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Is 3rd level possible without leaving cert?

  • 02-05-2022 4:32pm
    Registered Users Posts: 33 zkaro


    Is there some clear explanation how kids could enter universities in Ireland? (for a foreigner who is just 2 month in Ireland).

    Many modern professions don't require any degree. Knowledge and skills are required.

    Many universities in the EU allow to make entrance exam, and start studying for free and sometimes governments support them with housing/scholarships.

    Selecting a profession at 15yo makes little sense, as people of that age will have 3+ different professions during their life.

    Some of my kids may want to get skills during secondary school and start working right away. Others may have to study based on their first profession choice.


    1. Is it possible to complete secondary education without Leaving cert/exams? In many places, the fact of completing secondary education is required, not the grades.

    2. Is it possible to start in universities in Dublin without leaving cert?

    3. How does the Leaving cert exam work (explanation for dummies) ? E.g. how many subjects, who selects subjects, how it works in a specific school, etc?

     In other words, what kid needs to understand to select studies when he will be starting grade5 of secondary school.

     E.g. could it be 5 different languages, or could it be only natural sciences? When and where does the exam happen?

    4. Any examples of exams for leaving cert for previous years? Just to get an understanding of the format and complexity?


  • Registered Users Posts: 106 ✭✭ ahappychappy

    Citizens information website has an education page. Briefly, access to third level is mostly via leaving cert or an equivalent education from outside the state. Mature students over 23 can access via assessment etc. Each college/ university usually has alternative routes in, some by a further education one year access course. Leaving cert papers are available to buy in book shops. If you have details of where the students are coming from it might be easier to give specific access details. Generally the leaving cert is the most traditional route nowadays a degree is the access point in most sectors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 zkaro

    Please correct me me if I'm wrong. There are 3 ways to complete school.

    Leaving Certificate Exam: 6-8 subjects

    Leaving Certificate Vocational Program Exam: 6-7 subjects

    Leaving Certificate Applied Exam: 5-7 subjects

    One subject is required from each group below:

    Languages group: English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Latin, Greek, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Classical Studies, Hebrew Studies.

    Science group: Applied Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Physics and Chemistry

    Business studies group: Accounting, Business, Economics

    Applied science group: Agricultural Science, Construction Studies, Engineering, Home Economics, Physics and Chemistry, Design and Communication Graphics, Technology, Computer Science, Physical Education

    Social studies group: Art, Geography, History, Home Economics, Music, Politics and Society, Religious Education

    Additionally it is possible to take any of EU languages.

    So when a kid is starting in 5th year (secondary school), he needs to decide what subjects he will try to learn to pass the examination. Available subjects could be selected from ones his school could offer.

    Exams subjects could be selected in February, few months prior to actual exams.

  • Registered Users Posts: 228 ✭✭ Addmagnet

    Personally, I feel the best advice to give a child regarding selecting subjects at school is to choose those that they enjoy the most and/or do well in. Trying to second guess future careers could send them down a blind alley where academic achievement and the world of work is just a tedious slog.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ sadie9

    If you contact your local Education & Training Board (ETB) they have staff there whose job it is to advise on the pathways to college. Might take a while to find the exact right person to talk to when you ring up but stick with it.

    The ETBs also run some schools as well.

    There's also apprenticeships and other schemes available. It may be possible to get onto a PLC (post leaving cert) course with prior learning experience or another Further Education course that can lead to entrance into a college. best of luck with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 152 ✭✭ sekond

    For the standard Leaving Certificate (not sure about LCA or LCVP but they are probably the same), the subjects are two year courses - so while it is possible to select the level of the course in the February of the exam year (and it's actually technically possible to change level on the day of the exam), it would be very rare and extremely difficult to decide to do a subject in February and sit the exam in June (and in some cases completely impossible due to project work etc).

    The Leaving Cert acts as both an ending of school certification, and as a university entrance exam - so means that students don't have to sit two sets of exams, and the higher education institutions don't have to set a range of exams themselves.

    If using the LC as a university entrance exam, Maths and English are compulsory, and for some places Irish also (although for those who haven't been in the country for their primary education, exemptions from Irish are possible). After that subject choice depends on school availability and timetabling, and any specific subject requirements for the courses.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,530 CMod ✭✭✭✭ spurious

    The LCA is a two year course and has assignments and tasks from the very start, so it has to be taken over 2 years. There is also an attendance requirement.

  • Registered Users Posts: 880 ✭✭✭ Lion Killer

    There are things like QQI courses and mature student entry.

    Mature entry is more relaxed. Some universities reserve places for mature students on each course.