Leaving Certificate


The leaving certificate programme is a two year programme.  There are three types of leaving certificate programme on offer in the school which are:

Traditional Leaving Certificate

Students study on average 7 subjects in the traditional leaving certificate with all subjects offered at both Higher and Ordinary level.  Students may study Irish and Maths at Foundation level.  All students study English, Maths and Irish (unless the student has an official Irish excemption for the Department of Education and Scvience, see circular M10/1994) and four other subjects. The Guidance Department offer advice and guidance for students and parents in relation to subject choice and career progression in 3rd year before completing a subject choice form.  The majority of students normally get their first choice in relation to subject choice however when places are limited in a particular subject ability, interest and random selection will be considered.  Subjects studied on this programme are:

Irish;     English;    Maths;  Spanish;    History;     Geography;   Biology;    Chemistry;   Physics;   Business;     Economics;   Accounting;  Home Economics;   Art;   Engineering;    Technical Graphics;   Construction Studies;    Agricultural Science;    Music.

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

LCVP Co-ordinator: Ms Sylvia McSheffrey

The LCVP is a very popular and successful programme in Crana College, with most students qualifying for eligibility due to the vast spectrum of subjects offered at Leaving Certificate level. See below for subject combinations (under VSGs) which deem a student eligible. Students go on a full week of work experience in term 3 of 5th year. This placement can be undertaken anywhere in the Republic of Ireland, or across the border in Northern Ireland.  This gives students a chance to sample a career and also to experience the realities of a work environment. Portfolio work forms 60% of assessment. A terminal state exam takes place in early May in 6th year to complete the other 40%.  This means by mid- May of 6th year the LCVP is complete. The success of students at SEC level in Crana College must be mentioned. In 2012 1 in 5 students achieved a Distinction which is worth 70 CAO points. 4 out of 5 achieved a Merit, worth 50 CAO points. Unsurprisingly over 75% of our students counted LCVP as one of their 6 CAO subjects

About the LCVP

The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) is an intervention designed to enhance the vocational dimension of the Leaving Certificate (established). The programme was introduced in 1994 in response to the challenge placed on Ireland’s education system by a changing work and business environment. The LCVP combines the academic strengths of the Leaving Certificate (established) with a new and dynamic focus on self–directed learning, innovation and enterprise. This two-year programme is part of an expanded provision that aims to cater for the diversity of participants’ needs at senior cycle.

The primary goal of the LCVP is to prepare young people for adult life by ensuring that they are educated in the broadest sense, with an ability to cope and thrive in an environment of rapid change. Participants in the programme are encouraged to develop skills and competencies fundamental to both academic and vocational success.

Throughout the programme students are encouraged to:

  • Be  innovative and enterprising
  • Take  responsibility for their own learning
  • Adapt  to changing circumstances
  • Evaluate data and devise solutions to problems
  • Communicate  their thoughts and ideas effectively
  • Work  with others as part of a team
  • Investigate and plan career options
  • Use  information and communications technologies
  • Investigate  local businesses and community enterprises
  • Learn from their experiences

These skills and qualities are equally relevant to the needs of those preparing for further education, seeking employment or planning to start their own business.

The strong vocational focus of the LCVP is achieved by arranging Leaving Certificate subjects into Vocational Subject Groupings (VSGs) and through the provision of additional courses of study in work preparation and enterprise known as the Link Modules.

Programme Requirements

Programme Requirements for students:

  • At least five Leaving Certificate subjects, one of which must be Irish plus the Link Modules
  • Two  of the above subjects must be selected from one of the designated Vocational Subject Groupings
  • Two Link Modules: Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education
  • A  recognised course in a Modern European Language other than Irish or English:

What is a recognised Modern European language course for LCVP students?

  • The school has the discretion in this case – there are various options open to students.
  • They can take a language at Junior Certificate level or they can follow one of the FETAC language modules or the language teacher can devise a school programme in the language.

Students must take the language class for a minimum of one class period per week or equivalent over the two years of the programme within school time.
If a student is exempt from Irish for the Leaving Certificate they are automatically exempt for the LCVP and students should replace Irish with another subject.

Vocational Subject Groupings (VSGs)

Two subjects are selected from one of the Vocational Subject Groupings. These subjects provide students with a focus for developing vocational skills and exploring their career options.

The Specialist Groupings consist of subjects which complement one another naturally. The Services Groupings comprise subjects which complement one another in a commercial context.


