Leaving Certificate Applied

The LCA recognises the talents of all students and provides opportunities for development in terms of self-knowledge, self-esteem and responsibility. It is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing learners for adult and working life. LCA emphasises forms of achievement and excellence while offering learners a specific opportunity to prepare for and progress to further education and training.


The Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) is a unique, self-contained two-year educational program designed to prepare students for adulthood and the workforce. It offers alternative approaches to learning and assessment, with ongoing evaluations contributing to the students’ final Leaving Certificate grade.

LCA is widely regarded by students, parents, and educators as an excellent foundation for adult life, further education, training, and future employment opportunities. For more detailed information, you can visit this website: https://pdst.ie/lca.

Who Benefits from LCA? LCA is most beneficial for students who:

  1. Prefer not to solely rely on final exams or find the pressure of a single final exam overwhelming.
  2. May not have immediate plans to pursue higher education at a university or institute of technology but want to keep this option open for the future.
  3. Enjoy engaging in project-based learning and consistently attend school.

Programme Origin and Popularity Introduced in 1995, the Leaving Certificate Applied is a two-year Senior Cycle program. It is currently offered in approximately 230 schools and educational centres across the country.

Opportunities Offered Regarding employment qualifications, the Department of Education and Science recognises that earning 60 credits in the Leaving Certificate Applied is equivalent to achieving six D grades at the ordinary level in the Established Leaving Certificate. Successful LCA students can progress to study Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, providing a pathway to higher education.

Advantages of Leaving Certificate Applied The main advantage of LCA is its focus on each student’s unique talents and the application of their learning in real-world contexts. The program spans two years, divided into four half-year sessions, with achievements credited during each session.

Do LCA Students Receive a Leaving Certificate?

Yes, students who successfully complete the LCA program will receive a Leaving Certificate awarded by the State Examinations Commission. All credits earned throughout the program are documented on the Leaving Certificate Applied parchment.

What Sets LCA Apart?

Leaving Certificate Applied differs from traditional programs in that students are continually assessed throughout their studies. Marks are gained through three primary methods:

  1. Credits (marks) are awarded twice annually.
  2. Tasks, which are substantial projects, also contribute to marks. These Tasks are assessed through interviews conducted by external examiners appointed by the Department of Education and Science. Tasks may take various formats, such as written reports, audio recordings, videos, or artefacts.
  3. Final examinations are not a part of the LCA program, setting it apart from other educational paths.
Leaving Certificate Applied Subjects

English and Communications
Vocational Preparation & Guidance (VPG)
Mathematical Applications
Leisure and Recreation
Work Experience
Social Education
Introduction to Information and Communication Technology
Office Administration and Customer Care

Click Here for more information 6. a. LCA Overview leaflet