PLCs can offer a route to college - and no worries about points
With the rise in popularity of STEM careers over the last number of years we have also seen a rise in CAO points.
For students who are interested in taking STEM courses at third level, but are concerned about achieving the high points associated with many of degree programmes, there are a large number of courses in the further education/ post-Leaving Certificate (FE/PLC) area that can act as a platform for entry to universities and institutes of technology (IT). These include pre-university science, pre-university engineering, computer science.
PLC courses accept students with a minimum of five passes at Leaving Cert or a Leaving Cert applied qualification and an interview. They are available all over the country and offer students the opportunity to compete for university and IT places based on what they have achieved in a relevant course.
They are a boon to students who have not decided exactly what they want to do at third-level, or who may come up shy on points for their preferred CAO choices.
Most PLCs courses open for application in January. They have no official closing date and will continue to meet students and offer places until the course and waiting lists are full.
These course are, however, extremely popular at the moment and will fill up quickly, so early application is recommended.
* Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin