Mercy Secondary School Inchicore

Leaving Certificate Applied Programme

Programme Coordinator: Fiona Healy

About the programme

After completing Junior Cycle some students choose to apply for the LCA programme. At present this programme is offered every 2nd year in Mercy Secondary School.

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life.

The programme sets out to recognise the talents of all students and to provide opportunities for developing personal responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge. The programme focuses on the talents of each student and helps students apply what they learn to the real world.

This course is ideally suited to students who wish to follow a course aimed at acquiring practical skills, continuous assessment and work experience.

Sample List of Activities/Programmes

Each year we strive to maintain this dynamic and vibrant programme, of which we are so proud. The LCA programme has been a part of this school for many years now, and staff and students, along with the programme coordinator, have created a high standard programme, where the majority of our LCA students progress onto 3rd level education, after achieving exceptional results in their Leaving Certificate.

A different subject variation is offered in LCA to that of the Junior Cycle Programme. A sample list of LCA subjects is as follows:

Vocational Preparation

  • Vocational Preparation and Guidance
  • English and Communications
  • Maths

Vocational Education

  • Hotel Catering and Tourism
  • Childcare
  • Information Technology
  • Social Education
  • Music

General Education

  • Leisure and Recreation
  • Spanish (1 year)
  • Irish (1 year)


  • Science
  • Religion

*Subject to change every 2 years

Along with engaging in these subjects in class, our students have taken part in many extra programmes, some of which include:

  • Business in the Community
  • Work Experience
  • Subject-based class trips
  • College Awareness Week
  • Overnight Outdoor Activity Trips
  • Digital Media projects
  • And many more….

Possible awards

  • Sportsperson of the year
  • Student of the year
  • Academic student of the year
  • Work Experience award
  • Community Spirit award


Much of LCA is activity-based learning with an opportunity for reflection. This entails learning both inside and outside the classroom. Students who are self-motivated, can work hard and attend school regularly will greatly value the LCA programme we offer here in Mercy Secondary School.

Assessment is carried out in LCA on an ongoing basis and can include classroom-based assessment of practical Tasks and written activities, known as Key Assignments.

Formal assessment takes place in the form of:

  • Tasks
  • Key Assignments
  • School Written Exams (Winter and Summer)
  • Final Leaving Certificate exams.

There are 4 sessions over the 2 years, and students will receive official results from the Department of Education at the end of each session. This allows students to keep track of their own progress and learning, and quickly improve on areas that may need some extra attention to ensure success.

YEAR 1 (5th year)

  • Session 1: Sept - January
  • Session 2: January - May

YEAR 2 (6th year)

  • Session 3: Sept - January
  • Session 4: January - May

Students receive grades in the form of ‘Credits’, and these build up over the course of the 2 year programme.

These credits have to be earned through:

  • A: Hard work/ completion of Key Assignments
  • B: Being in school / excellent attendance (90%)
  • C: Tasks /projects

Credit Breakdown

90% Attendance +

Modules (Key Assignments)

62 Credits (31%)

7 Student Tasks

70 Credits (35%)

Final Examinations

68 Credits (34%)


200 credits

LCA Certification


120-139 Credits



140-169 Credits



170-200 Credits


Students who acquire less than 120 credits or who leave the programme early will receive a “Record of Experience”

Work Experience

A huge component of LCA is Work Experience, where students are offered the opportunity to experience the working world and engage with their community as young adults. This component of the programme is assessed through liaising with the employers on an ongoing basis throughout the term.

Work experience takes place one day per week (Tuesday) for the duration of the academic year. Students are required to secure 1 placement per term (2 in total).

Students receive credits for the successful completion of the work experience module.

Student Testimonials

“I really enjoyed my time in the LCA programme. Being in LCA gave me so much experience and helped me to be more organised and time efficient”.

“I chose this program because it is more suitable for me as it allowed me to keep track of my learning over the 2 years. This has made it easier for me to focus and control my work as we were guided throughout by our teachers. I am currently in college studying craft and design, and I will also be attending a barbering course after hours. What I enjoyed most from LCA was the tremendous help from all the teachers and the laughs with my classmates over the years”. (Courtney Farrell, LCA 2020)

A further overview of the programme can be found at the following link:

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Thomas Davis Street West, Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin.
01 453 1262
© 2023 Mercy Secondary School Inchicore