Senior cycle education in Ireland may be of two or of three year’s duration. The difference is accounted for by students choosing to take an optional Transition Year in the first year of senior cycle, before they follow the two-year Leaving Certificate programme.
A majority of students take the Leaving Certificate (Established) — the traditional terminal examination in post-primary education in Ireland. Students normally choose 6 to 8 subjects from the list of approved subjects.
Students following the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) take 6 or 7 Leaving Certificate subjects and two additional Link Modules: Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education.
Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) students follow a self-contained pre-vocational programme made up of a range of courses that are structured round three elements: Vocational Preparation, Vocational Education and General Education.
Senior Cycle Developments
Senior cycle education underwent significant change during the 1990s and is currently the subject of a major review by the NCCA aimed at planning for its future development. This review identifies reform in the areas of school culture, curriculum re-structuring and re-balancing and changes in assessment provision as the basis for developments in the years to come.