Vocational Subject Groupings (VSGs)   
Specialist   Groupings
1 Construction Studies;   Engineering; Design and Communication Graphics; Technology    – Any Two
2 Physics and Construction Studies or Engineering or Technology or Design   & Communication Graphics
3 Agricultural Science and Construction Studies or Engineering or Technology or Design   & Communication Graphics
4 Agricultural Science and Chemistry or Physics or Physics/Chemistry
5 Home Economics; Agricultural Science; Biology – Any Two
6 Home Economics and Art – Design Option or Craft   Option
7 Accounting; Business; Economics – Any two
8 Physics and Chemistry
9 Biology and Chemistry or Physics or Physics/Chemistry10 Biology and Agricultural   Science11 Art – Design Option or Craft   Option and Design & Communication Graphics
Services Groupings
12   Engineering or Technology or Construction   Studies or Design & Communication Graphics and Accounting or Business orEconomics
13 Home Economics and Accounting or Business or Economics
14 Agricultural Science and Accounting or Business or Economics
15 Art  Design or Craftwork Option and Accounting or Business or Economics
16 Music and Accounting or Business or Economics


The Link Modules
Students taking the Leaving Certificate Examination will follow two Link Modules over the course of the two years.

Link Module I – Preparation for the World of Work

Students will research and investigate local employment opportunities, develop job seeking skills such as letter writing, CV presentation, interview techniques; gain valuable practical experience of the world of work; interview and work shadow a person in a career area that interests them

Link Module II – Enterprise Education

Students will be involved in organising visits to local business and community enterprises; meet and interview enterprising people on site and in the classroom; plan and undertake interesting activities that will build self–confidence, creativity, initiative and develop teamwork, communication and computer skills.

Typical LCVP Students

Typically, LCVP students take seven Leaving Certificate Subjects plus the Link Modules

Information and Communications Technology

Students taking the LCVP will have an opportunity to develop and apply their IT skills. Students should also have an opportunity to use audio-visual equipment and computer presentation packages for recording and presentation purposes. During the course of the programme students will develop skills to:


  • Enter, edit, store, retrieve and print information
  • Word process CVs, letters, reports and create illustrated documents
  • Send and receive e–mail messages
  • Access and use relevant information from CD Roms and the Internet

Teaching and Learning

The use of active teaching and learning methodologies is encouraged across the LCVP curriculum. Experiences such as work placement, career investigation, mini–enterprise, business and community visits are an integral part of the programme. The Link Modules encourage students to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired through their Vocational Subjects and in other areas of their Leaving Certificate. Vocational relevance is enhanced by putting in place opportunities for students to plan, organise and engage in active learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

  • Conducting  Investigations – businesses, community enterprises, agencies
  • Arranging Visits out of school to sites of interest in the context of conducting  investigations
  • Inviting Visitors to the classroom -adults other than teachers as resource visitors
  • Working in Teams – on projects and investigations
  • Organising Enterprise Activities – setting up projects as vehicles of learning
  • Actively preparing for work – career investigation, job search, practice at interviews
  • Experiencing the world of work, work experience, work simulation, work shadowing
  • Making presentations to adults and peers
  • Using Information and Communications Technology – to access, store, communicate and present information

Assessment of the Link Modules

LCVP students follow the same subject syllabi and are assessed in the same way as their peers in the Leaving Certificate. For the Link Modules they are assessed by Written Examination (40%) and by Portfolio of Coursework (60%).  The written examination takes place in May of the Leaving Certificate Year.  The examination is of two and a half hours duration and consists of three sections which are outline below.

The structure of the Written Examination is as follows:

Section A Audio Visual Presentation
Section B Case Study (received in advance by students)
Section C General Questions (4 out of 6)

The Portfolio of Coursework accounts for 60% of total marks. Students assemble the portfolio over the two years of the programme and it is assessed at the end of the final year of the Leaving Certificate.  The Portfolio and Written Examination are externally assessed by the Department of Education & Science.


Curriculum Vitae
Career Investigation
Enterprise/Action Plan
Summary ReportOPTIONAL ITEMS (any   two)Diary of Work Experience
Enterprise Report
Recorded Interview/Presentation
Report on My Own Place


LCVP students receive the same certificate as other Leaving Certificate students but their Certificate includes an additional statement of the results of the Link Modules.

