Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) has been a huge success since its introduction to Templemichael College in September 2018. Students have excelled in their learning and have grown to be independent learners. The LCA Programme is organised around three main areas: Vocational Preparation, Vocational Education and General Education. The course is designed to promote active learning with a focus on self-directed independent learning.
The LCA programme is a Level 4 qualification in the National Qualification Framework ( and students have a series of key assignments and tasks to complete over the two years. Key Assignments are set in every subject and it is a way that  students can keep track of their learning and must be completed in class. There are seven Tasks must be completed within the two years. These tasks are projects and are examined
by the SEC (State Examinations Commission), for each task students can achieve up to 10 credits. Examiners test students to ensure the work is completed and students gain credits for their LCA results. The LCA is split into 4 sessions and attendance is a necessity to ensure full marks are obtained. It is roughly broken in 1/3 Continuous Assessments, 1/3 Attendance, 1/3 final examinations.
The huge advantage of LCA is the breakdown of assessments. Half are completed in 5th Year and the other half in 6th year. Students are aware of their grades after the first year and will know if they have a pass, merit or distinction grade:
A pass grade is 120 – 139 credits (60 – 69%),
Merit 140 – 169 credits (70 – 84%),
Distinction 170 – 200 credits (85 – 100%).

LCA Curriculum Framework and Credit Allocation

Upon completion of the LCA, students will have a range of options to further their education, start the world of work or complete an apprenticeship. The LCA is a fantastic programme for any student who wants to take control of their learning, who has excellent attendance and who is willing to work to reach their full potential in our school. We aim that students will achieve at least a Merit grade to ensure all options are open to students after the LC.
(Source: PDST Leaving Certificate Applied Teacher Handbook)


What is the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme?

Leaving Cert Applied is a two year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. It suits students who feel the traditional academic Leaving Cert is not suitable for them.

What is the difference between the Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied?

Leaving Cert Applied (LCA) is split into four half-year sessions, with more emphasis on continuous assessment instead of the end of year exams.

LCA includes vocational preparation and general education, taken as modules.

Examples include:
Work Experience
Applying Maths in Everyday Life
IT and Computers
Life Skills: Cooking
The Arts: Music and Woodwork
Social Education
Leisure and Recreation

What about exams?

There are final exams that take place in June – the same time as the regular Leaving Certificate exams – but your grades will not depend entirely on those exams because you will have built up credits during the year.

Is there a fee to do LCA?

LCA students pay book money and nominal money for trips out and stationery at the start of each academic year, covering their costs for the full school year. This amount is similar to that charged to traditional Leaving Certificate students.

What can I do after LCA?

LCA prepares you to move on to further education or to find work after you’ve completed the course.

Further Education?

Students who do LCA can continue on to Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses to gain more knowledge and skills in a certain area. Doing a PLC course can offer opportunities to progress onto university or college.
Contact Longford College of Further Education on for further details of local courses.

Finding work

Alternatively, you might feel ready for a job or starting an apprenticeship.

Student reviews from LCA class 2022/23

“It’s great that we get to do Work Experience as it shows us what a real job is like”

“We get to use IT skills a lot in class such as making presentations and questionnaires”

“I like that the exams are not the overall grade, our work through the year counts too”

“If you don’t enjoy the academic part of school, LCA gives a fresh start that motivates you in

a new way of learning”

“There is a lot of group work and teamwork where we are meeting new people. It is very


“There is much less homework, which takes away the stress of school”

“I feel learning is more enjoyable without the pressure of academic subjects”

“The content is much more relevant to real life and the work place”

“I feel my education time and my personal time are more equal in LCA. I have time for

personal development”

“I feel college ready and work ready from LCA”

“I feel experienced in and prepared for the real world”