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Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)

Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)

Rockford Manor runs an extremely successful Leaving Certificate Applied Programme which is available every two years.

Places on the programme are limited to 18 students. Selection is based upon completion of an Application Form and interview with the Programme Co-ordinator.

This programme in Rockford has been judged by the Department of Education & Skills to be amongst the very best in Ireland. We have won the Fergal Quinn Award on many occasions, most recently in 2021.

Under the direction of Ms. Sandra Joyce, Rockford LCA students have consistently achieved outstanding results in State Examinations.

It is a two-year Leaving Certificate available to students who wish to follow a practical or vocationally orientated programme.

The programme offers students a unique opportunity to develop their self-esteem and fulfil their potential.

What is LCA (Leaving Certificate Applied)?

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. The programme is pre-vocational by nature and is designed for those students who do not wish to proceed directly to higher education or for those whose needs, aptitudes and learning styles are not fully catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes. Participants in the Leaving Certificate Applied are mainly engaged in work and study of an active, practical and student-centred nature.

The programme sets out to recognise the talents of all students and to provide opportunities for developing personal responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge. The programme focuses on the talents of each student and helps students apply what they learn to the real world.

The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called sessions. Achievements are credited in each session. Courses are designed on a modular basis and are of thirty hours duration. Each year is divided into two sessions (September to January and February to May) over the two-year duration of the programme. Learners must take a total of 44 modules. They are also required to complete seven Student Tasks over the two years of the programme.

The Leaving Certificate Applied course is available in almost 300 schools nationally.

How is it different?
A key difference between Leaving Certificate Applied and the traditional Leaving Certificate lies in assessment. Two-thirds of the final grade in LCA is earned through course work completed over two years with only one third dependent on final written exam papers. This places far less emphasis on final exams as students build up ‘credits’ as they go. Throughout the two years, students’ work and skill development is assessed in different ways including interviews, written, oral and practical components.

As well as changes in assessment, in Leaving Certificate Applied, learning experiences are more active and practical than the established Leaving Certificate programme. Students apply their knowledge, skills and experience from real life situations in the school, the workplace and the wider community. Work Experience plays a significant role in the programme as students gain first-hand experience of the world of work.

What subjects will I study?
Leaving Certificate Applied students study a broad range of subjects: Vocational Preparation & Guidance (includes Work Experience), English & Communications, Mathematical Applications, Information and Communication Technology, Arts Education, Social Education, Languages(Gaeilge and Spanish/French) Leisure & Recreation, Religion, Hotel Catering & Tourism, Information Technology, Art drama, and Science.

Assessment and examinations

Assessment is continuous throughout the course and there is a final examination.

Assessment takes place on the completion of modules and practical activities that allow the student to integrate the learning from different courses.

The final examination must be taken in the following areas:

  • English and Communication
    · Two vocational specialisms
    · Mathematical Applications
    · Language
    · Social Education.

There are written and oral examinations in all languages. There are practical examinations in the vocational specialisms. The written examinations take place in June, at the same time as the examinations for the established Leaving Certificate. View more information on the Leaving Certificate Applied curriculum here.

The certificate awarded

Students who successfully complete the programme are awarded a Leaving Certificate from the Department of Education and Science. The certificate is awarded at three levels:


Marks and Credits Required


60-69% (120-139 credits)


70-84% (140-169 credits)


85-100% (170-200 credits)

Candidates who get less than 60% (120 credits) or who do not complete the course, are awarded a Record of Experience.

A Pass in the Leaving Certificate Applied is the equivalent of 6 Grade D's at Ordinary Level in the established Leaving Certificate.

Eligibility for further education and third-level courses

What are my options after Leaving Certificate Applied?
LCA is accepted for a wide range of Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses at FETAC Level 5. It also provides access to most apprenticeships and other vocational training awards. While students who complete LCA do not have direct access to Higher Education through the Central Statistics Office (CAO), achieving an appropriate further education award (e.g. FETAC Level 5) may provide access for those who wish to apply to courses in Third Level colleges.

What subjects will I study?
Leaving Certificate Applied students study a broad range of subjects: Vocational Preparation & Guidance (includes Work Experience), English & Communications, Mathematical Applications, Information and Communication Technology, Arts Education, Social Education, Languages, Leisure & Recreation, Religion, Hotel, Catering & Tourism, Agriculture/Horticulture.

Work Experience

Work experience placements allow students to choose a career which suits their needs.

On completing the LCA Programme, students can continue their education by progressing on to Post Leaving Certificate Courses and Third Level Institutes of Technology.

Leaving Cert Applied in Rockford Manor is “Learning for Life” and helping your daughter to achieve her full potential

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