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What are your interests?

Realist?

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Subject Choice

Leaving Certificate

History

Career Zone
QQI
NFQ Level
Duration
2 Years

Summary

History aims to record and analyse things which have happened in the past, with an emphasis on both how and why events occurred. It deals with human experience and involves an investigation of the surviving evidence relating to such experience.

History brings students into contact with human experiences that are often very different from their own and fosters their developing understanding of the human condition and human motivation. Through its focus on the evaluation of evidence, it contributes significantly to the development of students' skills of critical thinking. Through its focus on research, it allows students the opportunity to develop their skills of independent learning.

History is often studied out of personal interest, but also develops important skills which are of life-long importance.

What kind of student might History suit?

  • Students who enjoy and appreciate history, and would like to improve their knowledge.
  • Students who are willing to commit a lot of time; History is a demanding subject.
  • Students who have strong English language skills, and are able to write. 
  • Students aiming to improve their self-discipline and research skills.

Recommendations/Tips

When considering History as a Leaving Certificate subject students should note the following:

  • An interest in the subject is vital; some students choose it on the basis that they like nothing else on the Subject Line.
  • A good knowledge of English, an ability to write and an interest in current affairs is important.
  • Self-discipline is an essential ingredient as students must show initiative in researching material, not merely for the research topic, but also to augment their knowledge of the course in general.
  • Choosing it because it was an easy subject for the Junior Certificate has absolutely no basis in truth, as they are two completely separate courses. Leaving Certificate History is demanding and some students find out too late that they cannot cope and drop out.
  • If history is a subject that you like and you have the ability, discipline and work ethic to do well in it, but is not related to the course you want to pursue at Third Level, you should consider doing it on the basis that it will get you the required points to get the Third Level course that you want.
This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors:

Grades Awarded

Marks Distribution 2019:

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 8824 students who sat the Higher Level History exam in 2019.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 2919 students who sat the Ordinary Level History exam in 2019.

 

Explore Marks Distribution for all Subjects:

Course Overview

Syllabus Framework

The Leaving Cert History course is divided into two discrete fields of study:

  • Early Modern (1492-1815) and
  • Late Modern (1815-1993).

Each field is further divided into six Irish topics and six European topics.

Students are encouraged to develop research skills and an appreciation for the society in which they live.

The Leaving Certificate History syllabus gives teachers a choice of 4 topics which will be studied from a selection of 12 topics in modern Irish and modern European history.

The study of History at Leaving Certificate fulfils many of the general aims and principles of the Leaving Certificate programmes.

  • It emphasises the importance of individual thought.
  • It fosters a spirit of inquiry and critical thinking.
  • It helps to prepare students both for further education and for adult and working life.
  • It helps to prepare students for their role as active and participative citizens.

History is a good all round education.

It is crucial when studying History to pay attention to the evidence presented, and to keep in mind factors such as bias and propaganda. Students are encouraged to consider the validity of different interpretations of evidence to develop a more balanced and grounded judgement. 

The course is quite large and requires constant attention throughout the year. Research skills such as drawing on a wide variety of sources of evidence (such as maps, public records, political cartoons, and memoirs) are developed throughout the course. When writing, students are taught to produce focused, logical, and supported arguments.

Note that Leaving Cert History is completely different from the Junior Cert course! 

Assessment

Leaving Certificate History is assessed at two levels, ordinary level and higher level. There are two assessment components: a research study report (submitted prior to the examination) and a written examination.

Course Content

The Leaving Certificate History Syllabus gives teachers a choice of 4 topics which will be studied from a selection of 12 topics in modern Irish and modern European history.

The topics are arranged in two discrete fields of study:

Early Modern, 1492-1815

Later Modern, 1815-1993


Students will study topics from one of the fields of study.

Within each field of study, there are six topics from Irish history and six from the history of Europe and the wider world.

Students will study two topics from Irish history and two from the history of Europe and the wider world from the selected field of study.

Two topics will be prescribed for documents-based study: one from the Early Modern field of study and one from the Later Modern field of study.

Students will engage in a documents-based study of the prescribed topic from their selected field of study.

Research Study

Students undertake a Research Study which will take the form of a report to be submitted around Easter time before the Leaving Certificate exam in June.

This Research Study can be about any aspect of history, in any period. The teacher will help and oversee this work but the choice of subject matter is that of the student. This part of the assessment carries 20% of the total marks.

Exam Structure

The History exam will last 2 hours 50 minutes and pupils will answer the documents-based study and three essays (one from each topic studied).

Ordinary level students follow an identical course, with a different emphasis in the way questions are asked on exam papers.

Assessment consists of two components: A written examination paper (80%) and A research study report (20%) submitted around Easter before the June exam.

The marks are to be weighted as follows:

Authentication procedures

The report must be the candidate’s own work. Authentication procedures will be put in place to ensure compliance with this requirement. These will include a protocol in relation to the use of internet-sourced material.

The terminal examination
Mark allocation
The percentage of the total marks to be allocated to this component will be 80%.

  • The Higher Level Paper
    Candidates will answer four questions, one on each of the four topics studied.  All four questions will be of equal value. One of the questions will be documents-based.
  • With the exception of topics nominated for the documents-based study, a specified number of questions will be asked on each of the topics.
  • In the case of each topic, at least two of the three perspectives will be examined each year.

The Ordinary Level Paper

  • Candidates will answer four questions, one on each of the four topics studied. All four questions will be of equal value. Three of the questions will be general questions, while one will be documents-based.
  • One question will be set on each topic.
  • An element of choice will be "built in" to each of the general questions.

A common format will apply to each of the general questions and each will be stimulus-driven.

The stimulus is intended to facilitate candidate recognition of the topic and as a reasonably gentle lead-in to more testing examination of knowledge and understanding. The common format will include stimulus-driven questions (testing comprehension and/or identification) and paragraphs or short essays linked to the key personalities and case studies.

Career Possibilities

History develops an ability to think independently and is very useful skill for third-level education.

An interest in, and knowledge of history are relevant to any career related to current affairs, such as Journalism, Local and National Radio and TV.

History is valuable as a background to studies in Law, Town Planning, Architecture, Politics, Economics, Sociology, Art, Museum and Library work. 

History is a also a good training for work in Administration, Management and Business and is an excellent basis for careers in Tourism, Government and Teaching.

Career Guidance

Subject Group: Humanities

These subjects explore the ways in which humans live and communicate in the world. Human life is examined by looking at our past, our present and into our future. These subjects help people to express themselves clearly and develop their reasoning ability.

Required for 3rd Level?

This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.

Interviews

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Catherine Day, Secretary General
I took a broad range of subjects in my Leaving Cert. I did a little bit of Science, Languages and History in order to keep my options open.

... View Full Interview

Deirdre Lavelle, Care Assistant
In school I studied English, Irish, Maths, History, and French. As I came to this line of work late in life experience and courses I have done since leaving school have been helpful to me.

I did the foundation in counseling skills course in Maynooth College, I feel this has helped me in my work as it developed my listening skills.

Also here I had my first introduction to non verbal communication and reading body language etc., which is very useful in my current job as I work with people who communicate largely by non verbal means.

If I could go back in time I would have worked harder in school and achieved a better leaving certificate, as I spent many years doing a job I was not suited to.

... View Full Interview

Naoise Pye, Social Care Worker

I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left school so actually my choice of subjects only reflected my interests (Art, History, French and Classical Studies).

So if I were to do my Leaving cert again I might choose to do home-economics or biology to increase my medical knowledge as well as my cooking and domestic skills!

... View Full Interview

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