Updated Senior Cycle subject options information booklet







January 2015

The following descriptions are not meant to be exhaustive and both students and parents are encouraged to consult other sources of information and to consult with specific subject teachers if they have a question regarding any aspect of the subject.


Accounting at LC is a continuation of the Junior Cert bookkeeping section of the business course. Deals with the preparation, analysis, interpretation and use of accounts, in all business contexts. Although not essential for entry to business courses, it is obviously a great help to students and so it is useful for accounting, banking, secretarial, hotel management, marketing, purchasing, stores, sales, taxation, business law, advertising, computing and teaching (Accounting teachers are often not available).

What are the main topics/themes covered in the Leaving Cert Syllabus?

Final accounts of Sole Traders & Companies

Manufacturing Accounts

Club, Service and Farm accounts

Cash Flow Statements

Interpretation of Accounts

Management Accounting


3 hour written exam for Higher and Ordinary Level.

What other school subjects do you see it being linked to at Leaving Cert?


Maths (Basic - add /subtract /multiply/ divide/ percentages: nothing too complex)

What type of skills will it help develop?

Bookkeeping skills

Awareness of money management eg. Bank Reconciliation Statements.

Organisational skills

Logical thinking

What do students like about it?

It is logical and things either add up or not. It is practical. It is clear and follows a formula. There is not a huge amount of theory, there obviously is some. Learning is by doing and practicing questions rather than by rote learning. It is an advantage if you are comfortable working with figures.

For those who work hard at it, they do very well in this subject

What do students find challenging about it?

Students should have Business Studies done in Junior Cert. It may take a while in Y5 to get into the format of how to do accounts but once mastered students usually like the subject.


Leaving Certificate agricultural science involves the study of the science and technology underlying the principles and practices of agriculture. It aims to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote the sustainability of agricultural resources, and places emphasis on the managed use of these resources.

What are the main topics/themes covered in the Leaving Cert Syllabus?

Plants and animal types associated with agriculture are studied, and investigations are undertaken into such aspects as soil, ecology, plant and animal physiology, farm crops, farming practices, genetics and microbiology.


Agricultural Science is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level. The examination consists of

(a) A written examination (2.5hrs)

(b) An assessment of the work of the candidate during the course, under the following headings

(1) Identification of plant and animal types associated with agriculture.

(2) Practical experience with crops, livestock, house and farmyard layouts.

(3) Investigations carried out relating to ecology, soil science, animal physiology, plant physiology, genetics and microbiology.

The project is worth 25% of the overall mark for the subject

What other school subjects might it being linked to at Leaving Cert?

Biology, Geography, Business.

What type of skills will it help develop?

Given that the Agri sector is one of the few sectors that is experiencing growth at present, students will gain an understanding into the farming practices which are necessary to succeed in the enterprise of farming. They will also develop time management skills (planning and undertaking the project) along with presentation and interview skills.

What do students like about it?

Those from a farming background have a natural interest in the subject which is very beneficial as it lightens the workload somewhat. Students also enjoy the practical nature of the course as well as getting out and about on the farm.

What do students find challenging about it?

The practical assessment (project) of the course needs to be worked on over 2 years due to seasonality – students need to commence their project in fifth year and continue working on it over the summer months of fifth year. This is a science subject at heart, therefore a good aptitude for science is necessary in order to do well – it’s not just about farming!


General introduction to the subject at Leaving Cert

Applied Maths is a problem solving subject that uses maths to solve physics related problems. It is useful for careers in engineering or in engineering related disciplines.

What are the main topics covered in the Leaving Cert syllabus?


Accelerated Linear Motion – e.g. cars travelling on a road collide so work out the speed they collide at and where they end up

Newtons Laws and Connected Particles – e.g. pulleys, weights on slopes, working out how fast a weight will drop and how much force is needed to move the weight


Relative Velocity – one object moving relative to another

Impacts and Collisions

Differential Equations

How is the subject examined at the end of the course?

Two and a half hour written paper for both Higher and Ordinary Level

Paper has 10 questions to do 6, so a large choice, and the paper is very predictable year on year.

What other subjects might it be linked to at Leaving Cert?

It is linked to physics and to maths. A student taking on Applied Maths would be expected to be completing and sitting the Higher Level Maths paper for the Leaving

Cert, in fact students find that studying applied maths improves their Maths. If the student was studying physics it would be a bonus but is not necessary.

What skills does it help develop?

The main skill developed in Applied Maths is problem solving.

