Leaving Cert helpdesk: going in through levels 6 and 7

If you do not have enough points for level 8 you can progress to it through another course


These helpdesk questions were asked online by students and parents and answered by guidance counsellors Brian Howard and Deirdre Garrett

I did not get enough points in the Leaving Cert to get into a level 8 degree course in general science. I did not put any level 6/7 courses on my CAO form. Is there any hope in getting onto a level 6/7 PLC now, which could lead to my level 8 degree?

I suggest that you keep an eye on available places on the CAO website. Courses that have places show up here and can be added to your CAO list. Available places will begin to be released from August 18th. You never know, maybe a science level 6/7 could show up here. Look at qualifax.ie to find a science-related course in a PLC of your choice. PLC courses can be used as a progression route into a level 8. Certain conditions will apply to make progression feasible.

Can you tell me what level 8 science courses I can do with DT425 Pharmacy Technician?  

Progression opportunities for further study include pharmacy degrees and pharmaceutical and scientific qualifications in Ireland and elsewhere. Opportunities exist within the school to transfer to an honours degree in Pharmaceutical Healthcare. Recent evidence suggests that, in addition to offers of pharmacy study in the UK, graduates are also being interviewed to study BSc Pharmacy in Ireland.

I got an E in maths. For the CAO offers, will they look through all my options because I only have two level 6/7 courses that apply to me as both these in DIT have the compensation rule for getting E in maths. Will they offer that?

They will providing that you meet the cut-off points. You will also need 1HC3 and 1HB3 or 3HC3 in order to avail of the compensation rule.

Is it possible to transfer to a level 8 course from a level 6/7 course? Do you have to complete the two years needed or can you transfer after a year by carrying points and so on? How does the transfer system work or the requirements?  

Transferring courses either internally in a college or externally is a bit of a minefield.  Each application is considered individually by each college and a number of factors have to be taken into account.  Colleges vary in how they approach transfers.  The general rule of thumb for internal transfers is that you must have got the points originally for the course you are hoping to transfer into.

The norm for level 6/7 courses is to complete the first qualification and then apply to continue on to the next, higher, qualification.  This is generally called the ladder system of progression where add-on qualifications are used to build up from a level 6/7 to a level 8 honours degree.  If you have a specific college in mind and specific courses, it might be no harm speaking to the admissions office of that college to get their views and policy on transfers.