Grades for the Link Modules are as follows:

Grade Per cent
80% – 100%
65% – 79%
50% – 64%


The Link Modules are recognised for points purposes by the Institutes of Technology and the Universities. The points are allocated as follows:

Grade Universities and   Institutes of Technology   Award
70 points
50 points
30 points


Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCA)

LCA Co-ordinator: Mrs Anne McElhinney

What is LCA

Leaving Cert Applied is a two year programme mostly suited to those students who would like an alternative to the Traditional Leaving Certificate programme.  It is aimed at students who would benefit from a more practical Leaving Certificate Programme with a vocational focus and who are not primarily interested in third level education. Assessment is continuous with 66% of marks allocated before the final exam.

LCA Programme Aims & Objectives

  • To focus on the talents of each individual student and help students apply what they learn in the real world.
  • To prepare the student for adult and working life
  • To develop the students communication skills in work and /or social environments.
  • To give students access to further education and training

Work Experience

Students will also go out on Work Experience every Wednesday during the two year period. This is an excellent way to sample different careers so the student will be able to decide what may be the best career for them.  They will gain experience and certification with each placement.

LCA Programme Admissions Policy                                       

Any student who has completed the Junior Certificate can apply to study LCA

Towards the end of February each year students are given a talk by the Head of Department for each Leaving Certificate subject outlining what to expect from the subject at Leaving Certificate level. This information is also given to them in booklet form further detailing the course content & the career implications of taking each subject. The subject choice booklet also contains some information about LCA.

The LCA Coordinator also speaks to all the students at this time outlining the nature and content of LCA. If a student is interested in studying the Applied Leaving Certificate they will be asked to indicate that preference on the subject choice forms.

At the same time all staff are asked to suggest students that they would consider suited to LCA. Following that the coordinator will contact all prospective LCA students and parents and invite them to an information evening in school where they get more information and have the opportunity to ask questions. If any prospective parents or students are not able to attend this meeting they are contacted by the coordinator to arrange a suitable time to meet.

All students applying for LCA are interviewed before places on the programme are allocated.

Overall Programme Resources                                               

LCA have access to a fully equipped Art room, Computer suite, Science Laboratory, Construction Studies room, Metalwork room and Gym.  Funding is available to subsidise activities in the LCA programme such as field trips to the theatre, plays, concerts and other beneficial activities.

Class Organisation                                                                 

All LCA students are in the same class and follow a common curriculum.  Students who are exempt from Irish at Junior Certificate Level are allowed to continue the exemption and have access to learning support at this time. The Learning Support Department processes RACE applications early in 4th Year to apply for readers and / or spelling waivers.  Students with learning difficulties are integrated into the LCA class and also receive extra help in class as the numbers are small.

Assessment Procedures                                                   

Assessment is continuous.  This means that there is no big emphasis on the final exam. However, it also means that you must work to the best of your ability at all times.  Key assignments and attendance are marked together.  In order to gain credits in this way students must complete all key assignments and have over 90% attendance.

Credits are points or marks.  Students can achieve up to 200 credits over the two years.

Credits are gained in 3 ways:

  1. 7 Tasks (projects) x 10 credits = 70 credits.
  2. Attendance and key assignments (homework) = 62 credits.
  3. Final exams = 68 credits.

A Task is a Project.  Students will complete 7 tasks over the   two year period. These are worth 10 credits each. They are as follows:

  • Task in Leisure & Recreation
  • Task in Graphics & Construction studies / Engineering
  • Task in Craft & Design.
  • A career Investigation Task
  • Personal Reflection Task
  • Social Education Task
  • Practical Achievement Task.

A key Assignment is an important piece of work given to by the teacher. Students will complete numerous key assignments each session in each subject.  You gain credits by completing these key assignments.

A session is half a year        Session 1 = Sept – end of Jan

Session 2 = Feb – June              Session 3 and 4 – in Year 2

LCA Credits


Session 1  (Sept-Jan)

Session 2  (Feb-May)

Session 3 (Sept-Jan)

Session 4 (Feb-May)

Awarded   by your teachers for attendance, punctuality, behaviour, attitude and key   assignments.












Final   Exams











Students sit exams in the following subjects:                                    

Irish  –  6 credits   (end of Year 1)
Spanish  – 6 credits (end of year 2)
English – 12 credits
Construction & Graphics / Engineering  – 12 credits
Art & Design – 12 credits
Social Education – 10 credits
Maths – 10 credits

Leaving Cert Applied is awarded at 3 levels:

  • Pass  –          120 – 139 credits.
  • Merit  –        140 – 169 credits.
  • Distinction – 170 – 200 credits.