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Junior Cycle

Options After the Junior Cycle

In Beech Hill College, we offer a 3 year Senior Cycle. All students are encouraged to do Transition Year and then progress to The Established Leaving Certificate or The Vocational Leaving Certificate.

Some students may opt to progress to The Applied Leaving Certificate from the Junior Cycle. Guidance counsellors consult with parents regarding this decision.

Transition Year

Transition Year

We are delighted to offer a 3 year Leaving Certificate Cycle in Beech Hill College. Every student will be strongly encouraged to complete Transition Year following Junior Cycle.

Transition Year is a bridging year between the Junior and Leaving Certificate Cycles. It allows students to begin study in the subjects that they will sit in the Leaving Certificate examination. Students will also engage in many useful activities which are not examination related and which they would not have the opportunity to follow if they had begun the Leaving Cert. Programme immediately after the Junior Cert. Modules as computing, work experience, drama, music and debating are common features of many Transition Year programmes. These help to broaden the students' horizons as well as providing them with many worthwhile skills.

The principal advantages of the Transition Year programme are:

* It gives students an extra year at school. This means that students are more mature when they have the Leaving Cert completed.

* It is a year relatively free from pressure.

* It allows students to pursue activities which they would not ordinarily have the opportunity.

* Students who follow the Transition Year programme do better on average in the Leaving Certificate than those who study the normal five-year course.

Leaving Certificate

The Established Leaving Certificate Programme

Those who opt for this programme will take 7 subjects: Irish, English and Maths are compulsory and the students themselves choose the other 4 subjects. This is a two-year programme and is suitable for those who wish to follow a third-level course in the future.


List of Optional Leaving Certificate Examination Subjects in Beech Hill College;

  1. Accountancy

  2. Agricultural Science 

  3. Art

  4. Biology

  5. Business

  6. Construction Studies

  7. Engineering

  8. French

  9. Geography

  10. History

  11. Home Economics (Social and Scientific)

  12. Music

  13. Physics

  14. Technical Graphics

  15. L.C.V.P. Module

Established Leaving Certificate

Vocational Leaving Certificate

This programme is very similar to the established Leaving Certificate curriculum. Students take 7 subjects, 3 being compulsory and 4 being optional. One of the optional subjects must be a foreign language. In addition, students study link modules on Enterprise Education, Preparation for Work and undergo a week's work experience in the locality. The universities and other third-level institutions award points for the successful completion of these modules.

The Vocational Leaving Certificate programme is suitable for those who wish to go on to third-level or enter the world of work after completing second level. In short, the Vocational Leaving Certificate programme is really the Established Leaving Certificate programme plus the link modules.

Vocational Leaving Certificate

The Applied Leaving Certificate

The Leaving Certificate Applied curriculum is a relatively new programme. It is geared to those who are principally interested in entering the world of work at the end of second level. Like the other Leaving Cert. programmes, it is a 2 year course. The emphasis, however, is focused on three special areas:

  • Preparation for work.

  • General Education.

  • Vocational Education.

Students are assessed continuously over two years and are awarded credits for the successful completion of modules and prescribed tasks. The final examination occurs at the end of two years and accounts for approximately one third of the total credits. Students who obtain 60-69% of credits are awarded a Pass; those who receive 70-84% are given a Merit, while those who receive 85-100% are entitled to a distinction.

Applied Leaving Certificate
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