It helps to challenge and improve math skills and deductive reasoning.

Graph plotting.

Understanding the concepts and laws of physics and the physical world.

What do students like about it?

It is logical and follows certain formulas and equations. It helps students develop problem solving skills.

What do you students find challenging about it?

It is a totally new subject for them so it may take them a while to get used to the various concepts.


Covers art history (Ireland and Europe) as well as practical art work in areas of design, craft, life sketching and still life. Preparation of a portfolio for art college is very important and is essential for most courses and “Art” as a subject can be required for some art courses.

Useful for careers in art, fashion, craft, catering, apprenticeships, architecture (more than technical drawing), photography, national teaching, printing, TV, theatre, cosmetics, textiles, antiques, floristry and design (graphic, industrial, fashion, interior, etc.)

The Leaving Cert Art course is slightly different from the Junior Cert. course in that you do not have to do a project throughout the year. Instead you have 4 sections; 3 of which are completed in May. The final section, Art History (which is not part of the

Junior Cert course) is completed in the form of a written exam in June.

Many of the skills learned in Junior Cert Art, Craft and Design are built on and expanded for Leaving Cert Art. It is not mandatory to have done Art, Craft and

Design to Junior Cert but an interest in art and general creativity would be desirable.


You are given the exam papers 3 weeks before the exam to allow you to prepare.

The examination comprises of 4 sections:


*Imaginative Composition/Still Life

*Life Sketching

*Art History

100 marks

100 marks

50 marks

50 marks

Design/Craft: You have a choice to take either Design or Craft. For Design/Craft, you choose 1 of the following: Poster, Clay Modelling, Pottery, Batik, Puppetry, Lino

Printing, Calligraphy, Stage Set Design, embroidery, weaving.

Design : here you design your piece through drawings but do not make it.

Craft: is a 5 hour exam. Here you make a finished art piece.

In Kinsale students take the Craft option.

Imaginative composition/still life : You are given a written composition and you must make a drawing based on imagery/objects described in the text.

Life Sketching : Draw 2 sketches of a live model, 1 standing pose and 1 seated pose

For the seated pose you may sketch the whole figure or a close-up of the head/shoulders.

Art History :

Answer 3 questions in essay form and illustrate with sketches:

Section One

Section Two

Section Three

Art in Ireland

European Art

Appreciation (discuss topics based on every-day visual experiences)

Subject links : English, History, Music, Home Economics

What kind of skills will it help me develop?

Problem solving skills, creativity, develop logic and attention to detail, research skills, motor skills, spatial awareness, project development skills, essay writing skills.

How might it help my future career?

All aspects of Art, Craft & Design, interior design, interior architecture, architecture, fashion design, film & television, industrial design. Extremely useful in the area of education, in particular primary school teaching, Montessori and secondary school art teaching.

What do students like about art?

It’s relaxing, a break from academic learning and there is a sense of freedom and the opportunity to decide for yourself what practical course-work you would like to pursue. Students like the variety within the course. The majority of the exam is finished in May. 10%-20 % of the marks awarded in Art History are for sketches. It develops an appreciation and awareness of artistic merits in other aspects of everyday life.

What might students find challenging about it?

Some students who find essay writing difficult may dislike this aspect of Art History.


General introduction to this subject at Leaving Cert .

Deals with the study of life and living things (plant, animal and human). Very desirable for nursing, beauty therapy and home economics teaching. Useful for agriculture, botany, conservation work, dentistry, dietician, farming, food science, zoology, forestry, fisheries and many science/ medical careers.

Similarities/difference between Junior and Senior Cycle.

It is similar but broader and much more detailed. The new course introduced in 2004 includes genetic screening, DNA profiling, IVF, biotechnology and the cause, prevention and cure of diseases like osteoporosis. Biology at Leaving Cert level is much more technical than at Junior Cert

What are the main topics covered in the Leaving Cert syllabus?

The syllabus covers: Ecology, Human Systems, Plants, Genetics (which includes

DNA Profiling and Genetic Screening), Biochemistry of Photosynthesis and

Respiration. There are 22 mandatory experiments to be completed.

How is the subject examined at the end of the course?

A three hour written exam. Mandatory experiments must be available for inspection.

What other school subjects might it be linked to at Leaving Cert level?

Home Economics S&S (but only to a minor degree) and Agricultural Science, RE

(ethical issues) and Geography (ecology).

What kind of skills will it help develop?

