Leaving Certificate

The only Leaving Certificate programme provided in the school is the traditional two year academic curriculum. All students must take a minimum of seven subjects. The three core subjects offered are Irish, English, and Mathematics. Students must then choose four additional optional subjects from the following list: Accounting, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Chinese, Classics, Economics, French Geography, History, Home Economics, Music, Physics, and Spanish. The formation of optional class groups is dependent on numbers. However every effort is made to provide the three Science subjects every year.


Who can be successful at Mathematics?

Students who enjoy problem solving and identifying patterns can be very successful at Maths. All students can be successful in this subject if they are motivated, attend , participate in class and practise through completion of exercises.

“What is Mathematics?

Mathematics is a wide-ranging  subject with many aspects. Most people are familiar with the fact that mathematics is an intellectual discipline that deals with abstractions, logical arguments, deduction and calculation. But mathematics is also an expression of the human mind reflecting the active will, the contemplative reason and the desire for aesthetic perfection.

“Leaving Certificate topics and examination

Topics include Statistics and Probability, Geometry and Trigonometry, Number, Algebra and Functions. There are two papers in the Leaving Cert Exam, each with a duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes. All questions must be answered.

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Entry to most college courses requires a Pass in Leaving Cert Maths. Maths is particularly prominent in the areas of Accounting, Actuary, Business, Computer Science, Engineering, and Statistics.  Mathematics is required for numerous careers in an innovative  high skilled Knowledge Society (www.smartfutures.ie)



“Who can be successful at Irish?

With the right attitude all students can perform well at Gaeilge. Languages open doors to communication with a wider range of people. Students with an interest  in Ireland’s historical, cultural and linguistic identity will find this subject both interesting and challenging. Learners will be engaged in tasks that involve reading, writing, listening, oral work, presenting and debating.

“What is Irish?

Gaeilge is the study of our  national language with a focus on the  four key skills of language learning: reading, listening, writing and speaking.  Students are offered the chance to develop their linguistic skills in all of these areas. Gaeilge promotes an ability to create, present, reflect and analyse. It builds on the skills learners gained during Junior Cycle and prepares them for third-level courses.

Leaving Cert topics and exam

40% is allocated for oral exam. 2 written papers for Higher and Ordinary level Gaeilge( 60% of overall mark. Paper 1: Listening and Written Composition. Paper 2: Reading Comprehensions & Studied Literature (Prose and Poetry). Students at both levels study the same 5 pieces of prose and 5 poems. Higher level students also complete  a section on an additional literary prose text  (An Triail).

Associated careers and third level courses

Gaeilge offers many opportunities to students – both within Ireland and beyond. Some of the career paths pursued by graduates of Gaeilge: Digital Media and Communications,  Journalism, TV/Radio, Translation, Interpreting, Publishing, Proof-reading, Subtitling, Civil Service, Teacher, Lecturer, European Union official, Legal Linguist, Public Relations, IT and the Arts.



Who can be successful at English?

Someone who reads, listens and thinks, wishes to expand her horizons through engagement with literature, is observant, perceptive, curious, is persistent and willing to be challenged.

What is English?

Students explore the range, variety and power of the English Language and Literature; develop an awareness of how ‘we live in the midst of language’, how language expands horizons and how literature can challenge thinking, stimulate imagination and enrich lives. Student learn how to become critical, analytical readers and writers.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

Paper I focuses on language (reading/comprehending; writing, in different genres, composing); Paper II focuses on literature (play, poetry, comparative question that explores 3 texts including drama, film, novel). Both papers carry equal marks.

Associated careers and 3rd level courses” style=”simple”] Understanding and analysis of writing is of key importance to all graduates seeking employment in an discipline in an innovative high skilled Knowledge Society eg aw, management. English helps students to develop abilities linked to organisation and clear expression, concise communication of arguments, synthesised ideas, conclusions and recommendations.



Who can be successful at French?

French is suited to anyone with an interest in French culture, history, and language and/or those who may consider careers in France, Canada, international relations or International frameworks.

What is French?

It aims to improve fluency in French. It develops knowledge of literature, culture, geography, and national history to provide a context for communication. It provides continuity from Junior Cycle and develops skills in oral, aural, comprehension and written proficiency, thereby leading to proficiency in the language.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

An oral examination is followed by an aural examination. The written examination is at two levels and includes reading, comprehension and written production. The primary difference between levels is the marking structure used (Higher: Written 55%, Oral 25% Aural 20%; Ordinary: Written: 55%, Oral: 20%, Aural: 25%).

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

A third language is a requirement for entry into a number of third level courses. Teaching, translation, interpreting, journalism and media, International Relations, Tourism, Hospitality.



Who can be successful at Economics?

Students who have an interest in business, national and international current affairs and economic matters. Economics suits students with reasonable numerical ability and who are motivated to study.

What is Economics?

