killarney

What is the Leaving Certificate Applied?

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. The programme puts an emphasis on forms of achievement and excellence, which the Established Leaving Certificate has not recognised in the past. 90%attendance is a requirement on this course.

Why was the Leaving Certificate Applied introduced?

The Leaving Certificate Applied was introduced to recognise the talents of all students and provide opportunities for development in terms of responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge. It is an innovative programme in the way students learn, in what they learn and in the way their achievements are assessed.

Who would benefit most from the Leaving Certificate Applied?

The Leaving Certificate Applied is intended to meet the needs of those students who are not adequately catered for by other Leaving Certificate programmes or who choose not to opt for such programmes.

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.

What courses/modules are offered?
  • Leaving Certificate Applied Programme Statement
  • Vocational Preparation & Guidance
  • Mathematical Applications
  • English and Communications
  • Agriculture & Horticulture
  • Childcare/Community Care
  • Graphics and Construction Studies
  • Craft and Design
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Hotel, Catering & Tourism
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Office Administration & Customer Care
  • Active Leisure Studies
  • Information & Communication Technology (Vocational Specialism)
  • Introduction to Information & Communication Technology(Mandatory Course)
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Visual Art
  • An Ghaeilge
  • Modern Languages
  • Social Education
  • Leisure & Recreation
  • Sign Language
  • Science
  • Religious Education


Do students have a choice within the Leaving Certificate Applied?

Each course consists of a number of modules. A module generally represents a half-year’s work and there is provision for some choice of modules. Choice also exists in relation to Vocational Specialisms. Two courses are selected from the following: 

  • Agriculture/Horticulture
  • Hotel Catering and Tourism
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Office Administration and Customer Care
  • Childcare/Community Care
  • Graphics and Construction Studies
  • Craft and Design
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Active Leisure Studies


Four elective modules must also be chosen


What are elective modules?

Four elective modules must be chosen from course areas where extra modules are available. Two courses, Religious Education and Science also offer modules that can be taken as electives. It is not allowable to choose elective modules from Vocational Specialisms already being taken.


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. 

This certificate will be awarded at three levels:



Certificate Levels






60-69 %

(120 – 139 credits)


70-84 %

(140 – 169 credits)


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.

The Leaving Certificate Applied assessment takes place over the two years under three headings:

  • Satisfactory Completion of Modules
  • Performance of Student Tasks
  • Performance in the Terminal Examinations.


At the end of each Session a student is credited on satisfactory completion of the appropriate modules.

Student Tasks are assessed 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. Each student is also required to produce a report on the process of completing the Task. This report may be incorporated in the evidence of task performance.

Terminal Examinations are provided in the following areas:

  • English and Communication
  • Two Vocational Specialisms
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Language (Gaeilge Chumarsáideach & Modern European Languages)
  • Social Education


The written examinations will generally be held in the same period as the other Leaving Certificate examinations.

Oral examinations, as well as written/aural examinations, will be held in the case of all the languages including English and Communications.

Past examination papers, practical examination assignment briefs, marking schemes and Chief Examiner Reports are available to download from the website of the State Examinations Commission at


What opportunities are available to students who have successfully completed the Leaving Certificate Applied?

The Leaving Certificate Applied has a strong vocational dimension which equips students with skills for the world of work and life-long learning.

Students wishing to further their education can do so by progressing into Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses. These are one-year courses (two in some cases) in a very wide range of specialist areas. PLC courses are at level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications Graduates of the Leaving Certificate Applied who progress to an approved further education award (e.g. PLC) can become eligible for admission to some third level courses in the Institutes of  Technology and following that to some degree courses in the Institutes of Technology and in the  Universities.  Check out progression route at


Are you looking for career information?

More information on PLC courses can be accessed on ;

Career Directions offers an A-Z of career Descriptions and entry routes . Check out , an exciting new careers website providing information on a range of careers.  You can also complete a self-assessment test and watch video clips where people talk about their jobs.

Other progression routes include:                                                             


For more information on LCA go to