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Leaving Cert Applied

What's the difference between the Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied?

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in education

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Leaving Cert Applied is a two year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. 

It differs from the plain old Leaving Cert in that it is split into four half year sessions and there is much  more emphasis on continous assessment than the points-focused end of year exams for the Leaving Cert. Work done in each session is credited in that session with final exams taking place in June - the same time as the normal Leaving Cert exams. 

There are different aspects to the LCA like the vocational preparation which involves work experience, enterprise and communication. General education including: life skills, the arts, social education, leisure and language, as well as vocational education. 

The final exams will cover topics:

  • English and communication
  • Two vocational specialisations (practical exams)
  • Mathematical applications
  • Language (written and oral in all languages)
  • Social education

The grading of the Leaving Cert Applied is broken down into Pass (60-69 %), Merit (70-84 %), Distinction (85-100 %). The pass grade is equal to 6 D grades in Ordinary Level in the Leaving Cert.


The LCA fee for €116 but if you have a medical card or dependent on a parent who has a medical card, you may be exempt. 

How to apply?

If you are a post-primary student then your school should forward your information to the State Exams Commission. If you are an external student, you can apply online here or download an application.

Where to after LCA?

Students can continue on to Post-Leaving Cert courses after the LCA. You can find out more about these courses here. PLC courses can lead on to an award recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). You can find out if your course is recognised by NFQ.

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Published July 29th, 2013
Last updated November 28th, 2016
Tags leaving cert leaving cert applied school
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