Economics is a business subject. It is concerned with the development of an understanding of how a modern economy functions. Economic students generate a positive and ethical attitude to economic matters in personal, business , political and public life.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

Micro-Demand, Supply,Costs of production,Elasticity,Market structures,Factors of production. Macro-Money and banking, National income,Government policy,International trade,Famous Economists.
1 exam paper(Both levels) 2.5hrs.
Section A : 9 short Qs. Do 6
Section B; 8 Long Qs. Do 4.

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Business, Arts, Journalism, Construction and Engineering courses.
Careers; Economic journalism, Banking, Financial service sector, Business management, Marketing, International trade, public sector, politics and teaching.



Who can be successful at Accounting?” style=”simple”]Students who have an aptitude for numerical skills enjoy accounting. While Junior Cycle business studies higher level equips students with the fundamental skills , a motivated student who has not followed the Junior Cert programme can also be very successful in this subject.

What is Accounting?

It is a business subject focussed on preparation, recording, extraction, presentation, and analysis of financial information for the purpose of making economic decisions. It develops problem solving skills, cultivates mental discipline, develops concentration and fosters critical thinking, logical organisation and orderly presentation.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

Some topics: Final and club accounts, cash flow statements, interpretation of accounts, incomplete records, cash budgets, cost-volume –profit analysis.
The Leaving Cert exam is 3hours. Students complete two financial accounting sections and one cost and management section. No question is compulsory and choices exist.

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Business, management, financial and entrepreneurship courses.
Careers: Accountancy, Accounting Technician, Business management, Financial services sector, Banking, Financial controller, Taxation, Business Analysis, Insurance, politics , teaching or as support for those who start their own business.



Who can be successful at Physics?

Students who are good at maths and science and are self- motivated learners. Students who scored well in Numeracy or Spatial Reasoning in their CAT 4 exam in TY. Students who are motivated to prepare for careers in high skilled global Knowledge Society (www.smartfutures.ie)

What is Physics?

Inclusive of astronomy, Physics is is probable the oldest academic discipline. You will study the science of matter and its motion, space and time; concepts such as energy, force and charge; create theories that are tested through experiment /observation; analyse nature to understand how the universe behaves.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

6 Topics : Mandatory (Mechanics (Study of Motion), Temperature and Heat, Waves, Light and Sound, Electricity, Modern Physics) and 1 from Particle Physics or Applied Electricity. Topics include mandatory experiments, definitions, rules, laws, principles, mathematical formulae, science, technology and society, famous scientists. L.C exam: 3hrs. Section A: Based on Mandatory Experiments (3 from 4 Qs).SectionB: Theoretical Questions (5 from 8 Qs).

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Business, management, financial and entrepreneurship courses.
Careers: Accountancy, Accounting Technician, Business management, Financial services sector, Banking, Financial controller, Taxation, Business Analysis, Insurance, politics , teaching or as support for those who start their own business.



Who can be successful at Biology?

Students need an interest in biology. They can apply their analytical and problem solving skills. Biology students need to be able to learn and recall facts and apply them to everyday situations. They must be motivated in relation to practical work, be curious, observant, organised and have an eye for details.

What is Biology?

Biology is the study of life. Students employ the processes of science, explore the diversity of life and the inter-relationship between organisms and the environment. It helps students to develop an ability to make informed evaluations about biological issues. It supports student critical, expressive, organisational, analytical and intellectual development for all parts of life.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

70% of the syllabus focuses on science for the enquiring mind. (30% focuses on technological, social, political and economic aspects. Students undertake practical and ecology fieldwork.

“Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Biology encourages students to develop an attitude of scientific enquiry, or curiosity and self discovery. Students develop an awareness of the application of biology in modern society in areas such as genetics, environment, agriculture, horticulture, medicine, nursing, biotechnology and waste management. Students may pursue studies and careers in those areas.



Who can be successful at Chemistry?

Students who are good at science, are self motivated learners and who interested in gaining future employment in high skilled careers.

What is Chemistry

It is a branch of science concerned with structure and composition of materials and the changing of one substance into another. Everything is made of chemicals (Eg food, clothes, air). From early times, people have changed substances to new substance (metals, glass, dye). Modern chemistry was established around 440 years ago.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental , Industrial Chemistry, Electrochemistry and Water; Topics address experiments, definitions, rules, laws, principles, mathematical formulae, science, technology and society, famous scientists. Exam: 3hrs. Section A: Mandatory Experiments; Section B: Theoretical Qs. Answer 8 from 11 Qs

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Science, maths, medicine, food science, engineering, biotechnology, research, lecturer, teacher, laser expert, patent agent, government labs, dentistry, quality controller, entrepreneur, forensics, computer programmer, systems analyst, technical writer. Chemistry is useful for graduates seeking employment in an innovative High Skilled Knowledge Society.



Who can be successful at Geography?

Students who performed well in this subject at JC and have a good standard of written work. Required aptitudes/skills are spatial awareness, ability and motivation for numerical interpretation, sketching and analysis of information.

What is Geography?

The Geography syllabus covers the following areas – Physical geography, Regional geography, Human geography, OS Map and Aerial photography, Geographical Investigation (Field Study) and Culture and Identity Option (Higher Level only).

