Senior Cycle Optional Subjects.

3 Business Subjects


•Over 90% Practical Accounting Work.

•Preparation and Interpretation of Financial Records -:

Trading Profit and Loss Accounts, Balance Sheets, Club Accounts, Cash Flow Statements etc. etc.

•Management Accounting:

Preparation of: Budgets, Product Costing, Cost Volume Profit Analysis.


Junior Certificate Business Studies is broken up into three subjects at Leaving Certificate Level. One of these three subjects is Business.

• Business is a practical subject that introduces students to the world of Business. It aims to create an awareness of the importance of enterprise both in setting up a new business and developing a new product or service.

• Students will study in greater detail areas familiar to them already from Junior Cert. Business Studies such as Consumer Law, Industrial Relations and Insurance. There are also new areas on the course such as Human Resource Management, Enterprise and International Business.

• There is no accounting or bookkeeping involved in Leaving Cert. Business.

• Students who take this subject are interested in business matters generally and would have liked the theory part of their Junior Cert. Business Studies programme.


Economics covers a broad range of topics such as banking, the Economic aims of government, Inflation, the Economics of Population. It includes some theory and financial Maths but no book-keeping. Topics studied include

(1) International Trade

Why countries import and export?

Rates of exchange: why is one currency worth a certain amount of another


(2) Price

The factors that determine the price of a good – demand and supply e.g. costs of

production, incomes

(3) Economic Growth and Development

How a country can become richer. What their own governments can do and how

foreign countries can help.

(4) Choice

It looks at how choices have to be made by governments and individuals and evaluates the implications of these decisions. It encourages students to question why individuals, businesses and governments make the choices they do and how does it then affect consumers and the the general publc financially. The subject suits students who have a questioning mind and have some interest in current affairs.

4 Science Subjects

Agricultural Science

Agricultural science is the study of the science and technology underlying the principles and practices of agriculture. It aims to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes concerning the factors that affect the long-term well-being of agricultural resources, and places emphasis on the managed use of these resources.

The course consists of the study of a variety of aspects of agriculture under the following headings:

• Soils

• The general structure and function of plants

• Farm crops – cereal and roots

• Farm crops – grassland

• Trees and shelter

• Structure and function of the animal body

• The cow, the sheep, horse, and pig

• Farm buildings (fro school assessment only)

• Farm-house environment (for school assessment only)

The examination in Agricultural Science consists of (a) a terminal examination paper and (b) an assessment of the work of the candidate during the course under the headings: identification of plant and animal types associated with agriculture; practical experience with crops, livestock, house and farmyard layouts; investigations carried out related to ecology, soil science, animal physiology, plant physiology, genetics and microbiology.


The three main areas in the New Biology Course.

•Ecology and the effect of man on the environment

•Study of the inner workings of both plants and animals.

•Genetics and evolution


•Practical uses of Chemistry inc. Water Treatment, Atmospheric Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Fuels etc.

•Learning how to carry out experiments, working as part of a team, using equipment and chemicals.

•Acids and Bases, Gas, Heat in reactions, Oil Refining, Metals, Plastics etc.


Mirrors, Lenses, Optical Fibres, Light, Telecommunications, Sound, Speed, Pressure, Energy, Heat.

Electricity, Magnetism, Motors, House Circuits, Meters, X-Rays, Radioactivity

Electronics, Transistors, Computers, Radio and Television

24 mandatory practicals


4 Papers.

•Course comprises of both practical work and the history and appreciation of Art.

History and Appreciation of Art (37·5%)

Craftwork or Design (25%)

Imaginative Composition of Still Life (25%)

Life Drawing (12·5%)

All Practical Papers are given a week in advance of the exam in order to prepare your ideas.

Imaginative Composition or Still Life.

This paper composes of a written passage and you are required to draw or paint a picture you have in mind having read it OR draw or paint a still life grouping contained in or suggested by the passage.

Design or Craftwork.

For the Design Paper you are required to draw a design proposal for a craft of your choice OR for the Craftwork Paper you are required to draw a design proposal for a craft of your choice and then make it.

Life Drawing.

You are required to complete 2 posed drawings. The first is a drawing lasting 15 minutes. The second is a more fully worked drawing lasting 30 minutes.

History and Appreciation of Art.

This paper comprises of 3 sections and you are required to answer 1 question from each. There is a choice of up to 7 questions in each section. The sections are, Irish Art from the Stone Age period to the 20th Century, European Art from the 11th century to the 20th century and appreciation of art.

Construction Studies

•Learn about all the stages involved in building a house from start to finish, including how to draw detailed sections (compulsory question).

Exam is in June of 6th year at Higher Level 3 hours and worth 300 marks

at Ordinary Level 2½ hours and worth 250 marks

•Day Practical Exam

Given a drawing you have to mark out, cut, and assemble 12mm wood.

Exam is on the 2nd Monday in May of 6th year is 4 hours and is worth 150 marks for both Higher Level and Ordinary Level.

•Construction Project and Folder is worth 150 marks for both Higher Level and Ordinary Level. Planning starts after Easter in 5th Year. Making happens from September to January of 6th year. Usually a Construction or Heritage models or Furniture.

Design and Communication Graphics

Design and Communications Graphics (DCG) is the follow on to JC Technical Graphics. The subject replaced Technical Drawing in 2008 and is a really exciting subject which offers students a very new and exciting approach to geometry and computer aided design. The course covers topics such as design, sketching and extensive use of IT equipment.

