Senior Cycle

We offer the following Leaving Certificate Applied Programme:

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a two-year Leaving Certificate available to students who wish to follow a practical programme with a strong vocational emphasis. With a certificate in Leaving Cert Applied students may do a Post Leaving Cert course and if they choose may continue into higher education.

Feel free to contact our LCA co-coordinator Siobhan Lambert  on or 023-8833877


This link is for applications for LCA 5th Year starting in September 2023.


LCA Application Form


All other students who wish to apply to the school must do so through our Enrolments Page

Enrolments Page

Key Facts

  • The Leaving Certificate Applied is a Two-Year Course covering a wide range of subject areas.
  • The subjects in LCA are much more practical than those in the traditional Leaving Certificate exam and have been designed to prepare students for work and adult life.
  • There is much less focus on terminal exams in LCA than there is in the Leaving Certificate. Students accumulate credits over the duration of the programme meaning that the final exams are only worth one third of the entire marks.
  • Work Experience is integral to the course with students being encouraged to sample up to four different career areas over the duration of the programme.


Difference between LCA and Traditional Leaving Cert

The LCA programme has a strong Work Experience element to it. Throughout the two years, or four sessions, students will get the opportunity to sample a range of different occupations and get real experience in the world of work. Subjects are more practical in nature and are more linked to real life situations in the workplace and the wider community. There is also much less focus on terminal exams at the end of the two year cycle as students bank credits all the way throughout the programme. At the end of each session students receive a statement of their results from the SEC.

Subjects studied

The subjects that can be studied for LCA can be divided into three main areas:

  • General Education subjects,
  • Vocational Preparation subjects,
  • Vocational Education subjects.


General Education subjects:

(All students study the following subjects)

  • English & Communication
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Vocational Preparation & Guidance
  • Introduction to ICT
  • Social Education
  • Arts Education
  • Gaeilge Chumarsáideach (in 1st Yr) / Spanish (in 2nd Yr)
  • Leisure and Recreation


Vocational Specialisms:

(Students choose 2 specialisms)

  • Engineering OR Hotel, Catering and Tourism
  • Graphics and Construction Studies OR Art, Craft and Design



(Students study short courses called electives)

  • Horticulture
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Religion


How is LCA assessed?

The Leaving Certificate Applied is assessed in a variety of ways including interviews, orals, written and practical work. Students can gain up to a maximum of 200 credits over the course of the two years. Four times over the two years students receive a statement of their results from the State Exams Commission. Students are also required to have 90% attendance. Students earn credits for:
  • Completing coursework for their modules or Key Assignments
  • Seven projects or Student Tasks
  • Seven Final Exams



Progression Routes after LCA

There are many options open to Leaving Certificate Applied students after completing the programme. Aside from directly entering into the world of work, students can also progress onto Further Education PLC courses, Apprenticeships & Traineeships, the Gardai and the Defence Forces. LCA students do not have direct access to Higher Education CAO courses and must either complete a PLC course or a Pre-University access course to progress.

LCA as Preparation for Work

Work Experience is integral to the LCA programme. Students are required to complete at least 20 days per year on Work Experience. This can take the form of one day per week for each session or for blocks of two weeks at a time, depending on how each school manages their own programme. All of the subjects in Leaving Certificate Applied have been designed with industry in mind and to prepare students for the world of work.The Vocational Preparation and Guidance subject helps students develop workplace skills such as planning, communication and teamwork as well as helping them to develop their own career plan. A key element in each of the seven tasks that students must complete is the interview. The critical skills gained here benefits the students greatly in preparing them for entering the world of work.

Key Terms

Sessions – The two years of the Leaving Certificate Applied are broken down into FOUR sessions. September – January and February – June in both years.
Credits – Students accumulate credits throughout the two years with up to two-thirds being ‘banked’ before the final exams at the end of 6th year. The maximum number of credits that a student can gain is 200.
Work Experience – This is integral to the LCA programme. Students are given the skills and confidence to access up to four different work experiences throughout the two years of the programme.Tasks – These are significant pieces of work that the students take part in throughout the two years, there are seven in all accounting for just over one third of the total credits.

Specialisms – These are vocational areas of study that help the students develop specific skills and knowledge relevant to a range of careers. Students choose two of these to study from a choice of eleven.