Course Information

DTC prepares students for the UK's GCE Advanced Level (A Level) school-leaving exam. We are listed on the National Centre Register as a designated Centre for all the Examining Boards in the UK, working with OCR for languages and humanities, AQA for the sciences, and Edexcel (London) for external students and O Levels.

DTC is also recognised as an International Centre for the Edexcel Examining Board (London) and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Through Edexcel & CIE, DTC can offer the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCE) examinations in certain subjects, where these are necessary for university matriculation requirements. Further advice on this is given at interview.

Subject Groupings

Students applying for high-points courses in Irish universities must now choose four subjects. For those applying in the UK or abroad, or for lower-points courses in Ireland, normally only three are required.

AEnglish Literature BAncient History
 History of Art  History
 Languages  Law
 Philosophy  Politics
CBiology DAccounting
 Chemistry  Business
 Maths  Economics
 Physics  Psychology

College Entry

With three or four* good A Level results, you are well placed for entry into Universities in Ireland or the UK.

The principal difference between A Level and the Irish Leaving Certificate is that three to four subjects are taken instead of the six to eight. The points awarded by Irish universities for each full A Level subject are therefore proportionally higher.

Students wishing to pursue a medical or science-related career have an obvious incentive to take three A Level science subjects (four if applying in Ireland), as opposed to repeating the Leaving Certificate. The opportunity to concentrate on their best subjects benefits all.

A-level exams are modularised, with the exams composing an A-level qualification normally taken over a two year period. A Level examinations are shorter, with less pressure on the student over the outcome of each individual paper.

Each subject is now divided into either four or six modular units. Normally two or three units are taken as AS Level (similar to Fifth Year in the Irish system) and two or three at A2 Level (similar to Sixth Year). Each unit can be repeated. Sensible time-tabling avoids students having to sit too many papers within a short space of time.

In addition stress is reduced by lessening the emphasis on examination performance, since in many subjects 20% of the marks are awarded on individual coursework submitted before a May deadline.

*The number of subjects to be taken can vary depending on the third-level course / institution applied for.


We draw upon the experience and expertise of a panel of subject Tutors, from both second- and third-level teaching backgrounds. Several Tutors are OCR Assistant Examiners.

Student to Tutor ratio is kept low, with fewer than ten to a class. Lectures totalling three to five hours weekly are given in each subject, depending on class size and specific AS/A2 requirements.


The Registrar is responsible for all matters relating to the Examining Boards, and has considerable experience in dealing with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) in the UK and the Central Admissions Office (CAO) in Ireland. In the latter case in particular, we can advise on how GCE student requirements are addressed. Guidance, both practical and academic, is given on these often-complicated procedures. References are supplied for the relevant application forms and updated brochures on a wide selection of universities are available.

Student Categories

Circumstance today are such that families in the UK often find themselves re-locating or returning to Ireland. In many cases, a son or daughter may not yet have finished their GCSE or A-Level studies and DTC offers them an opportunity to complete their courses with minimal disruption.

DTC has always had a good representation of overseas students wishing to prepare for the A-Level Examinations. Students from Africa and Asia have integrated well at DTC and have gone on to Universities in Ireland, the UK and elsewhere. We advise prospective students on the procedures for obtaining a Study Visa in Ireland, prepare all necessary letters of acceptance for the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) section of the Department of Justice and Equality of the Irish Government and the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). DTC can also assist with arranging accommodation.

For mature students (23 years old or over) the A-Level Examinations offer both a way into third-level education and a valuable learning experience in itself. Your application to a university may be enhanced by the fact that you have demonstrated an ability to study successfully under a lecture system, particularly if you are combining study with employment. Several subjects can be taken in one year without previous knowledge.

DTC provides GCSE and A-Level facilities for external candidates who wish to sit examinations at DTC, having studied independently elsewhere. Application forms are available on request.

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