Senior Cycle


Please click on the link below to view an explanatory video on all of our options subjects available at senior cycle in PCH. Please note that the availability of subject options is dependent on demand. resources and staffing


The Leaving Certificate Programme

All students take the following subjects to examination level:

1.        Irish*
2.        English
3.        Maths

* Except those in receipt of a DES exemption


In addition to the core subjects above, students select three additional subjects from a list of options. The options offered are based on choice of each group of in-coming Fifth Year students and are designed to satisfy the choices of the maximum number of students where possible. The current subjects we offer at senior cycle are as follows:

History Geography German French
Business Accounting Home
Biology Chemistry Applied
Construction Studies Design
and Communication Graphics
Music Economics
Economics Physics Spanish


Students also have timetabled classes in the following non-examination subjects:
Physical Education, Religion (incorporating RSE in Fifth and Sixth Year) and Guidance.


The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme

An option available to students at this level is to undertake the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) as a full school subject.

Spread over two years, the LCVP combines the academic strengths of the established Leaving Certificate with a new and dynamic focus on enterprise, the world of work, information technology and languages. It promotes the skills and qualities of self-reliance, innovation and enterprise in an integrated programme that will prove relevant to the lives of students on leaving school for further education, for employment and for self-employment.


Leaving Certificate Applied

The Leaving Certificate Applied programme is a two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life.

The programme sets out to recognise the talents of all students and to provide opportunities for developing personal responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge, and helps students apply what they learn to the real world.

The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called sessions. Achievement is credited in each session. Courses are offered in three main areas: Vocational Preparation; General Education; and Vocational Education.



Assessment takes place on the completion of modules, and there is also a final examination in each of the following areas:

  • English and Communication
  • Two vocational specialisms
  • Mathematical Applications
  • Language
  • Social Education

Students who successfully complete the programme are awarded a Leaving Certificate from the Department of Education and Science. The certificate is awarded at three levels: Pass; Merit; and Distinction.