Could a PLC course be right for you?

Find out more about Post Leaving Cert courses

Written by spunout


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.

What is a PLC course?

A PLC course is usually a full-time course for post-secondary students that last from one to two years. They are held in community education centres, schools and colleges around the country.​

What is involved in a PLC?

PLC courses tend to be targeted towards specific jobs. About half of your time on the course is spent on knowledge and training directly related to employment. You will also have the opportunity to go on work experience as part of the course, giving you hands-on experience in a job you’re interested in.

Why do a PLC course?

Whether you want to go on to further education, or you’re hoping to dive straight into work, the skills and experience gained from doing a PLC can be very beneficial.

  • The skills that you learn on a PLC course are known as transferable skills, meaning the skills learnt on a PLC course will be useful in any line of work
  • PLCs offer a chance to get work experience
  • PLC awards are nationally recognised and employers think well of them
  • PLCs offer a step towards going to college or completing further education
  • A PLC is a good way to try out a course if you aren’t ready to go straight into college after finishing school

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

What can I do after a 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.

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. 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 explain your circumstances.

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.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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