It develops the skill of interpreting facts and the ability to predict the probable effect of a change in a factor or situation, using the knowledge gained. Develops laboratory experimental and organisational skills.

What do students like about it?

Students like the experiments. It is of personal interest because a large element of the course is about the human body. It gives opportunities to discuss ethical issues in science such as stem-cell research.

What do students find challenging about it?

There is a lot of learning. There is a Botany (plants) section which does not appeal to some students. It is strongly recommended that a student has JC science if considering biology as it builds on JC science and not having this completed will put a student at a disadvantage – students would concur with this.

Sciences in general need careful consideration. Most Third Level courses and careers in the areas of Science, Engineering, Medical , Paramedical, Technology, and Nursing, require one or two science subjects (without specifying). There are exceptions however and students interested in science should look at individual prospectuses of colleges/courses in which they may be interested. If interested in Science, most students would be well advised to do at least one science subject and consider doing two.

(2 science subjects are required for some science based courses e.g. Pharmacy,

Physiotherapy, Medicine, Dental, Genetics, Science (all TCD) and Medicine and Dentistry

(UCC). Be careful not to fall in to the trap of taking science to “keep options open”- this is only true for students who have no problems with science and really like science. The reason it is required for Third Level is because it forms a large part of the study, so if you don’t like science at school, it will be unbearable at Third Level.


General introduction to this subject at Leaving Cert .

Deals with the formation, running and financing of business and relevant legislation, as well as services like banking, transport, taxation and semi-state organisations. An excellent foundation for a business aspect to careers. Useful for business, banking, secretarial, accounting, hotel management, purchasing, sales, marketing, taxation law, administration and stock-broking.

Similarities/differences between Junior & Senior Cycle .

Similarities: Topics such as Insurance, Banking, Marketing are continued in more detail.

Differences: No accounting except for financial ratio analysis.

What are the main topics/themes covered in the Leaving Cert syllabus?

Enterprise Management, Starting a Business, Government legislation which affects consumers and employees, European Union, Marketing, Finance, Human Resource

Management, International Trade, Business and the Economy, Business

Organisations. There is a mathematical element e.g. taxation, calculations/graphs.

How is the subject examined at the end of the course?

Higher Level: 3 hour written paper.

Ordinary Level: 2.5 hour written paper.

What other school subject is it linked to at Leaving Cert?

Accounting, and to a lesser degree Home Economics and Geography

What type of skills will it help develop?

Communication skills

Financial skills

Planning skills

Enterprise skills

Basic mathematical skills

What do students like about it?

Students willing to work hard can do very well in it. There are some interesting topics which students can relate to everyday living.

What might students find challenging about it?

There is a lot of learning involved in the subject.


Deals with the composition of all matter and substances, their changes and their relevance to each other. It involves everything we eat, wear, use, etc. including plastics, medicines, preservatives and many more. Of the science subjects chemistry is probably the most useful for future career choice as it keeps open more options.

Useful for pharmacy, lab sciences, chemical engineering, medical labs, agriculture, nursing, medicine, aviation and in cosmetics, glass, brewing, fuel, plastics, textiles and pharmaceutical areas. At Senior Cycle, Chemistry goes into far more detail than

JC Science and a number of new topics are introduced. There is some emphasis on practical work and on the social & applied aspects of chemistry (everyday use). For

LC Chemistry, Maths is important and it is desirable that a student would have undertaken the Higher Level course and obtained an honour in Junior Cert Maths.

Main topics

Detailed study of atomic structure and chemical bonding

Properties of gases

Volumetric analysis

Rates of reaction

Organic chemistry

Water and environmental chemistry


3 hour written paper

Practical work is examined on the examination paper. However students must write up all practicals which may be checked by a Department Inspector.


Maths, Physics, Biology. Students may find Honours Chemistry difficult if they are not comfortable with Maths.

Skills it will help develop

Analytical/Practical. Encourages one to develop logic and attention to detail.

How might it help my future career?

Chemistry is a compulsory subject for some Third Level Courses. It would be useful in many areas e.g. Science/Engineering/Paramedical/Food Science/Medical

Laboratory Science. It is compulsory for Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary

Science and Human Nutrition. It is also worth noting the expanding chemical industries in the Cork region. Many multi-national companies e.g. Pfizer, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline are based in Cork.

What do students like about it?

Practical work and its application to daily life.

In the exam the answers tend to be concise and exact.

What do students find challenging about it?

