The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life.  It is a Leaving Certificate Course but it has a more practical curriculum.

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 available for LCA?

Courses are offered in three main areas:

  • Vocational preparation, involving work experience, enterprise and communication
  • General education, offering lifeskills, the arts, social education, leisure and language
  • Vocational education.

How is assessment done for LCA?

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 - Hair & Beauty, Childcare/Community
  • 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 usually take place in June, at the same time as the examinations for the established Leaving Certificate.

What certification is awarded?

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

LevelMarks and Credits Required
Pass60-69% (120-139 credits)
Merit70-84% (140-169 credits)
Distinction85-100% (170-200 credits)

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

LCA Information Guidance Information 2020

This guide is intended to provide prospective LCA students and their parents with a brief overview of the Leaving Certificate Applied Course (LCA) at the Ursuline Secondary School, Blackrock.

Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) Coordinator:     Adrienne O'Leary
Contact Email:

LCA 2020/2021 Schedule

The LCA programme consists of 4 sessions, 2 in each year as outlined below.


All student must have at least a 90% attendance rate in school throughout the 2 year LCA programme in order to pass the course.

Attendance at school is a very important part of the course.

The Curriculum

All girls will take the below mentioned Core Subjects and Vocational Specialisms.

Subjects with a * beside them indicate that that subject will be formally examined in a written paper in the summer of second year.

Those subjects without a * indicate that, instead of a final examination, they will be continuously assessed via key assignments and tasks throughout the year. Students will be awarded credits that contribute to their overall grade.

Core Subjects

  •   Mathematical Applications*

  •   English and Communication*

  •   Social Education*

  •   Irish (Year 1 only) * plus and oral examination

  •   French (Year 2 only) * plus an oral examination

  •   Introduction to Information Technology

  •   Arts Education

  •   Religious Education

  •   Science (One year only)

  •   Leisure & Recreation

  •   Vocational Preparation & Guidance (VPG)

    Vocational Specialism

    1.    Childcare *

    2. Hair and Beauty *

    For vocational specialisms, all girls will complete 2 detailed projects known as tasks.

    Each task is worth 10 credits (out of a total of 200 over the 2 years).

Key Assignments

Each subject has Key Assignments for each session.

A key assignment is a short piece of work related to the topic you have just completed.

For example in science, students will carry out a number of experiments and write up the experiment.


The maximum number of credits available is 200 as outlined below.

Students need a minimum of 120 credits to pass the LCA course. Higher grades are achieved as outlined in this table.

Students gain credits for various aspects of the course as outlined in the below table.

Students gain 62 credits for completing their modules and having an attendance rate of at least 90%. Credits are awarded here for completion only.

Students gain up to 70 credits for the completion and the quality of their 7 tasks. Students gain up to 68 credits for their performances in their final written exams in the summer of the second year of the course.

Only 5 subjects are assessed formally in these written examinations. These are outlined in the table above.

Work Experience
Work experience takes place every Thursday. Given this, students do not attend school on Thursdays as they will be in their place of work.

Girls receive 2 credits for work experience in each session. Given there are 4 sessions, this means work experience is worth 8 credits in total.

Mrs Murphy coordinates work experience for the LCA programme, however students and parents are responsible for finding their own work experience opportunities.

We strongly urge parents and girls to make enquiries regarding work experience during the summer break so that they are prepared for the start of the academic year.

Examples for appropriate work experience are:

  •   Crèche & Child Care

  •   Primary Schools

  •   Restaurants & Shops e.g. Boots

  •   Pharmacy

  •   Charity Shops

  •   Hairdressers

  •   Veterinary Clinics

  •   Office / Secretarial Work

  •   St Luke’s Nursing Home

    We also ask that parents ensure their daughters attend their work experience each Thursday as students will go directly to their place of work on these days.


    Most places of work ask that student provide a letter citing that the student is insured by the school to work for them. The school will provide girls/parents with a letter confirming insurance cover on request. Please see Mrs Murphy in September to get a copy of this letter.

    Garda Vetting

    Some places of work that require interaction with young children require a Garda Vetting certificate before the student can begin work.

    If your daughter is considering work that involves children she should complete THE two Garda Vetting forms sent with this guide and return them to Mr McBeth at the school.

    We strongly urge parents / girls to return them to school as soon as possible as it usually take 3-4 weeks for Garda Vetting to be approved. This could lead to a delay in work experience beginning.

    A copy of the garda vetting form can be found below and here for on-line application

    Mrs Murphy will also have copies in school to hand out to the girls on request. 

    A parental consent form is also necessary:

Contact Us

Ursuline College Blackrock, Cork, T12HR04

Phone: 021 - 4358012

Email: administration@urscorkb.com

Useful Information

Opening Hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm

Mr Patrick McBeth

Deputy Principal:
Ms Paula Goggin

Useful Links