Piper's Hill College

Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) Programme

What is the Leaving Certificate Applied?

It is a distinct, self-contained, two year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing learners for adult and working life.

It emphasises forms of achievement and excellence which the established Leaving Certificate has not recognised in the past.

It offers a specific opportunity to prepare for and progress to further education and training. Subjects are continually assessed and project work is key.

The programme focuses on the talents of each student and helps students apply what they learn to the real world. Piper’s Hill College has a strong

record of achievement among leaving certificate applied students.

Why choose Leaving Cert Applied?

  • It develops communication, creativity, decision making and self-appraisal skills.
  • It prepares learners for the demanding transition to adult and working life.
  • It recognises talents of all learners – the programme responds to student’s abilities, needs and interests and offers flexibility.
  • It provides opportunity to develop in terms of responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge.
  • Helps learners achieve a more independent and enterprising approach to learning and to life.
  • It is about LEARNING through DOING

What Subjects will I study in Leaving Cert Applied?

LCA consists of three main elements, Vocational Preparation, Vocational Education and General Education. The course includes the following subjects:

  • Career Preparation & Guidance
  • English & Communications
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Hotel, Catering and Tourism
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Art and Music
  • Social Education
  • Languages – Gaeilge (for ONE year) & German/Spanish/French (for ONE year)
  • Leisure & Recreation
  • Enterprise Education
  • Engineering
  • Graphics & Construction Studies

Work Experience

  • Work Experience is a key element of the Leaving Cert Applied Programme.
  • Students will need to complete FOUR work experience placements.
  • Work Experience takes place on one day every week for 6th years and for two weeks in 5th year.


Another key difference between Leaving Cert Applied and Traditional Leaving Cert is in assessment.

There are THREE main elements to assessment in LCA.

  1. Continuous assessment based on class attendance and completion of key assignments
  2. Completion of Student tasks
  3. Completion of final exams in 5 subjects

Students are awarded their official results from the Department of Education at the end of each session so they are aware of their progress during the course, three times before they complete their final year exams.

Their Leaving Cert is awarded in August following their exams, as follows:

Certificate awarded at three levels:

  • Pass 60-69 % (120 - 139 credits)
  • Merit 70-84 % (140 - 169 credits)
  • Distinction 85-100 % (170 - 200 credits)

Assessments of tasks/allocation of credits are on-going and cumulative over two years. The final examination at the end of second year is added to the credits achieved during this two year course.

What written exams will I take at the end of 6th year?

  • English and Communication (Written and Oral)
  • Hotel, Catering and Tourism and IT
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Language (Gaeilge & Modern European Languages) (Written and Oral)
  • Social Education

LCA Coordinator: Ms. Maria Keeley

Programmes Coordinator: Mr. Michael Foley

Click here for Our Why LCA Presentation

Naas, Co Kildare, Ireland
045 897885
Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board
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