There are a small number of core concepts that need to be grasped early on in the course in order to have a good understanding of the subject. It is a very long course so students must be prepared to work from the beginning of Fifth Year.


General introduction to the subject at Leaving Cert

Involves practical skills (project) as well as knowledge in construction technology, materials and practices, relating primarily (but not exclusively) to domestic building and includes purchases, mortgages and history of buildings. Useful for careers in construction, trades, carpentry, civil/structural engineering, design, quantitysurveying, property economics, town planning, housing management, fire fighting and insurance.

Similarities and Differences between Junior Cert and Leaving Cert

Much more theory work compared to the Junior Cert. A lot of time is still allocated to practical work but it is worth less marks. The majority of the content in the course deals with building a house from planning stage to finishing.

Main topics covered by the course in Leaving Cert syllabus





Electrical Work


Health and Safety

How is the course assessed?

Theory exam worth 50%

Practical project and portfolio worth 25%

Four hour practical exam in May of Y6 worth 25%

What skills are needed for this subject?

Junior Cert woodwork would benefit a student but is not necessary though it will make the subject more difficult not having the practical skills. If a pupil is willing to work hard the subject may be taken up for the Leaving Cert but this is a decision for the teacher. A general knowledge of the workings of different tools is necessary.

What students like about the subject

More freedom in class whilst doing practical work. Students very much relate to the content of the course.

What students may find challenging about the subject

The time pressure for the practical work and designing projects may prove more difficult for some students.


General introduction to the subject at Leaving Cert

It is very much a continuation from JC Technical Graphics but there are new aspects to the course which deal with design. Covers geometry as well as engineering and building drawings and develops dexterity as well as problem solving skills. Highly desirable in technical courses. Useful for careers in all engineering areas, army, air corps apprenticeships, cartography, construction and engineering trades, industrial design, technical sales, maintenance, town planning and draughtsmanship, computer programming and product design.

What are the main topics covered by the Leaving Cert syllabus?

Perspective Drawing

Solids in Contact Drawing

Mining Geometry

Road Geometry


Machine Cams

Solids in Contact

Computer Aided Design (CAD) – Solid Works

How is the course assessed for Leaving Cert?

3 hour exam worth 60%

A design project done using CAD to be handed up in January in Y6 worth 40%

What skills are needed for this subject?

A basic knowledge of graphics covered in the Junior Cert. Spatial awareness is very important for pupils to be able to solve problems. A pupil having the ability to sketch well is also very important.

What do students like about the subject?

They enjoy designing devices which they have an interest in such as mobile phones, iPods, game consoles. The drawing part of the course relates to what pupils can see around them (for example road geometry deals with the building of roads and machine cams deals with drawings of parts of machines in industry.

The project part allows students great freedom to express their creativity.

What might students find challenging about this subject?

Those who do not have strong spatial awareness will find it hard to visualise concepts and solutions to the problems at hand.


General introduction to the subject at Leaving Cert.

Involves a practical workshop element (project) as well as a written/theoretical section. All materials technology is covered (i.e. plastics and metals), across a wide range of processes and applications. Useful for careers in construction, all engineering disciplines (civil, electrical, electronic, mechanical and structural engineering, etc.), mechanics, trade apprenticeships (such as fitter, turner, welder), technical and operative work. Leaving Cert Engineering offers a progression from

Junior Cert technological subjects and provides a platform for further studies in the area.

What are the main topics/themes covered in the Leaving Cert syllabus?

Health and Safety, Manufacturing Techniques and Technology, Material Science,

Drawing and Design, Computer Aided Processes, Power and Energy, Electronics and


How is the subject assessed?

Theory Exam worth 50%

A Project and Portfolio (completed by March of Y6) worth 25%

A six hour practical exam worth 25%

What other school subjects do you see it being linked to at Leaving Cert level?

Maths, Physics, Design and Communication Graphics, Construction Studies

What skills might it help develop?

At Junior Cycle level students have been introduced to certain skills such as linguistic, bodily/kinaesthetic, logical/mathematical and spatial. At Senior Cycle these skills are expanded to include understanding appropriate concepts and processes, understanding skills of design and realisation and the ability of applying knowledge and skills by thinking and acting confidently, imaginatively and creatively. It also helps to evaluate critically and constructively technological activities, artefacts and systems.

What do students like about the subject?

The freedom to express their own individual personalities and ideas by using their own creativity and imagination to solve design problems through project work. They also like the sense of achievement and confidence they get from designing and manufacturing their own individual projects from design to manufacture, getting projects to work and being able to take these projects home.

