What type of courses can I do after my Leaving Cert?

For most careers and profession some sort of extra qualifications are required. To get some of these qualifications means going on to college.

PLC – Post Leaving Cert courses,

offer a qualification in their own right, they are part of the Further Education Sector.  Plus they can provide another progression route on to IT and some other courses,

For a selection of PLC’s see Qualifax                                                                                                            You apply for these courses directly to the individual PLC colleges and you are interviewed for a place.

ITs (Institutes of Technology) and University courses –

you have to apply though the CAO – Central Application Office.

See CAO for further details and deadline dates – your school and guidance counsellor can help you with these options.

Studying in the UK

UCAS – central organisation for entry to UK college/university courses – has a section for international and EU students – www.ucas.ie – your school and guidance counsellor can also help you with this application process.


The apprenticeship will involve both off-the-job training and on-the-job training at your employer’s workplace. An apprenticeship generally lasts for 4 years, during which time you will spend 3 different periods in off-the job training, totalling 40 weeks in all.

This training will take place in a SOLAS Training Centre or in an educational college. Each apprenticeship programme is based on specific skills and standards of that particular field. In order to pass their apprenticeship, the apprentice must meet these standards.
Once an apprentice has passed through their apprenticeship, they may then be eligible for further study on a related degree provided by ITs around the country.

Financial Support for College

Financial support for going to college including PLC, IT and University courses.
The main source is the Maintenance grant administered by SUSI–Student Universal  Support Ireland. It’s means tested and based on your family income. See SUSI for more details on how to apply for this. If you are successful your fees are normally paid and for some courses you also get a monthly allowance.

Additional supports to help you get to college

(HEAR) The Higher Education Access Route

This is a college and university scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college support to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland. HEAR has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that socio-economic disadvantage can have a negative effect on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college. HEAR Applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators to be considered for a reduced points place and extra college support – for more information see HEAR

(DARE) The Disability Access Route to Education

This is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.  DARE offers reduced points places to school leavers who as a result of having a disability have experienced addition educational challenges in second level education. DARE has been set up by a number of colleges and universities as evidence shows that disability can have a negative impact on how well a student does at school and whether they go on to college.