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Leaving Certificate Applied

Virginia College offers the Leaving Certificate Applied programme which is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. 


The programme sets out to recognise the talents of all students and to provide opportunities for developing personal responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge. The programme focuses on the talents of each student and helps students apply what they learn to the real world. 


The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called sessions. Achievements are credited in each session. 


Course Coordinator

  • Mr. M Duffy  

Courses are offered in three main areas: 


  • Vocational preparation, involving work experience, enterprise and communication 

  • General education, offering life skills, the arts, social education, leisure and language 

  • Vocational education

Course structure 

Each course consists of a number of modules. Each module takes place over half a year. There is also a wide range of practical courses, called vocational specialisms, from which the student can choose. 


Assessment and examinations

Assessment is continuous throughout the course and there is a final examination. 


Assessment takes place on the completion of modules and practical activities that allow the student to integrate the learning from different courses. 


The final examination must be taken in the following areas: 


  • English and communication 

  • Mathematical applications 

  • Gaeilge 

  • Two vocational specialisms 

  • Mathematical applications 

  • Language 

  • Social education

There are written and oral examinations in all languages. There are practical examinations in the vocational specialisms. The written examinations usually take place in June, at the same time as the examinations for the established Leaving Certificate. 


The certificate awarded 

Students who successfully complete the programme are awarded a Leaving Certificate from the Department of Education. The certificate is awarded at three levels: 





Marks and Credits Required 

60-69% (120-139 credits) 

70-84% (140-169 credits) 

85-100% (170-200 credits)

Candidates who get less than 60% (120 credits) or who do not complete the course are awarded a record of experience. 


Eligibility for further education and third-level courses 

A student who has been awarded the Leaving Certificate Applied can go on to a very wide range of Post-Leaving Certificate courses (PLCs). These are available in local post-primary schools and colleges. 


There are many areas of study:  

  • Art/Design  

  • Business 

  • Science 

  • Services 

  • Leisure and Communications 

  • Media studies


Students with the Leaving Certificate Applied cannot gain direct entry through the Central Applications Office (CAO) system to the universities or institutes of technology. Many PLC courses lead to either a level 5 or level 6 award. In some cases, you can progress with this award to a third level course in a higher education institution such as, institutes of technology and universities.  

Options for progression can be discuss with your course provider or careers department in Virginia College.  


Students with the Leaving Certificate Applied can also go on to apprenticeship programmes.

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