What might students find challenging about this subject?

Combining their practical and intellectual skills to come up with a creative, imaginative, and innovative solution to various design briefs.

Using various IT and Computer Numerically controlled technologies to complete projects and project portfolios.


Geography is concerned with the inter-relationships between human activities and the physical world. Geography is regarded as a science related subject. It is useful for careers in construction, civil engineering, marine/navy, aviation, agriculture, geology, tourism and many more. The course at leaving certificate is similar to junior certificate but a lot more detail is required.

Units of Study

All Core Units must be studied

Core Unit 1 Patterns and Processes in Complete one Exam Question the Physical

Environment from questions 1, 2 3

Core Unit 2 Regional geography

Core Unit 3 Geographical

Investigation and Skills

Complete one Exam Question from questions 4, 5 and 6

Covered in advance, submitted in April prior to exam

One of the following two Electives

Elective Unit


Elective Unit


Patterns and Processes in

Economic Activity

Patterns and Processes in the Human Environment

Complete one Exam Question from questions 7, 8 and 9

One of the following four optional areas (HIGHER LEVEL ONLY)


Unit 6

Global Interdependence


Unit 7

Geo ecology Complete one Exam Question from questions 16, 17 and 18

Culture and Identity Optional

Unit 8


Unit 9

The Atmosphere – ocean


In Kinsale Community School - Core units 1,2 and 3 are covered along with Elective Unit 4 and Optional Unit 7

Physical Geography , this unit examines the relationship between the tectonic cycle, the rock cycle and the processes of landform development.

Regional Geography , this unit examines how economic, human and physical processes interact in regional settings ( National, European and Global settings included).

Geographical Investigation , this unit encourages the development of skills in handling spatial information leading to the completion of an individual geographical exam. It involves a compulsory field trip during which students get an opportunity to experience the practical application of the core geographical skills central to all units of the course. Students are required to prepare and submit a report on their investigation. This report is worth 20% of the final marks awarded.

Patterns and Processes in Economic Activity , this unit examines patterns in economic development and the growth of a single interdependent global economy.

Geo ecology , this unit examines the inter-relationships at a global scale between soils, climates, plants and animals.

Assessment : 2 hours and 50 minutes Students must answer one question for each of the units studied. Core and elective unit questions have 3 parts whereby part A is a skills-based question , parts B and C are small essay type questions, worth 30 or 40 marks depending on the level being studied by the student. Optional Units require

ONE 80 mark essay and are for students studying higher level only.

What other school subjects is it linked to at Leaving Cert?

Biology, History, Home economics, Business and Maths.

What type of skills will it help to develop?

Presentation and communication skills, interpretation of maps, photographs, charts, diagrams, graphs etc. Interpretation and analysis of data, use of geographical equipment such as clinometers.

What do Students like about Leaving Certificate Geography:

Most of the course seems familiar, being closely linked to the Junior Cert. It is very relevant to the world around us. A good command of the English language is necessary. Fieldwork is interesting to do. There is a great choice of questions on the exam paper.

What do students find challenging about it?

The courde is very long and broad. A lot of learning is required. Many maps, charts, diagrams to understand and interpret. Students might find it hard to adjust to having 5 periods a week, often doubles, instead of three periods at junior cycle. Students often find it difficult to appreciate that for Leaving certificate a greater in-depth knowledge and detail is required.

It is concerned with the interrelationships between human activities and the physical world. This covers physical, socio-economic and European geography as well as map work and field studies. Regarded as a science related subject. Useful for careers in construction, civil engineering, marine/navy, aviation, agriculture, geology, tourism and many more. Similar to Junior Cert but a lot more detail required for Leaving Cert.


At Leaving Certificate, History requires a much greater depth of information and improved essay-writing skills at Higher Level. The dates of the course are far more limited than in Junior Cert. Useful for careers in law, politics, journalism, media, archaeology, civil service, broadcasting, teaching, gardaí, tourism and social work.

The skills acquired are useful in many areas of work e.g. the world of business where presentation of reports is very important and in the legal world where large volumes of material have to be gathered and analysed.


