Post Leaving Certificate Programme

The Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) or Cúrsa Iar Ard-Teistiméarachta programme is a full-time programme for young people who have completed their Leaving Certificate and adults returning to education. PLC courses are mostly provided in ETB schools with some provision in voluntary secondary and community and comprehensive schools. PLC programmes generally lead to Major FETAC awards made by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) at NFQ-Level5 or NFQ-Level 6

PLC courses are full-time and last for one to two years. They offer a mixture of practical work, academic work and work experience. They are designed as a step towards skilled employment and, as such, they are closely linked to industry and its needs. Post Leaving Certificate courses adopt an integrated approach, focusing on technical knowledge, core skills and work experience. Almost half of the time spent on these courses is devoted to knowledge and skill training related to employment, with a further quarter spent on relevant work-based experience.

Disciplines

A wide range of disciplines are covered including business, electronics engineering, computing, catering, sport and leisure, theatre and stage, performance art, art craft and design, multi-media studies, journalism, tourism, marketing, childcare and community care, hairdressing and beauty care, applied science, horticulture etc.

How to Apply

Students may join the programme by contacting the relevant school offering the PLC course As the courses are work-related, you will probably be called for an interview before a final selection is made. These interviews are often quite informal and offer you the opportunity to discuss your particular interest in the course.

Progression

Under the Higher Education Links scheme, places on selected courses in the Institutes of Technology are allocated on the basis of attainment achieved in awards by candidates on PLC courses. Details are available from the school principal or guidance counsellor or from FETAC

Grants

A maintenance grant scheme for which PLC students are able to apply is available. The maintenance scheme is means tested and grants are paid along the same lines as the current third level student support schemes. Grant application forms are available from www.susi.ie You may be eligible for a means-tested student grant or a Back to Education Allowance, depending on your circumstances.

Cost

Please contact the relevant College for cost details. You do not have to pay the contribution if:

Colleges offering PLC courses usually also have a ‘course charge’ to cover such expenses as books, uniforms, student services, professional registration fees and exam fees. The amount varies from college to college. Students who are exempted from the participant contribution will still have to pay the course charge.

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