Sunday, 20 August, 2017

What Next : What is Second Chance & Further Education?

Post Leaving Certificate/College of Further Education courses (PLCs)


Post Leaving Certificate courses are full-time one/two year programmes of integrated education, training and work experience provided in schools and colleges outside the third level sector.
The courses are offered to school leavers and adults who wish to return to education. The courses are designed to prepare students for work by giving them specific skills and training and also act as a stepping-stone to other third level qualifications. Courses are accredited through the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ). Use the National Learners' Database,, to look at details of different PLC courses. Then apply directly to the school or college offering that course.

Who are PLC Courses for?

They are for:

  • People who have completed senior cycle education, and require further vocational education and training
  • Adults returning to education that may not have completed the senior cycle but have the necessary competencies and capacity to undertake their chosen programme
  • Adults who were unable to enter third level education after leaving school.

When offered a place you may be required to attend an interview.

How much does a PLC course cost? 

With effect from the academic year 2011/2012, a new participant contribution of €200 per year is being introduced.

You do not have to pay the contribution if:

  • You hold a full medical card in your own right
  • You are the dependent child of a full medical card holder
  • You are eligible for exemption under the Maintenance Grants Scheme for Students attending Post Leaving Certificate Courses
  • You are getting Back to Education Allowance or a VTOS allowance

Colleges offering PLC courses usually also have a 'course charge' to cover such expenses as books, uniforms, and exam fees. The amount varies from college to college. Students who are exempted from the participant contribution will still have to pay the course charge.  Contact your local ETB for further information. 

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