IRISH HISTORY 1815—1993 Students do two of the following topics:

Ireland and the Union, 1815—1870

Movements for political and social reform, 1870 –1914

The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition, 1912– 1949

The Irish Diaspora, 1840—1966

Politics and society in Northern Ireland, 1949—1993

Government, economy and society in the Republic of Ireland 1949—1989

HISTORY OF EUROPE AND THE WIDER WORLD 1815– 1992 Students do two of the following topics:

Nationalism and state formation in Europe, 1815—1871

Nation states and international tensions, 1871—1920

Dictatorship and democracy, 1920—1945

Division and realignment in Europe 1945—1992

European retreat from empire and the aftermath 1945-1990 (Prescribed documents for

2011 and 2012)

The United States and the world, 1945—1989


There will be two assessment components:

A report on the research study worth 20% (submitted April prior to Leaving Cert.)

A terminal examination worth 80%

At Ordinary Level the emphasis is more on paragraph, rather than essay writing.

At Higher Level the student must complete three essays and answer one document based question, in which they can score highly.

Subject links

As the answers are written in essay style it would be an advantage to have a flair for

English. Also links with Exam RE.

What skills will it help develop?

Research skills e.g. information-gathering/analysis. Summarisation / presentation.

Attention to detail & logic are also important skills. Critical thinking skills

Cultural analysis. Language skills

What do students like about it?

Its relevance to current affairs. Interesting class discussions on historical issues.

Helps their essay writing skills for other subjects. The fact that students submit before their written exam a research study in which they can score highly means they can obtain a very good grade in the subject.

Ordinary level students do not have to write long essays and so can do well.

What might they find challenging about it?

As there is a lot of material to be learned it is necessary to work hard from the start. It can be difficult to learn the skill of essay-writing, as in Junior Cert. students are only required to write paragraphs (Ordinary level subjects do not have to write long essays)


General introduction to this subject at Leaving Cert.

Home Economics is arguably one subject with most relevance to everyday life. This is reflected in the wide range of career options that it opens up for students and who have gone on to study and enjoy courses in catering, chefing, dietician, fashion, beauty therapy, food sciences, health inspection, hotel management, nursing, child care, national school teaching, home economics teaching, parenthood and social work.

Similarities/differences between Junior and Senior Cycle .

There is a big difference with regard to the amount of detail expected, much more scientific information is required. New Areas: Irish Food Industry, Food processing,

Irish diet, Food Legislation, HACCP. Expect more theory in Leaving Cert but there will still be an element of practical work through practical Food Studies Journal

What are the main topics covered in the Leaving Cert syllabus?

The course covers: Nutrition, Diets and understanding meal planning, Food Safety

HACCP, Food Chemistry, Microbiology, Preservation, Resource Management,

Consumer Studies and Sociology. There are 3 electives to choose from: Home

Design and Management or Textiles, Fashion and Design or Social Studies. In

Kinsale students do the Social Studies elective.

How is the subject examined at the end of the course?

80% of mark awarded from written exam in June.

The exam is 2 hours 30 minutes long

Exam layout is as follows: 12 short questions—answer 10

Q1 is compulsory and answer 2 from Questions 2, 3, 4 and 5 and an elective question (also compulsory).

Topics are integrated from one area to another, for example, food choices, health, menu design and budgeting.

Practical Food Studies Journal is worth 20% of overall mark. This must be completed by each individual student in Fifth Yr, journals are sent to the Department of

Education for correction at the end of October in Y6. Five practical cooking assignments to be completed in Fifth Year. This involves an investigation of a particular area (e.g. preservation) and then a cookery practical to support the investigation.

What other school subjects do you see it being linked to at Leaving Cert level?

Biology, Business, Geography, Physics, English

What kind of skills will it help develop?

Knowledge of food and nutrition and awareness of spending, budgeting and consumer studies. Awareness of health, health related issues. Resource management. Writing reports, analysis of information and decision making skills. Research skills

(assignments). Sociology – objectively covering and analysing social issues.

What do students like about it?

Interesting as it is relevant to life and opens up a wide range of career options. It is a student-friendly course, as is the exam. The practical assignments prepare students well for researching topics after secondary school

What might they find challenging about it?

A high standard required in the journal writing of the five assignments to get a very good mark. Some scientific information required. The course is broad and students must be prepared to work from the start of Fifth Year.


LCVP is more properly called Link Modules. In order to qualify to register for these link modules a number of conditions must be met

Programme Requirements for students taking Leaving Certificate Examination from

2004 onwards

At least five Leaving Certificate subjects plus the Link Modules, one of which must be Irish

Two of the above subjects must be selected from one of the designated

Vocational Subject Groupings

Two Link Modules: Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise


A recognised course in a Modern European Language other than Irish or


What is a recognised Modern European language course for LCVP students?

