What are PLC courses?

Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are designated as Further Education and Training. As such they offer opportunities to both recent Leaving Certificate graduates and mature students to acquire additional skills and training in various vocational areas. Applicants often choose PLC courses to gain relevant industry experience through the work experience component. To investigate different work practices and gain extensive employment skills and training to enhance their employment opportunities and as a potential progression route to Third level education.

They are designed for people seeking employment and those who wish to progress to third level courses. The programmes currently being offered in this college are categorised as Level 5 and Level 6.

Entry Requirements?

  • It is desirable that applicants hold their Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied or equivalent with grade D or higher in at least 5 subjects. Any Recognised Prior Learning will also be taken into consideration. (Mature students may be exempted from these requirements)
  • Students must be a minimum of 17 years of age at the time of registration and 18 years of age by the 1st of January of that particular academic year.
  • A skills assessment / interview may be required for some individual courses. Please contact the course coordinator for more information. If a student does meet specific requirements for courses, any deposit paid will be refunded
  • All level 6 courses must attend for interview
  • Applicants may be called for skills assessment / interview in May, August or September
  • Places on PLC courses are allocated on the basis of a combination but not entirely or exclusively; examination results, interview where applicable, RPL and upon courses reaching their designated quota. Students who do not receive an offer may be placed on a waiting list


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  • All our full time day courses are QQI level 5 & 6 certified.
  • Students who are successful in the examinations of the various bodies are issued with the relevant certificates.
  • Galway Community College reserves the right to hold all certification until all fees are paid.
  • All PLC courses in Galway Community College are designed to meet the certification requirements of QQI.

How to Apply?

Applicants should apply on-line at www.galwaycc.ie. Early application is advised, as the number of places on all courses is limited.

Can I go to University or an Institute of Technology from a PLC course in GCC?

Students who successfully complete courses at GCC may gain entry to Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) through the QQI Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) and the Pilot scheme which is based on the QQI points scoring system (see below).

Certain Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) also reserve a quota of places in specific courses for applicants presenting QQI level 5/6 awards. Such applicants are assessed separately from all other applicants and may apply in particular to some University programs, depending on achieving certain grades in particular modules (see below).

Successful completion of a Level 5 Award may also lead students into QQI level 6 awards in GCC, or other centres, which may in turn allow for direct entry to some HEI’s. This process is by direct application to the particular HEI’s and is solely at their discretion. Currently GCC students can apply to progress into second year of some HEI’s programs of which the most current and up-to-date information is available on the QQI link at www.cao.ie.

A useful source of information pertaining to these courses is available on the course search facility at www.qualifax.ie.

Applicants must have obtained a full QQI Level 5/6 Award for progression to Third Level; a Component Certificate will not suffice.

Certain courses may require a Distinction in specific modules within the QQI level 5/6 award, and certain courses may require a number of Distinctions, e.g. 5 Distinctions (See HEI prospectuses for details of such specific requirements).

Will some Higher Education Courses require specific modules/components?

QQI level 5/6 awards are made up of a number of modules with different sets of modules leading to different awards (Full or Component Certificate). Some courses require specific awards and it is important to know which awards are accepted for entry to these courses. Details are shown in the HEI’s prospectus or in the QQI Guide to the Higher Education Links Scheme www.qqi.ie.

What is a Full Award at PLC level?

All HEI’s consider only the best 8 Modules in a single Award for the calculation of points. Different points are awarded by different institutions for Distinction, Merit and Pass grades at PLC Level. If an applicant has the correct award linked to the HEI course in question, then the points for the best 8 modules are added together to give a Points Score for ranking purposes (for full details, consult www.qqi.ie ). Note that a full QQI Major Award normally contains 8 modules. A Major Award may be accumulated over more than one academic year. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant to apply to QQI for a major award where courses are taken over more than one year.