The leaving certificate is a two-year course. Subjects are taught at higher and ordinary levels. There are two subject areas, maths and Irish, which are studied at the foundation level. The foundation level is designed to meet the needs of those who are experiencing difficulties with these subjects at the ordinary or higher grade.
Students typically take in the range of 6 or 7 subjects throughout the senior cycle. If they follow the established leaving certificate grinds program students must complete at least five subjects, including Irish.
When choosing to leave certificate subjects, students must consider the subjects required to be able to take the courses at the third level they choose. For instance, a person who wants to be enrolled in a course at any of the universities that comprise the National University of Ireland must be able to meet the minimum entry requirements of 6 subjects. This includes English, Irish, and a third language. A grade of C on a Higher Level exam must be achieved in two of these subjects.
The information on the requirements for each subject for each course at the third level is available at your school Guidance Counsellors. This is an upgraded leaving Certificate program. Students must take at least five Leaving Certificate subjects, i.e. Irish and a modern-day language, and two other subjects should be chosen within the vocational subject grouping.