The school has discretion in delivery of language (has to be recognised by DES)

They can take a language at Junior Certificate level or they can follow one of the FETAC language modules or the language teacher can devise a school programme in the language.

Students must take the language class for a minimum of one class period per week or equivalent over the two years of the programme within school time.

If a student is exempt from Irish for the Leaving Certificate they are automatically exempt for the LCVP and students should replace Irish with another subject.

Vocational Subject Groupings (VSGs) 2012/2013

Specialist Groupings

1 Construction Studies; Engineering; Design and Communication Graphics - Any Two

2 Physics and Construction Studies or Engineering or DCG

3 Agricultural Science and Construction Studies or Engineering or DCG

4 Agricultural Science and Chemistry or Physics

5 Home Economics; Agricultural Science; Biology - Any Two

6 Home Economics and Art - Design Option or Craft Option

7 Accounting; Business; Both together

8 Physics and Chemistry

9 Biology and Chemistry or Physics

10 Biology and Agricultural Science

11 Art - Design Option or Craft Option and Design & Communication Graphics

Services Groupings

12 Engineering or Construction Studies or DCG and Accounting or Business

13 Home Economics and Accounting or Business

14 Agricultural Science and Accounting or Business

15 Art Design or Craftwork Option and Accounting or Business

16 Music and Accounting or Business

All subjects must be studied in same centre as Link Modules (i.e. in school)

Link Module I – Preparation for the World of Work

Students will research and investigate local employment opportunities, develop job seeking skills such as letter writing, CV presentation, interview techniques; gain valuable practical experience of the world of work; interview and work shadow a person in a career area that interests them.

Link Module II – Enterprise Education

Students will be involved in organising visits to local business and community enterprises; meet and interview enterprising people on site and in the classroom; plan and undertake interesting activities that will build self– confidence, creativity, initiative and develop teamwork, communication and computer skills.

As well as doing the two Link Modules in class, students undertake doing six portfolio (project) items . These are:

Curriculum Vitae – Career Investigation – Enterprise/Action Plan – Summary Report

– Diary of Work Experience – Recorded Interview

Information and Communications Technology

Students taking the LCVP will have to type their portfolio items and while there will be computer time in school, access to a computer outside of school is an advantage.

LCVP is an opportunity to develop and apply their IT skills.

Assessment of the Link Modules

LCVP students follow the same subject syllabi and are assessed in the same way as their peers in the Leaving Certificate. For the Link Modules they are assessed by

Written Examination (40%) and by Portfolio of Coursework (60%). The written examination takes place in May of the Leaving Certificate Year. The examination is of two and a half hours duration and consists of three sections which are outline below.

The structure of the Written Examination is as follows:

Section A Audio Visual Presentation

Section B Case Study (received in advance by students)

Section C General Questions (4 out of 6)

The Portfolio of Coursework accounts for 60% of total marks. Students assemble the portfolio over the two years of the programme and it is assessed at the end of the final year of the Leaving Certificate. The Portfolio and Written Examination are externally assessed by the Department of Education & Science.


Syllabus Rationale :

The syllabus caters for all students who wish to study music for leaving certificate.

It has been designed to ;

- provide progression from the junior certificate music syllabus.

- be accessible to and enjoyable for a wide range of students, from different backgrounds.

- cater for a variety of student musical interests and needs including vocational, leisure and personal development.

- incorporate modern trends in music education.

- insure that its objectives can be realised within two years of classroom study.

Overall aims and objectives :

The aims of this course are consistent with the needs and abilities of leaving certificate students who wish to study music as part of an overall general education.

The syllabus objectives are listed under three headings ;

- knowledge and understanding.

- skills.

- attitudes.

Structure :

The leaving certificate music syllabus contains the following three essential activites;

Performing, Composing and Listening.



Performing pieces (technology can be included here)


:[ solo or group] One activity of 6 pieces or two activities of 4

: Melody and Harmony.

Listening : General listening skills through set works, Irish music and a variety of musical genres.

Students choose his/her best area of the 3 mentioned above and doubles up in one, so assessment will be 25%, 25% and 50% in the selected area.

This structure has been adopted to;

- maintain continuity with Junior Certificate Music.

- emphasise the importance of active rather than passive learning.

- provide a fully balanced musical experience, central to which is the development of musicality.


- listening paper.

- composing paper.

- practical exam. (in April) solo and/or group performance.

