What is Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)?
It is a two-year course available to students who wish to follow a practical Leaving Certificate programme with a vocational focus. It is an alternative programme to the traditional Leaving Certificate, which places particular emphasis on preparation for the world of work and life.
How is it different?
A key difference between Leaving Certificate Applied and the traditional Leaving Certificate lies in assessment. Two-thirds of the final grade in LCA is earned through course work completed over two years with only one-third dependent on final written exam papers. This places far less emphasis on final exams as students build up ‘credits’ as they go. Throughout the two years, students’ work and skill development are assessed in different ways including interviews, written, oral and practical components.
As well as changes in assessment, in Leaving Certificate Applied, learning experiences are more active and practical than the established Leaving Certificate programme. Students apply their knowledge, skills and experience from real life situations in the school, the workplace and the wider community. Work Experience plays a significant role in the programme as students gain first-hand experience of the world of work.
What subjects will I study?
Leaving Certificate Applied students study a broad range of subjects: Vocational Preparation & Guidance (includes Work Experience), English & Communications, Mathematical Applications, Information and Communication Technology, Arts Education, Social Education, Languages, Leisure & Recreation, Religion, Hotel, Catering & Tourism, Agriculture/Horticulture.
What are my options after Leaving Certificate Applied?
LCA is accepted for a wide range of Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses at FETAC Level 5. It also provides access to most apprenticeships and other vocational training awards. While students who complete LCA do not have direct access to Higher Education through the Central Applications Office (CAO), achieving an appropriate further education award (e.g. FETAC Level 5) may provide access for those who wish to apply to courses in Third Level colleges.