Solidworks is the 3D software package used in the DCG room. This package allows students to model everyday objects.
The syllabus is divided into 2 sections, the core areas of study and the optional areas of study. The core area is further divided into two sections, plane and descriptive geometry and communication of Design and Computer graphics. The options are five distinct areas of design and communication graphics. Students must choose two areas from the options and will then attempt these options in the terminal examination.
Assessment will be in the form of
1. Terminal examination paper (60%)
2. Student assignment (40%)
Students will complete the assignment in their final year of the course. The terminal examination will be allocated 60% of the marks and the student assignment (of which CAD will form a significant and compulsory component) will be allocated 40% of the total marks for the subject.


•This course has three main areas.

Practical work (25%), Project work (25%) and Theory (50%) with the Higher level Syllabus being followed in class. Having completed Junior Certificate Metalwork will be a distinct advantage to any candidate taking up this option for the Leaving Cert.

•The practical work involves the marking out, shaping and assembly of various mechanisms and concludes with a 6-hour practical exam. In year two a design and make project complete with a portfolio of work has to be completed.

•The theory aspect of the course deals with Material science, testing of materials and machine technology. This is assessed by a three hour theory exam.


The Leaving Cert Music course builds on the foundations of the Junior Cert Curriculum and continues to explore different genres of music.

The Leaving Cert Paper is examined as follows:

•Listening: 4 set works, Irish Music and a general music listening question. (25%)

•Composing: Melody writing and Backing Chords. (25%)

•Performing: As in Junior Cert. Practical. (50%)

2 Modern Langusges


The Leaving Cert. French course continues to build (from Junior Cert.) the learners acquisition of the language by focusing on

•Communicative ability

•Language awareness

•Cultural awareness

The above are examined with an integrated approach between the following components

•Oral (Speaking) 25% Higher Level 20% Ordinary Level

•Aural (Listening) 20% Higher Level 25% Ordinary Level

•Reading (Journalistic, Literary) 30% H. Level 40% Ord. Level

•Writing 25% High. Level 15% Ord. Level


These are 3 sections to the Leaving Certificate German exam.

•Oral exam; The test takes approximately 15 minutes it accounts for 25% of Higher Level and 20% of Ordinary Level marks.

•Listening Comprehension:

The test takes 40 minutes and accounts for 20% of Higher Level and 25% of Ord. Level marks.

•Written Exam:

The test takes 2½ hours and accounts for 55% of marks at both Higher and Ordinary Level.


1. Core Options.

•Physical Geography (Plate tectonics, surface landforms)

•Regional Geography (Students will study a number of regions in Ireland, Europe and continental/sub continental)

•The EU and its expansion

•Geographical Investigation (20% of final exam)

2. Electives.

Students will choose between the following

•Patterns and process of human activities

•Patterns and processes of economic activities

3. Options (Higher Level Only)

Students will choose one of the following

•The Atmosphere – Ocean environment


•Culture and Identity

•Global Interdependence


•Students study Later Modern History with 2 topics from Irish History and 2 from European/World History.

There are many choices within the course to suit varying interests. The topics are studied from a political, economic and cultural perspective.

•The Department of Education and Science chooses one topic which is compulsory and is totally documents based. In the Leaving Cert. the documents question from this section counts for 20% of the total marks.

•Every student must present a research study of their own in 6th year. This project is on a topic outside of the prescribed content of the course. This research study counts for 20% of the total marks.

The remaining 60% of the marks are for questions on the other 3 topics.

Consequently essay writing is a prominent feature of assessment.

Home Economics.

Food Studies and Culinary Skills.

(1) Students will study the Science of nutrition, diets and foods.

Students will participate in Practical Cookery classes, of which five will be

recorded in a journal, and submitted to the Department to gain 20% of their

Leaving Certificate exam.

(2) Resource Management and Consumer Studies.

Students will cover such topics as Money Management, Budgeting, Mortgages,

Insurance, Consumer Laws, rights and responsibilities.

(3) Social Studies.

Students will study the science of Sociology, to include such topics as Family Issues, rights and responsibilities of Marriage and Family Law.

An “elective” study is compulsory and currently in Coláiste Íosagáin the elective

chosen is an in depth study of current social issues to include, poverty, work and

unemployment, education, and leisure.

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme.

L.C.V.P. can be described as a Leaving Cert. with emphasis on practical skills that students will need when they leave school e.g. preparing for interviews, computer skills, preparing C.V.s. It also encourages students to think about what career they wish to follow after school and encourages students that may, some day, wish to start their own business.

Like C.S.P.E. in your Junior Cert. the majority of the marks go for project work that you complete in school. This is assessed at the end of the final year of Leaving Cert. and is assembled over the two years. This is worth 60% of the marks and comprises:

Compulsory Core:

C.V., Career investigation, Summary Report, Enterprise/Action Plan.

Optional, to pick 2 from:

Diary of Work Experience, Enterprise Report, Recorded Interview/Presentation or Report “My Own Place”.

L.C.V.P. is an extra subject and may be used as one of your best six subjects when calculating points.

Grades awarded for the Link Modules are Distinction (80-100%), Merit (65-79%) and Pass (50-64%)