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What are your interests?



Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.

Leaving Cert Subjects

The Three Leaving Certs

You may not know that there is more than one type of Leaving Cert available to students. It is important to understand and explore what they involve and what suits you best. 

Leaving Certificate Established (LCE)

This is the most popular and longest running programme. It is available in all secondary schools.

The core subjects (English, Maths and Irish*) are compulsory. Your school will also offer a number of optional subjects.

Generally students will take study seven subjects, six of which will be counted for the purpose of CAO points if you choose to apply for college through the CAO. 

Choosing which optional subjects to study is an important process. Subject options should be considered in detail as there may be future implications regarding entry to college, or entry to certain careers, if particular subjects are not chosen, or are chosen at the wrong level (i.e. Ordinary level rather than Higher level).

Explore the Leaving Cert Subjects area for more information.

(*Unless you have an official exemption from Irish in place.)

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

LCVP combines regular Leaving Cert subjects with three additional compulsory link modules.

The link modules cover Enterprise Education, Preparation for Work and Work Experience.

Students take at least 5 Leaving Certificate subjects. These include English, Irish and two subjects from specified subject groupings, and a Modern European language, together with the three link modules.

For details on the link modules click here

Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCA)

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a two year Leaving Certificate available to students who wish to follow a practical programme with a strong practical and vocational emphasis. It is strongly job/employment focused. LCA is only available in selected schools and does not lead directly into third level education courses.

The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called sessions. Achievement is credited in each session. Courses are offered in three main areas: Vocational Preparation; General Education; and Vocational Education.


Assessment takes place on the completion of modules, and there is also a final examination in each of the following areas:

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

Students who successfully complete the programme are awarded a Leaving Certificate at one of three levels: Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Students can progress to a wide range of Level 5/6 PLC Courses, many of which provide progression opportunities into third level colleges.

For more information go to www.pdst.ie

Maria O'Neill, Civil Engineer

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

In hindsight, I am happy to say I wouldn't have done anything differently to date! In my Junior Cert I did 9 subjects ; Maths, Irish, English, History, Geography, Science, Business Studies, French and Tech Graphics. I liked Languages and history the least. I won't lie, Maths, Geography, and Tech Graphics were the ones I enjoyed the most.

When I was choosing for my leaving Cert I still hadn't decided what I would do when I was finished. I was thinking of Engineering, Teaching or Physiotherapy. I wanted to leave my options open. To do physio you need a language (to get in to UCD) and 2 science subjects. I decided to do Maths, Irish, English, French, Geography, Physics and Chemistry for my leaving. That left all the options open.

I was good at Business Studies, but after looking at courses in college, I discovered you don't usually need a business subject to get into a business course. This is not the case for Science based courses. In 6th year I took up Applied Maths. Since I was doing Physics and Maths I had a good background for the subject. Twenty classes and just homework, and I got an honour. If anyone was to ask me if they should do it, if you like maths, its a great subject!

Ask me your first question!

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