Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme


Ireland's Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) is a Leaving Certificate with a strong vocational aspect.

The programme consists of Leaving Certificate subjects, together with three compulsory link modules on enterprise education, preparation for work and work experience. Students must take at least 5 Leaving Certificate subjects, one of which must be Irish and a continental language or vocational language module.

The link modules

The link modules are activity-based. They usually take a total of 2 to 3 class periods per week, compared with a Leaving Certificate subject, which generally takes 4 to 5 class periods in a week.

The subject groupings

The subject groupings put regular Leaving Certificate subjects that complement each other into groupings. There are 2 groupings:

  • Specialist groupings, in which the subject content of each subject is helpful to the other
  • Services groupings, where the subjects might work well together from a business or commercial point of view

Students must take 2 subjects from these groupings.

Assessment and examinations

The Leaving Certificate subjects are examined through the standard Leaving Certificate examination.

The link modules are assessed in a written examination representing 40% of total marks and a portfolio of coursework representing 60% of total marks.


Students receive the same certificate as other Leaving Certificate students, but their Leaving Certificate includes an additional statement of the results of the link modules (pass, merit or distinction).

Access to further study with the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme

The programme gives students the same opportunity to proceed to universities and colleges as the students taking the Established Leaving Certificate.

A new grading scheme for the Leaving Certificate was introduced in 2017. The new scheme means that the Common Points Scale used by the CAO to determine entry into higher education institutions, has also been revised.

From 2017, institutes of technology and the universities recognise the link modules as follows:

Distinction: 66 points

Merit: 46 points

Pass: 28 points

You can read more on transition.ie.

COVID-19 and the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme

Schools reopened at the start of the new school year (pdf) - end of August 2020

The postponed Leaving Certificate 2020 examinations will start on Monday, 16 November 2020, subject to public health advice. This includes the Leaving Certificate Established, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) and the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA). All exams will be written only, except for 5 subjects where coursework completed before schools closed will be marked and included. The written exams will be based on the normal question paper format, content and structure.

The 5 subjects where coursework will be graded and included are:

  • Home Economics (already marked by the SEC)
  • LCVP Portfolio
  • Design and Communication Graphics
  • Physical Education (PE) Physical Activity Project
  • Engineering

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will publish detailed information about the exam timetable, logistics and how you can apply to sit an exam.

You can get calculated grades for the link modules of the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme. Read more about calculated grades and the Leaving Certificate.

If you sit any written exams in a subject and also got a Calculated Grade in that subject, you will be awarded the higher grade of the two.

Leaving Certificate 2020-2021

The Government has announced changes to some assessments for the 2020-2021 Leaving Certificate Programmes. Students will have greater choice in written exams and some mandatory sections on written exam papers will be adjusted. Coursework briefs will be delivered sooner to give more preparation time and the practical exam requirements in some subjects will be adjusted.

You can find the details of subject and module changes in the Department of Education’s Assessment Arrangements for Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate Examinations 2021.

Exam fees

There will be no exam fee for 2020. The State Examinations Commission has refunded students who paid exam fees.


The LCVP examination fees 2021 will be published in early 2021 on the State Examinations Commission website.

The fee for entry for school-based students sitting the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme in 2020 was €116. You can get further information on state examination fees.

However, due to the COVID-19 emergency, there is no exam fee for the Leaving Certificate 2020. Leaving Certificate exam fees have been refunded. Read more about Leaving Certificate exam fees and COVID-19.

Candidates who hold a current medical card or who are dependent on a parent or guardian who holds a current medical card are exempt from paying examination fees. Applicants who are claiming exemption from fees on this basis must provide medical card details to the Commission. Applications from external candidates received after 28 January 2020 are subject to late fees even if the initial fee has been waived.

How to apply

If you are a post-primary school student, your details will be sent to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) by your school. If you are an external (non-school) candidate for the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, you can apply online by completing the application form available on the SEC website.

You can find the following documents on State Examinations Commission website.

Where to apply

State Examinations Commission


Tel: (090) 644 2700
Fax: (090) 644 2744
Page edited: 4 September 2020