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Could a PLC course be right for you?

Find out more about Post Leaving Cert courses

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

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If you have recently finished school or you're wondering what to do next, you could consider taking a Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course to gain some knowledge and skills in a certain area.

There are a wide range of PLC courses available in different fields of study. A PLC course is great for someone who is looking to gain skills in a specific area, or who is still trying to decide what sort of job or university degree could be best suited to them.

Who can do a PLC?

These courses are suitable for anyone that has left secondary school and wants to develop practical, vocational or technological skills. 

PLCs can be useful if you are looking to start work in a specific field soon after you finish the Leaving Cert.

The courses are also suitable for adults who want to update their skills or return to the workforce.

Do I need to have done my leaving cert to do a PLC?

If you have not done your Leaving Cert, but have relevant work experience, you may still be eligible for a PLC. Ask to meet with the course co-ordinator and then explain your circumstances.

What is involved in a PLC?

The courses tend to be targeted towards specific jobs. About 50% of time on the courses is spent on knowledge and training directly related to employment. 25% is usually spent on work experience. 

The courses are usually full time and last from one to two years.

Where can I do a PLC?

PLC courses are held in community education centres, schools and colleges around Ireland.​

What sort of certificate can you get at the end of a PLC?

The awards offered by PLC courses include FETAC Level 5, FETAC Level 6 and some City and Guilds qualifications.

What can I do after my PLC?

What you do next is up to you. You could start looking for work or applying for an apprenticeship in the area your course was in.

Some PLC courses will qualify you to go on to further education at third level, so if you'd like to keep studying, you can look into the college courses you can move on to.

Why do a PLC course?

  • The skills that you learn on a PLC course are known as transferrable skills. This means that the skills learnt on any PLC course will be useful in any line of work. 
  • PLCs offer a chance to get work experience under your belt.
  • PLC awards are nationally recognised and employers think well of them.

How to apply for a PLC

Find a course that you are interested in by searching on the Further Education Training and Courses Hub. Then, apply directly to the school, college or adult education centre offering the course. You may be called for an interview to discuss the course and to find out more about it.

Do I have to pay to do a PLC?

There is an annual participant contribution of €200 per year for PLC courses. You do not have to pay this charge if:

  • you hold a full medical card
  • you are the dependent child of a medical cardholder
  • you are entitled to a student grant
  • you are getting a Back to Education Allowance/VTOS allowance

Can I apply for a grant?

Have a look at the PLC section of the SUSI student grant website to find out if you're eligible for a grant.

Learn more about applying for SUSI grant here.

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Published January 21st, 2013
Last updated July 16th, 2018
Tags education college school
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