Thursday, 25th April 2019


The Irish Leaving Certificate is the certificate of secondary education in the Republic of Ireland, preparing students for immediate entry into the working world and their chosen career path.

It normally takes two years to prepare for, between the ages of 16 and 18. Students typically study between six and eight subjects, with only the highest six subject grades being counted at the end. Thirty four subjects are offered within the Irish Leaving Certificate.

Subjects covered in the qualification

There are five groups of study encompassing the total number of subjects:

  • Applied Science
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Business Studies
  • Languages
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Access into higher education

Candidates who wish to enter university, are recommended to take seven subjects and the inclusion of Irish is compulsory.

Examinations can be taken at three levels – Foundation, Ordinary and Higher – with Highers attracting the highest number of points.

For more information on Irish Leaving Certificates and the Irish Education System please follow the below link:

Leaving Certificate Programmes