Subject Links :

- Irish and Religion.

What skills will it help develop?

Group work /Composing /performing /listening.

What do students like about the music course?

- The element of choice in relation to one’s strengths. The variety within the subject i.e. all genres of music are permissible from Classical to Irish to Rock and Pop.

- Emphasis on practical element as up to 50% of the final mark can be achieved prior to the written exam in June.

Very enjoyable to those who like it.

What might students find challenging?

- Students need to be able to read music.

- students need to have a good ear.

- students need to be able to play an instrument or sing.

Career Possibilities.

Music is useful for media work or studies, primary teaching, sound engineering, public relations, library work, communications, production, performance and music at third level.


General introduction to this subject at Leaving Cert .

Deals with the physical world – heat, light, sound, electricity, atomics and magnetism.

It is of key importance in engineering, radiography, physiotherapy and medicine and also useful for aviation, geology, meteorology, metallurgy, navy, oceanography, electrical and electronics areas, computers, telecommunications and all science courses.

Similarities/differences between Junior & Senior Cycle

Similarities: Topics are the same as in Junior Cert. Some of the same formulas are used

Differences: Degree of difficulty increases. New topics include Semiconductors,

Radioactivity and Light (to a more difficult level), Modern Atomics. More applications to everyday science, technology and society.

What are the main topics/themes covered in the Leaving Cert syllabus?

Light: Concave/convex, wave nature

Mechanics: Velocity, acceleration, force, pressure

Electricity: Current & Static

Radioactivity: Nuclear fusion/fission/atomics

Semiconductors: Transistors, diodes, rectifiers

Waves and Sound: Echoes & Vibrations

How is the subject examined at the end of the course?

3 Hour Exam

Section A: 3 questions on 4 of the 24 mandatory experiments

Section B: Answer 5 questions out of 8 on theory, experiments and applications.

What other school subjects do you see it being linked to at Leaving Cert level?

Strong link with Maths, it used to be recommended that students taking Physics should be studying honours maths but this is no longer the case as the degree of difficulty of the maths type questions has been reduced. Some overlap with


What type of skills will it help develop?

Use of logic to solve problems. Skills involving experiments and deducing conclusions from experiments. Graph plotting. Understanding the concepts behind devices.

What do students like about it?

The use of Maths to solve equations. Lots of hands-on practical work as there are 24 mandatory experiments to complete.

What might they find challenging about it?

Students that are not willing to work hard will find that they will lose interest and find the subject boring. Some parts require the learning of equations and definitions, which some pupils find difficult. If you are weak at Maths and obtained a B or less in

Ordinary Level at Junior Cert you are advised to think very carefully about selecting



Similarities with JC: Much of the same material is covered in LC RE, but in much greater depth and detail.

Differences with JC: There are a wider range of Religious topics covered. Much more essay writing is required than at Junior Cert level.

Topics and themes:

Unit 1 : (compulsory section)

A: The search for meaning and values

Unit 2: ( any two of)

B: Christianity: origins and contemporary expressions

C: World religions

D: Moral decision making

Unit 3: ( any one of)

E: Religion and gender

F: Issues of justice and peace

G: Worship, prayer and ritual

H: The Bible: literature and sacred text

I: Religion: the Irish experience

J: Religion and science

Each student is required to submit a research booklet report on a substantial piece of research on a religious topic prescribed by the DES. This booklet accounts for 20% of students’ final assessment. The terminal exam is 80% and is a 2 and a half hour paper.

Skills required: Students who take Leaving Certificate Religious Education can be from any faith-background and none. Exam religion is taught from an objective and neutral standpoint. Students who take should have a high degree of literacy, as the exam is an essay-based assessment. Students should be able to think in abstract terms and be able to empathise with other cultures and viewpoints. Students who are good at

English and History find Religious Education approachable.

Skills developed: Students will develop skills related to essay writing, independent research, project work, philosophical thinking, moral thinking and cultural understanding.

Career: Religious Education can feed into many careers in areas such as: Teaching at all levels of the education system, Journalism and writing generally, Law, Social work, Politics, Chaplaincy and Religious Life

What students like about this subject at Leaving Cert : Interesting, relevant to contemporary society, develops skills of social criticism and they like the challenge of thinking in abstract and philosophical terms. It helps them to come to an understanding of why people are spiritual and religious.

What students might find challenging about the subject : The large amount of material which has to be covered in the course and the lack of choice on the exam paper.