Transition Year

The Transition Year (TY) is a one-year programme taken after Junior Cycle and before the two-year Leaving Certificate programme.

General Information On Transition Year:

  • It is designed to act as a bridge between the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate programmes
  • It is available to all second-level schools and currently some 550 schools offer the programme
  • Transition Year may be optional or mandatory for students depending on the school’s policy
  • Each school designs its own Transition Year programme, within set guidelines, to suit the needs and interests of its students
  • In establishing its own distinctive programme content, the school takes into account the possibilities offered by local community interests


There is no state examination at the end of Transition Year. Assessment is usually carried out on an ongoing basis and can include school-based assessment of projects or portfolios, oral, aural, practical and written activities.

Evaluation of activities such as work experience or community service will often involve the providers or hosts of such activities.
Some modules may have their own assessment arrangements.

Transition Units:

New courses, called transition units, are currently being developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), in collaboration with teachers and other agencies. Some of the modular options developed by the NCCA include units on human rights, global development, cultural and language studies, arts, sports, and many others topics.

To do, or not to do?

Some schools don’t offer the choice but when they do you may wish to balance up the pros and cons to see whether engaging in a Tranisition Year programme would be of benefit to your young person. The following websites provide some information on Transition Year to help you and your family make a decision: