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Learning For Life & Work

Department Staff

Miss T Cartmill (GCSE)

Miss C King (KS3)

Mrs C.L Fleming (KS3)

Subject Information

Learning for Life and Work explores local and global issues and investigates cultural diversity and the challenges and opportunities this brings to our society. By studying this subject, you can develop your skills to support you in thinking and acting independently.


This subject will develop your knowledge and understanding of living a healthy lifestyle, impacts on health, having a healthy mind, healthy relationships and a positive concept of self. You will also study personal safety, and how to manage a budget and make financial decisions based on analysing information available to you. As well as learning how to prepare for an interview and what employers are looking for, you will also study employment contracts and terms and conditions of employment. It will inform you about what is expected of you as an employee, as well as the responsibilities of the employer.


There are a number of topics covered in this qualification that you will find beneficial to you in everyday life:

  • democracy and active participation – ways in which young people can participate in democratic processes and the benefits of this participation for the young person and for society;

  • benefits and misuse of social media – making young people consider the risks, as well as the opportunities, of using social networking online;

  • making informed financial decisions – protecting against fraud and identity theft, comparison websites, and financial advice and consumer protection;

  • employment – skills shortages, emerging careers resulting from globalisation, codes of conduct in the workplace, work-related stress and roles of trade unions;

  • social responsibility of businesses – how businesses can demonstrate social responsibility and the benefits of this to their business; and

  • self-employment – importance of an entrepreneur carrying out research before starting up a business.

Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3

Learning for Life and Work is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It has four subject strands: Employability, Local and Global Citizenship, Personal Development, and Home Economics. Learning for Life and Work builds on Personal Development and Mutual Understanding at primary school. It aims to bring closer links between the curriculum and the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are necessary for life and work

There are three main areas of study to help students develop:

  • As an individual – Personal Development

  • As a contributor to society – Local and Global Citizenship

  • As a contributor to the economy and environment – Education for Employability


Each year, students work through a variety of topics from each of the three main areas. At KS3 level the aim of Learning for Life and Work is to help young people to achieve their potential and to make informed decisions throughout their life journey of growth and change. It explicitly addresses the three main objectives of the curriculum: to develop young people as individuals, as contributors to society, and as contributors to the economy and the environment.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

The CCEA GCSE Learning for Life and Work specification engages students to explore social, personal, economic and employment issues. Topics include diversity and inclusion, social responsibility, human rights and entrepreneurship.


The specification helps students to understand the connections between local, national and global issues. They develop confidence in thinking independently by critically challenging accepted views and assumptions. They also make informed decisions and take appropriate action.


Students also have opportunities to develop transferable skills such as creative thinking, analytical problem solving and effective teamwork.


This qualification enables students to progress to study subjects such as Business Studies, Health and Social Care, and Economics. It is also a good foundation for careers in business, finance, marketing, human resources and research.


There are three written exams, each worth 20% of the overall mark, and an investigation worth 40%.


  • Unit 1: Local and Global Citizenship will be assessed in an external written examination. Students investigate cultural diversity and the challenges and opportunities this brings to our society. They examine the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and democratic institutions, explaining how they contribute to an inclusive society.

  • Unit 2: Personal Development will be assessed in an external written examination. Students analyse how diet, exercise and emotional health affect personal well-being. They also explore parenting and personal finance issues.

  • Unit 3: Employability will be assessed in an external written examination. Students explore the processes and skills involved in finding a job. They analyse and evaluate the responsibilities of employees and employers and investigate how globalisation impacts employment.

  • Unit 4 is a controlled assessment task. Students carry out one task from a choice of three. The task enables students to develop transferable skills and personal capabilities. The task is based on investigating a topic in one of the following units:

                        • Local and Global Citizenship;

                        • Personal Development; or

                        • Employability.


The LLW department endeavours to enrich the curriculum offered in Key Stage 3 and 4 throughout the year with various guest speakers, workshops and projects, such as visits to Stormont, visits to local councils and visits from the Police Ombudsman and Northern Ireland Human Right Commission.


The wide range of skills learnt in this course will help young people develop as individuals and contributors to society, the economy and the environment. Learning for Life and Work leaves you open to a range of career pathways. It prepares students for the world of work.


A qualification in Learning for Life and Work can lead to careers in banking, retail, marketing, research, human resources and small business, and to self-employment opportunities for those who are more entrepreneurial.


It consolidates a GCSE Grade Profile leaving the recipient better qualified with more career path openings. This course will help young people to think independently, make informed decisions and take appropriate courses of action in relation to personal, social, economic and employment.

Useful Links



Global Economy

Global Dimension 

Northern Ireland Human Rights

Northern Ireland Assembly Education

Police Ombudsman

BBC News

LLW Twitter Link >

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