An overview of PLC pathway from our Adult Educational Guidance and Information Service.

If you applied to CAO as a school leaver or a mature student then the deed is done, the choices are made and the deadline passed. Have you made the correct choices, will you get the points? These questions lead applicants to consider PLCs as the August back up.  A PLC is far more than a back- up, it may be the smarter stepping stone to success. Students may opt to go directly to third level to follow friends, meet parental and teacher expectations or simply because it is the perceived next step. Each year over 6,000 students drop out, almost 15% of first years. This may be due to poor course choice, academic issues or simply taking the leap too soon. A PLC course may be the smart stepping stone to successful transition to third level. 

After two years of study for the Leaving Certificate (sometimes in subjects you didn’t enjoy) you secure your CAO points and go to college. If you have researched carefully, you will know your course content but, if you haven’t researched then you may be surprised or worse, overwhelmed by the course content. Who knew that computer science was more than playing a PS4 or that science had so much maths? What exactly is critical thinking, referencing and plagiarism? Words which may strike fear in many a first year student, whether they are a school leaver or a mature student. The other scenario is that you didn’t get a CAO course and are now wondering what to do. Consider a PLC, every year colleges have unfilled PLC pathway places.

PLC - Smart Stepping Stone




Develop Confidence. Research Skills. SUSI Maintance.
Communication and Presentation Skills. Academic Writing. BTEA (eligible applicants).
Self Directed Learning Skills. Referencing Skills. Direct entry to 2nd year of college from some Level 6 courses, reducing college courses by over €3000.
Ongoing Career Guidance Support. IT Skills. Many PLCs lead to full-time employment.
Relevant Work Experience. Links to higher education scheme opens the route to high points courses e.g.Commerce - UCD, Science, TCD.

A PLC offers a chance to prepare, to focus on a specific area, to research and for mature students to reconnect with education. Science for example offers biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, communications, laboratory skills and a minimum of 10 days on a relevant work placement. You will realise science can lead to the study of agricultural science, food science, biochemistry, biomedical or indeed clinical measurement science. A PLC allows you to make an informed decision for your future. PLCs are available nationwide across various disciplines including Business, Healthcare, Engineering, Science, I.T, Art, Nursing Studies, Social Studies, Childcare, Digital Creative Media, Sport & Recreation, Hair & Beauty, Hotel & Restaurant Skills and Security.

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