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

20% Geographical Investigation (Field Study and Written Report. 80% written examination with short answer questions (Physical & Regional and Map Reading); Core Unit Physical Geography, Core Unit : Regional Geography, Elective Unit Patterns and Processes in the Human Environment, Culture and Identity.

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Architect, Town, urban and regional planning, Meteorologist, Climatologist, Cartographer/computer mapper, Geologist and Development project management, Tourism, Cultural and Heritage Officer, European and Global Careers.[/su_spoiler]



Who can be successful at History?

Any student can prosper at History. If you like learning about how the world works, how world- changing decisions are made, researching projects as part of a team and using television as a way of learning about your recent past then History is for you. Any person who wants to be able to argue their point of view will be suited to the course. A student who wishes to make a real difference in the future must learn from the mistakes of the past.

What is History?

History is the study of past events in the world and their relation to and effect on the world we live in today.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

Topics from: Later Modern Ireland and Later Modern Europe (1870s onwards). Exam: 2hrs 50 mins.
Section 1: Documents-Based Question.
Section 2: Ireland.
Section 3: Europe and the Wider World

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Museum Curator, Writer, Antique Dealer/Valuer, Exhibitions Manager, Archaeologist, Heritage Officer, Journalist, Information Officer, Archivist, Librarian, Teacher, Tourism, law, business, media, International Relations, Historical Researcher, Genealogist, National and International Government/Public Administration /management. History, Arts, History/Politics, Art, Culture, History, Architecture, Art History, Genealogy


Who can be successful at Classics?

All students can be successful at Classical Studies. If you like Art, Philosophy, History, Drama, Literature, then there is something there for you. An interest in people of the past and what they teach us helps as does an ability to structure arguments. This will be practised through essay writing.

What is Classics?

Classics is the study of the civilisation of ancient Greece and Rome. The syllabus affords the learner an opportunity to appreciate the achievements of these peoples across all facets of their cultures. The learner will compare and contrast.to consider other ways of doing things.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam”

Topics: Greek Drama, Alexander the Great, Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Roman Art and Architect. The duration of Leaving Cert exam is 3 hours. You must answer 6 essay style questions from 14 options across 4 topics (2 essays from 2 of your chosen topics and 1 essay from your 3rd and 4th choice topics).

[su_spoiler title=”Associated careers and 3rd level courses” style=”simple”]Classics promotes critical thinking and reasoning. It helps to prepare students for leadership and legal roles. Media, architecture, literature, art, history, philosophy, teaching, business management, archaeology, politics, academia, civil service.


Who can be successful at Music?

Music suits students with an interest in music and those who wish to pursue further studies in music or careers mentioned below. The syllabus provides continuity and progression from Junior Certificate Music-emphasising the integration of the three activity areas introduced at Junior Certificate level i.e. performing, listening and composing.

What is Music?

Students develop musical creativity, sensitivity and potential through active involvement in performing, composing and listening. Students develop an informed interest and experience the enjoyment of music making; acquire listening skills through study of set works and musical styles. Composing skills include melody writing and backing chords. Students perform on one or more instruments as a soloist/in group.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

Topics: Performing, Composing and Listening skills. Music Technology is an integral part of the course.Each activity is allocated 25%. Higher Level students choose a higher level elective (25%) in 1 of 3 activities and can gain up to 50% of total marks in a preferred musical activity.

Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Television, Film, Advertising, Radio, Music Management, Recording engineer, Music Technology, Conductor, Bands, Orchestra, Composers, Arrangers, Music Therapy, Choir, Opera, Solo career, Music. Education: Primary, Secondary, Third Level.[/su_spoiler]



Who can be successful at Art?

The ability to draw is the basic skill required for Art. A good command of the English language will help formulating Art History essays. Art is suited to students who are creative, who enjoy expressing themselves using visual media, enjoy history, developing ideas and enjoy learning by doing.

What is Music?

Art helps you to develop your visual awareness, undertake research and investigation, solve problems and develop ideas, feeling and meanings, see things from outside the box, become more creative in your life, and learn about how Artist’s and Designers use materials, techniques and technology.

Leaving Certificate topic and Exam

Practical Work consists of Still Life, Imaginative Composition, Life Drawing and Craft Work (62.5%). The theoretical component includes History and Appreciation of Art (37.5%). Practical Work (2.5 hour exam). Life Drawing (1 hour exam). Craft Work (5hour exam). Practical Exam Papers issue 1 week in advance. The written Exam 2.5 Hours.[/su_spoiler]

[Associated careers and 3rd level courses

Entrepreneurs/career requiring a creative and innovative person; Architecture, Web Design, Graphic Artists, Photographer, Animator, Painter, Gallery/Museum, Fashion, Printing, Model Maker, Art Dealer, Colour Consultant,  Display Designer, Illustrators, Teacher, Artists, Lighting Designer, Curator, Librarian, Weaver,  Ceramist, Jewellery Designer, Sculptor, Production Designer, Industrial Designer, Stain Glass Artist, Interior Designer, Landscape Artist.[/su_spoiler]