Senior Cycle Programmes

Established Leaving Certificate

Selecting the right subject and at the right level is a critical task when deciding on your Leaving Certificate options.

Selecting the wrong choice may lead to students finding their path to third level is restricted as they do not have the right subject required for entry to their chosen course.1SCHISTCL

The decision has long term consequences on what careers are open to you. A decision to drop all
science subjects or continental languages will have major implications on the range of careers open to you later on.

If a student is making subject choices and has not yet decided what career they wish to follow after school, it is advisable to keep all their options open by taking a science and continental language subject from among their four optional subjects.

Core Subjects (Mathematics, Irish and English)

Mathematics is a requirement for a great number of jobs and courses. In terms of jobs, employers look for numeracy skills in all areas, including apprenticeships, nursing and the Guards.

Leaving Certificate students who pass higher-level maths will be rewarded with 25 CAO bonus points for university entry from 2012. The bonus will be a standard 25, giving students 70 points for a higher level D3 up to a maximum of 125 for an A1.

The participating institutions are: DCU, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, UCC, UCD, Trinity College, the University of Limerick, the Royal College of Surgeons, and all Institutes of Technology.

1SC-HISDIT have announced that students getting an ‘E’ grade at higher level maths will be considered to have passed for the 2012 examinations.

There are many Level 8 degree programmes you can’t take if you don’t get a minimum of C3 in higher-level maths; engineering, computer science, science, information and computer technology courses and most degrees that include maths as a core subject.

From a careers perspective, students considering a career in any area of science, medicine, engineering, business, or finance should be studying higher level maths if at all possible, as large portions of the higher level course will be reviewed or assumed at third level. There are of course many other careers and courses which benefit from a knowledge of higher level maths.

A pass in ordinary level maths is essential for entry to the majority of courses. Passing ordinary level maths is extremely important, as the majority of CAO courses require at least a D3; and students who don’t meet this requirement are often left with few to no third level education options.

There is a growing number of colleges and courses that offer places to students who secure a minimum of a grade A or B in maths at Foundation level.

Whatever you do over the next two years, don’t neglect your studies in this subject.

Irish is a core subject you must study unless you have an exemption. Irish is a requirement for entry into the NUI (National Colleges of Ireland: UCD, UCG, UCC and Maynooth). You need a C or better in higher level Irish to qualify for the four Primary School Colleges in the country. Irish may be used to satisfy the requirement of a modern language for entry into Trinity College, and as a language other than English for entry to DCU and UL.

English is required for most Universities. Anyone who has ambitions for a career in creative writing, journalism, politics, or entertainment or students looking to develop and improve their communication skills should consider higher level. This is a good higher-level subject for the average student, provided they are prepared to read extensively. Strong written expression is required in achieving a good result.

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Foreign Languages (German or French)

The colleges of the National University of Ireland require a pass in a third language for entry into a large number of their courses. These colleges are NUI Maynooth, Dublin, Galway and Cork. It is also a requirement for Home Economics teacher training in Sligo, Religious Education training at Mater Dei, Shannon College of Hotel Management, Royal college of Surgeons and National College of Art and Design (art or 3rd language). A third language is also a requirement for entry into the cadetship in the army or air corps.

A third language must be included for arts, human sciences, law, social science, commerce, 1SC-COOKmedicine and health sciences and some other degrees.

In recent years NUI colleges have dropped their third language requirement for engineering and science programmes. UCD has also dropped it for their agricultural programmes. Nursing at NUI colleges never required a third language.

TCD accepts Irish as a second language requirement. UL, DCU, National College of Ireland, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art & Design & technology, The Burren College of Art, the Primary Teacher Training Colleges and the Institutes of Technology do not require a continental language for entry purposes to most of their courses.

Remember this information is subject to change, continued observation is needed on course requirements. Consult University/College website/prospectus for updates.

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Subject Choice

Students must then choose from the range of subjects offered at Our Lady’s Bower, consult senior cycle option link.

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (L.C.V.P.)

  • Combination of established Leaving Certificate with two additional Link Modules:

Link Module 1: Preparation for the World of Work

Students research and investigate local employment opportunities, develop job seeking skills, e.g. cover letter, CV, interview techniques etc, gain practical experience of the world of work, interview and work shadow a person in a career that interests them.

Link Module 2: Enterprise Education

Students are involved in organising visits to local business and community enterprises, interview enterprising people, plan and undertake enterprising activities that build self – confidence, creativity, initiative and develop teamwork, communication and computer skills.

  • Link Modules are assessed by a 40% written exam and a 60% Portfolio of Coursework
  • Points awarded:
    • Distinction 70 points
    • Merit 50 points
    • Pass 30 points
  • Distinction in LCVP is equivalent to obtaining a C1 at higher level on a Leaving Certificate paper.

Subject Choice Requirements to do LCVP

  • A European language (French or German)
  • Irish (Exemptions may apply)
  • 2 subjects from the Vocational Subject Groupings

Subject Groupings for LCVP at Our Lady’s Bower

  • Home Economics & Biology
  • Home Economics & Art
  • Accounting or Business or Economics (any two)
  • Physics & Chemistry
  • Biology & Chemistry
  • Biology & Physics
  • Home Economics & Business & Accounting or Economics
  • Art & Business or Accounting or Economics
  • Music & Business or Accounting or Economics

Consult the SLSS website for full list of Vocational Subject Groupings!