Daniel Keating gives readers information based on Post Leaving Cert courses and discusses his study through a Post Leaving Cert to a Masters at University.
The further education sector in Ireland is stronger than ever and offers great opportunities for students to progress. One of those opportunities on offer is a Post Leaving Cert course (PLC).
 
A PLC course can get you back on track to that dream career. How do I know? I am speaking from experience; a guy that is just heading into their second semester of MA Journalism at the University of Limerick. It wasn’t all academic greatness for me in school; I’ll be honest, I struggled and that’s ok. Everyone has their ups and downs, that’s life isn’t it?
 
I didn’t get the points I wanted in my Leaving Cert and I still remember the day of opening those results and thinking that it was the worst day of my life and that I had no future. Now that I think back on it, I question what I based my evidence on and it was probably mostly anxiety . I never thought six years later I would be completing my Masters at one of the best Universities in Ireland.
 
So what exactly is a PLC Course?
A PLC course is a one to two-year course that can provide you with a Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Level five or Level six certificate, which can be transferred into CAO points just like the Leaving Certificate. Some colleges have a partnership with local IT’s and Universities that once you have completed the course you can transfer to a Diploma or Degree. Many graduates have gone on to enjoy prosperous careers thanks to their PLC course.
 
Who’s completing them?
According to Quality and Qualifications Ireland, over 280,000 people have achieved an award with a 50/50 percent rate between male and female. The majority of these were between the ages of 20 and 24. In 2016, awards in the service industry come out on top followed by health and welfare.
 
How do I apply?
If you are considering completing a PLC course, it's best practice to contact your guidance counsellor who can guide you towards a course that would best suit your needs. Websites like a Qualifiax are great to give you information on PLC course and how to apply. Calling into your local College of Further Education or attending an open day would also be advised.
 
What is the Cost of PLC courses?
The cost of the course can differ depending on materials needed and the type course you are doing. The admissions page of your chosen college should lists fees per course. If not, you should contact the admissions office at the college.
 
Are there grants available?
The good news is there are and it is best to get your application in a soon as possible. Applications can be made to Student Universal Support Ireland(SUSI). It states on their website that if you are entitled to receive a maintenance grant on the bases of reckonable income, you will be exempt from paying the PLC contribution fee.
 
Can I apply after receiving my Leaving Cert results?
Some colleges offer what’s called second round applications; any spaces that have not been filled are offered to late applicants once they meet the requirements of passing the Leaving Certificate and complete an interview. If you are applying as a second round applicant, you have to act quickly as applications can close not long after the Leaving Cert Results are released.
My story is proof a Post Leaving Cert course can get your dream career back on track.
 
I started my third level education at a local College of Future Education studying Business Studies which I thought would be a good choice at the time. I always wanted to study Drama or English as I had no interest in scientific or mathematic subjects.
 
After completing my PLC course, I graduated in to a Higher Certificate in Business Studies at the local Institute of Technology. From there I graduated into a level eight in Digital Media, Marketing and Advertising and now I am completing a MA Journalism at the University of Limerick.
 
It’s a long route, but I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. I’ve learned so much and wouldn’t be where I am today without my PLC course.