Leaving Certificate Applied

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a two-year Leaving Certificate, available to Coláiste/Gaelcholáiste Choilm students who wish to follow a practical or vocationally oriented programme. A key aspect of the programme is enabling students to prepare for adult and working life. The word ‘applied’ is used because the programme is designed to allow students to apply the learning and experiences they gain over the two years of the programme to practical educational tasks at school, in the workplace and in the wider community.


The Leaving Certificate Applied is different in a number of ways:

  • It is a practical programme that makes wide use of active and student-centred learning methodologies.
  • It includes seven Student Tasks that bring together the different learning experiences that the students have acquired from the subjects they have taken.
  • It uses a unique system of assessment. The students’ work is assessed over the two years of the programme and they gain credits as they progress through curriculum. Practicals, interviews and written exams are among the different forms of assessment used. The students’ communication, problem-solving and practical skills are also assessed.


Our Leaving Certificate Applied students study a variety of subjects across the two year programme such as English and Communications, Mathematical Applications, Gaeilge, Spanish, Art, Hotel Catering and Tourism, Physical Education, Information Technology, Construction Studies, Hair and Beauty, Social Education, Preparation for the World of Work and Religion.


Work Experience is an integral part of the Leaving Certificate Applied programme. Work Experience is split into four sessions across the two year programme: Session 1 September – December (5th Year), Session 2 January to May (5th Year), Session 3 September – December (6th Year) – Session 4 January – May (6th Year). Our students are strongly encouraged to undertake a unique work experience for each session. This is to ensure both a varied exposure to the working world and a broader competency ability ahead of life after secondary school.


Conor Owens

LCA Coordinator

LCA Webinar

 Rang Síofra (LCA 2) celebrating getting their results from Session 1 and Session 2.

LCA Past Pupil Testimonials

The small class size and the variety of the course gave my son the opportunity to grow and develop, which I know he would have struggled with had he attempted the traditional Leaving Certificate programme. My son particularly liked the Work Experience and practical element of the course, which helped in keeping him motivated and engaged in his school work. The support and encouragement my son received from the teachers gave him confidence in his abilities, which he struggled with before doing LCA. The LCA course has provided him with valuable tools for the future.

LCA Class of 2022 Parent

My son started LCA in September 2020 right in the middle of the Covid Pandemic which was a challenge in itself. As parents you always want the best for your child, The decision that LCA was the right option for our son was the right one to make, not every child is cut out for mainstream school or will go on to go to university and our son wasn’t going to university. The LCA course has fantastic options to it, smaller class size which means the students and the teachers alike really get to know each other. The LCA programme is assessment based which is less stress on the student and this in particular is a great positive when it is time to sit the final exams at the end of 6th year. Every Wednesday our son took part in work experience in a number of different settings. This gave him the opportunity to give him an idea of what he wants to do when he finishes school and prepare him for life after school. My son was also able to use a ChromeBook which was a great advantage to him. The teachers also organised guest speakers and outings to help the class stay motivated. There is also an awful lot of practical work on the LCA course which is a positive if your child doesn’t like to sit at a desk all day. After initially being anxious about my son choosing to do the LCA course these worries were put to rest once I saw how much he thrived and actually started to enjoy school. The support and advice I received from the teachers, SNA’s and guidance councillors was absolutely amazing.

LCA Class of 2022 Parent

I started LCA in September 2020. When I was in Transition Year the resource coordinator recommended the LCA course to my parents as the best option for me as I had really struggled with the academic side of school for the first three years in secondary school. My parents attended a meeting at the school in which they presented what was involved in the LCA course and we decided that LCA was the right choice for me. I really liked the classroom based assessments and this was less stressful on me when it came to the end of year exams in both fifth and sixth years. I enjoyed the work experience every Wednesday as it gave me a taste of what real life would be like when I finished school. We did a lot of practical work in LCA this meant I wasn’t sitting at a desk all day. The teachers also organised a lot of outings and guest speakers which helped to keep us motivated. I can highly recommend the LCA programme especially if you’re not cut out for university which not everyone is. I received a lot of support from the teachers, SNA’s and guidance counselors. The class sizes in LCA are also smaller, which I found to be a great advantage.

Adam Foley LCA Class of 2022

“The Work Experience part of LCA really benefited me. Throughout my two years of LCA I attended four different work placements and learned something valuable from each experience. Most importantly it taught me that I enjoyed practical work. I quickly found that I liked being active and on my feet. I then knew that I wanted to pursue a career after LCA that allowed me to do this. I am currently working in a large retail company where I prepare fresh food and meats for customers on a daily basis. The work is active, which I love, and I use the confidence I got from having completed similar work experience in LCA in my daily interactions with customers and colleagues”.


Ciarán O’Buacháin LCA Class of 2020



“I really liked how LCA had continuous assessment/project work instead of one big final exam at the end of the two years. In 6th Year we got our results from 5th Year and that really encouraged me to keep on trying hard in school. The smaller class size in LCA was really good too as I felt that I had a lot of one-to-one time with each teacher. This helped me produce better work in all subjects, but especially in the subjects that I wasn’t very strong in. Work Experience gave me a good idea as to what I wanted to do after I finished in Coláiste Choilm. Before 5th Year LCA I had no idea what career I wanted to do, but coming out of LCA I found that I had an interest in working in either a restaurant or in construction. I am currently working in the hospitality industry for a large restaurant. The work is hands on and sociable. Work Experience in LCA allowed me to begin my career here with some experience under my belt, which I was thankful for.”


Cian McGrath LCA Class of 2021