Demand for post-Leaving Certificate courses increases


News reporter


News reporter


Cavan Institute

Hospitality students putting a final touch on deserts. Employment opportunities in the Hospitality sector are very strong.

With the Leaving Cert results and CAO offers out this week, Cavan Institute’s Director, Ms Ann Marie Lacey offers some advice to students and their parents who are still considering their options.

The Director of Cavan Institute stated that demand for Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses at Cavan Institute has gone up by almost 10% from last year, reflecting a continuing confidence that students and their parents have in the PLC sector.

Progression for everyone regardless of CAO points

“Whether its progression to Level 8 degree courses in Universities and Institutes of Technology or finding a course that leads you directly into employment, there are options for all students who have just received their Leaving Certificate results,” said Ms Lacey.

“There are also financial considerations both students and parents in choosing the correct course,” according to Ms Lacey.

“There are many paths to your chosen career and you should take time to reflect on what you really want to study and whether there are realistic career opportunities at the end of the course.”

It is important that students do not panic. Regardless of your Leaving Certificate results and COA points, there is a route for everyone towards their chosen career path. At this time, many students will be faced with an offer of a course they may be unsure about. They may be worried about the cost of going to college and living away from home and the job opportunities that the course will lead to, so it is more important than ever to take the time to consider all options.

Reserved places for PLC Students

“The PLC route into higher education is a fantastic option for many students for a number of reasons,” stated Ms Lacey.

Many students are still unsure about their career path and the courses offered at Cavan Institute allows them both time and space to reflect on their chosen areas and at the same time gain valuable qualifications at Level 5 and Level 6 on the National Qualifications Framework.

Students who are considering their options at the moment should take into account that they can use points from a PLC course as an alternative to repeating their Leaving Certificate. Universities and Institutes of Technology hold reserved places for PLC students who are offered places on Round 0, before offers are made to Leaving Certificate Students.

Some students will exceed their expectations and others will be disappointed with their results. Some students will find their options restricted because of their subject choice. The ever changing points system has implications for all Leaving Certificate students.

“It is important that you are ready to take that next step, a year exploring a career you didn’t previously consider may help you decide regardless of the fact your points permits you to aim higher than you planned.”

Ms Lacey also stressed that some students may receive an offer of a place on a course they hadn’t really considered. “On the CAO list with 10 choices, some students may receive an offer of a course down their list and one that they aren’t really sure of – it is important to seriously consider whether it is the course for you,” says the Cavan Institute Director.

Links to Degree Courses

“All courses at Cavan Institute offer an alternative route to a number of degrees, for example, Science and Music courses at Cavan Institute are linked with relevant degree programmes at NUI Maynooth while the Business and Computer courses are linked with similar courses in Athlone, Dundalk or Sligo Institutes of Technology. There is an established route for students who complete the Pre-Nursing course at Cavan Institute into Nursing degree programmes throughout Ireland and the UK, while the Childcare and Social Care courses also have well established links with degree programmes in Ireland and the UK.

Cavan Institute also offers Year 1 of the Applied Social Studies Degree Programme (with AIT) and Year 1 of the General Science Degree (with IT Sligo). Students apply directly to Cavan Institute for these programmes and a limited number of places are still available on both courses.

“It is also important to point out that while many students use a PLC programme as an alternative route to Higher Education, a substantial number of courses lead directly to employment. In many cases, there have been close to 100% employment progression for students from courses such as beauty therapy, hairdressing and hospitality,” stated Ms Lacey.

Parent Information Evening

To assist parents, and indeed, students with their course choices and options, Cavan Institute will be holding a Parent and Student Information Evening on Monday, August 19 at 7.30pm in Cavan Institute, Cathedral Road, Cavan.

Information will be available on all courses at Cavan Institute, including progression and career opportunities. There will also be information on finance, including SUSI grants, Back to Education Allowance and VTOS.

Open Day

Cavan Institute will also be holding an Open Day on Wednesday, August 21. Information will be available on vacant places for courses starting this September. Students can register on the day for any courses that still have vacant places.

Further information at