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The Path from Classroom to Boardroom

Welcome to CPA Ireland's Business Resource

Want an alternative to the CAO points race? As a parent or teacher, you may have children or students who are not interested in pursuing a third level education. Many students simply want to get into the world of work, earn a living and assert their independence.

For others, the traditional academic route does not suit their personality, as many prefer hands-on work and learning to traditional class rooms and formal lectures. CPA Ireland offers these students with an alternative to the traditional route.

With CPA Ireland, students can obtain their professional accountancy qualification once they have completed the Leaving Certificate, bypassing the nerve-wracking points system and the expensive and time-consuming university route.

To qualify for this entry route a student must achieve the following results: 

Leaving Certificate up to and including 2016

Grade D3 or above in at least 6 papers, three of which must be grade C3 or above in higher level papers.

Two of the six subjects must be English and Maths.

Leaving Certificate from 2017 onwards

Grade O6 or above in at least 6 papers, three of which must be grade H5 or above.

Two of the six subjects must be English and Maths.

Getting a professional qualification with CPA Ireland provides the best of both worlds, as once you have completed your Leaving Certificate, you can begin working and earning money straight away, while simultaneously studying to become an accountant. Within one academic year students will be awarded the CPA Certificate in Business & Accounting on successful completion of their exams. Students can then progress to further accounting studies through exemption from the first stage of the four stage programme of study and training to become a fully qualified CPA accountant.

School leavers now have the opportunity to join a workforce and gain financial independence, while enabling them to study and further their career opportunities at the same time.

Flexible Study

CPA Ireland allows for flexible study, including evening classes and e-learning options around the country. Students can tailor their study to their own individual needs.


There are over 150 approved employers in Ireland, including international companies like Microsoft, Glanbia, Vodafone and State Street. If students are not in employment or are in a non-accounting area of work, then they will be eligible to proceed with the qualification and obtain relevant training at a later date.

Who is Suitable?

One of the most common misunderstandings about accountancy is that one must excel at maths to be an accountant. In reality, CPAs are the business strategists, planning for the future and working to make businesses successful, working far beyond the spreadsheets and numbers.

What do accountants do?

Accountancy opens doors to endless opportunities and it is the backbone of every business, from managing cash flow to strategy planning. CPAs work in practice and industry at every level, with a significant number becoming entrepreneurs and establishing their own accountancy practice or business later on in their career.