Galway Community College

Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)

Leaving Cert Applied

LCA is ideally suited to students who wish to follow a course aimed at acquiring practical skills, work experience and an opportunity to accumulate credits through on-going assessment.Students spend four days in school following their timetable and one day of each week is spent with an employer.

This is a two-year programme.

Leaving Cert Applied Programme is a distinct; separate two-year Leaving Cert Course. The course is aimed at preparing students for working life. The programme places emphasis on forms of achievement which the established Leaving Cert has not focussed on in the past. The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called sessions. The student’s achievements are credited in each of these sessions. Courses are offered in three main areas:

  • Vocational Preparation focuses on preparation for work, work experience, enterprise and communication.
  • General Education concentrates on the student’s general life skills, including language, leisure, arts and social education.
  • Vocational Education is concerned with the development of mathematical and information technology and the practical skills necessary for specialist areas such as retail management, horticulture, engineering and technology. Information technology, the arts, leisure and recreation studies are required courses.

Students who successfully complete the programme will receive a Leaving Certificate from the Department of Education. This Certificate will be awarded at three levels – Pass, Merit, and Distinction. After completing the Leaving Cert Applied the student is eligible for further education and training including apprenticeships.

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.

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
  • 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 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 and Skills. 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 on-site at Galway Community College.

There are many areas of study - Art/Design, Business, Science, Motor Tech, Sports and Communications/Media studies.

Galway Community College,
Wellpark Rd,

 091 755464

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