Most Senior Cycle students in Ireland choose the established Leaving Certificate. The established Leaving Certificate is a two-year programme, containing a range of distinct subjects. Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level. Two subjects, Irish and Mathematics, can be studied at Foundation Level. Foundation Level is geared to the needs of students who might have difficulty with those subjects at Ordinary or Higher Level.
Students normally study six or seven subjects during the Senior Cycle. If they are following the established Leaving Certificate programme they must take at least five subjects, including Irish. In choosing Leaving Certificate subjects, students should take note of subjects that they may need for the third-level courses of their choice. For example, a student who hopes to get a place on a course at one of the universities that make up the National University of Ireland must meet a minimum entry requirement of 6 subjects, including English, Irish and a third language, two of which must be at Grade C on a Higher Level paper.
The school guidance counsellor will have the information about the subject requirements for each third-level course.Details of course requirements can also be found on the Irish National Courses Database, www.qualifax.ie. About 12,500 students leave school in Ireland each year without the Leaving Certificate. The legal age school-leaving age in Ireland is 16 years.
The majority who sit for the Leaving Certificate examination are 17 or 18 years of age and have completed 5 or 6 years of post-primary education. Performance of participants in the examination can be used for purposes of selection into employment, and into further and higher education
In all, 34 Leaving Certificate subjects are available to schools. Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level, although two subjects, Irish and mathematics, can also be studied at Foundation Level. In addition to the subjects listed below, the State Examinations Commission will provide examinations in any of the recognised languages of the European Union, where the status of the applicant/candidate is seen as appropriate.
Marks between 100% to 30% are divided into seven grade bands (1-7). Each band is 10% wide. The new scheme means that the Common Points Scale used by the CAO to determine entry into higher education institutions, has also been revised. Read More
Source: copyright Irish Government Website, Oasis
and NCCA Curriculum on line website – www.curriculumonline.ie