Don't let points race worry you – PLCs are a great route to college
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 necessary points in the Leaving Certificate, there are a large number of post-Leaving Cert (PLC) courses in the area that will assist entry to universities and institutes of technology. These include pre-university science, engineering, computer science etc. 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 in colleges of further education 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. Most PLC 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.
One example in Dublin is computer science at Colaiste Dhulaigh, Dublin, where students can apply for entry to second year of computer science or computing in DIT after completing two years.
Graduates of pre-university science at Dunboyne College of Further Education, Co Meath, may pursue certificate or degree courses in UCD, TCD, DCU, NUI Maynooth, DIT, IT Blanchardstown, UCC as well as other ITs and colleges around the country or in the UK.
Another example is applied science – laboratory techniques at Central College Limerick, which allows students to apply for a number of courses in CIT after graduation.