What is GCSE ‘Learning for Life and Work?’

Contemporary society presents us with a maze of challenges and opportunities that can at times seem overwhelming. We navigate that maze by means of the decisions we make, in our family lives, with friends, at school and at work. ‘Learning for Life and Work’ creates a specific space to focus on thinking through major decisions and their implications.

Some relate to our concept of local and global citizenship, such as ‘What are my rights, and what responsibilities go with them? What is my attitude to others who are different? What is “fair”?’ Some are issues of personal development: ‘How can I look after my own well-being? How should I deal with relationships?’ Others relate to employability, such as ‘How is the workplace changing? Taking account of my strengths and interests, where can I best fit in?’

As a general concept, ‘Learning for Life and Work ‘as a specific subject area,  provides practical tools to think independently, make informed choices and act responsibly in today’s world.

Why Study Learning for Life and Work?

  • The subject material is most relevant to the real life of students.
  • To become more curious of your society, its make up and functions.
  • To learn about the decision making processes that impact out lives now and in the future.
  • To discover your individual responsibilities and potential to influence how society evolves.
  • If you enjoy being a leader and working with others to change things important to you.
  • To become an open minded independent and informed citizen.
  • If you have an interest in health, the environment, your society or politics.

Course Structure and Assessment

The examination board is CCEA. (link to CCEA LLW microsite)

The course is made up of 3 modules (see details below):

  • Personal Development
  • Employability
  • Citizenship

Each module will be examined individually over the 2 years of study.
The course also includes 2 Controlled Assessment Tasks, both completed in Year 11.


This course is broken down into five units – two controlled assessment task/reports formerly called coursework, (worth 30% each) and three modular examinations (45 minutes long and worth 13.3% each) – one for each of the three areas of content. 

qqqqqqq Areas of Study Exam Entry Series
Yr 11 Term 1  Module:
Personal Development 
January of Yr 11 
Yr 11 Term 2  Module:
 May of Yr 11
Yr 11 Term 3  Controlled Assessment 1
May of Yr 12
(terminal exam)
Yr 12 Term 1  Module:
Local & Global Citizenship (13.3%)
January of Yr 12
Yr 12 Terms 2 & 3  Controlled Assessment 2
 May of Yr 12
(terminal exam) 

Local & Global Citizenship

  • Diversity and Inclusion in Northern Ireland and the Wider World
  • Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Local, National and Global Issues
  • The Role of Society and Government in Safeguarding Human Rights
  • Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • Key Democratic Institutions and their Role in Promoting Inclusion, Justice and Democracy

Personal Development

  • Maximising and Sustaining Health and Well-being
  • Concept of Self
  • Building and Maintaining Healthy Relationships
  • Recognising, Assessing and Managing Risk
  • Understanding the Roles and Responsibilities of Parenting
  • Developing Competence as Discerning Consumers


  • The Impact of Globalisation on Employment
  • Recruitment and Selection practices for Employment
  • Rights and Responsibilities of Employers and Employees
  • Issues of Self-Employment and Sources of Support