Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Ejiro O'Hare Stratton from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Ejiro O'Hare Stratton

Clinical Nurse Manager 2

Health Service Executive

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Ejiro O'Hare Stratton

I would advise having a degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations. Professional training in nursing is necessary in order to understand patient care and what standards are required to provide quality care in an acute hospital setting.

One would also have to understand the value of planning, implementing and evaluating work practices in order to get the best out of employees. The person coming into the job would need to be patient, able to negotiate and work under pressure, as well as work on their own initiative.

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Subject Choice for Leaving Cert...

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Applied Maths

Ed Zone

These courses enable learners to gain recognition for the achievement of considerable knowledge in a range of subject areas, as for example in the Leaving Certificate and one-year Post Leaving Certificate courses.

Courses may be academic or practical in focus, and awards that are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications may lead to progression opportunities higher up in the framework.

Employment Opportunities
The majority of people with certificates at this level are well prepared for occupations that involve using their knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include office secretary, customer service representatives, special needs assistant, retail salespersons and childcare workers.

Level on the National Framework of Qualifications
2 Years
Duration of course
Grades Awarded

Marks Distribution 2017:
Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 1869 students who sat the Higher Level Applied Maths exam in 2017.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 100 students who sat the Ordinary Level Applied Maths exam in 2017.

In brief... header image

Applied Maths is the study of the practical applications of mathematics to the real world and physical problems. It is typically associated with engineering and physics, but also finds use in economics, finance, business, environmental studies, and even chemistry and medicine.


Why Study this?header image

Why Study Applied Maths

  • If you are getting A or B grades in Maths and Physics, you should be capable of getting similar grades in Applied Maths, thus enabling you to increase your points in the Leaving Cert.
  • There is overlap between some parts of the Leaving Cert Physics course and the Applied Maths course, such as Linear Motion, Newton’s Laws, and Circular Motion. Thus it will also help you to have a deeper understanding of these topics in Physics.
  • As there is a high maths content in the course, it will also give you a better understanding of some parts of the Honours Maths course – especially Trigonometry, Calculus (Differentiation and Integration) and Vectors. 
  • It is ideal for students who may be weak at other subjects (such as languages), and good at Maths, as they can do honours Applied Maths to increase their points.
  • It is very possible to cover the whole course in one year if a student is committed. Thus if you are starting Leaving Cert year, it is not too late to start.
  • If you are considering studying any kind of engineering in college, Applied Maths is very important – all engineering students have to study Applied Maths in first year in college and you will have a head start if you have the Leaving Cert course done.

What kind of student might Applied Maths suit?

  • This subject comes highly recommended for students considering a career in any area of Engineering, Science, Information Technology, Business, Finance, Architecture or Education. 
  • Students who are studying Leaving Cert higher level Maths. This course also helps students studying physics, due to some overlap in the course content. 
  • Students who need high entry points to get into university. On average over the past 3 years, 27% of the roughly 1,280 students who sat the higher level examination each year received a grade A1 or A2. Aside from niche languages such as Latin, Russian, and Japanese, this means that Applied Maths has the highest percentage of A grades in the Leaving Cert.

Recommendations/Tips

  • A very suitable subject for the student taking higher-level maths and physics. Some students complete the programme as an additional after-school subject, taken in one or two periods per week, over the two years of Senior Cycle.


Videos & Interviews header image


Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
Software Engineer - Karl Stanley
Karl Stanley, Smart FuturesFor my Leaving Cert. I took Maths - higher, Applied Maths - higher,  Physics - higher, Chemistry - higher, Music - higher, English - higher, German - higher, Irish - ordinary As you can see my abilities and interests were more in the maths+science sphere than anything else.

I was very lucky that at the time Mt. Temple had very capable maths+science teachers, which certainly made things easier for me. To be honest, in school I didn't really think about 3rd level or careers or anything until I was in 6th year (by which stage I'd already picked my subjects). I just picked the subjects I enjoyed and felt I had a natural knack for.

For the career I'm in now I don't think I could have picked better school subjects. It might have helped me to know a bit more about business-related subjects, but I had no interest in accountancy or commerce at the time.

I am considering taking an evening course in the legal+financial aspects to running a business to make up for this. However, as a teenager I think I was better off studying subjects that I had a genuine interest in, otherwise I would have found it very hard to motivate myself to study. 
  go to interview...
 
Consulting Engineer - Peter LaComber
Peter LaComber, CRH plc

I chose Physics, Chemistry and Technical Drawing as my optional subjects for the Leaving Certificate with a view to choosing an engineering course at third level.

These subjects certainly helped with first year in college as I had a foundation in those subjects to build on.

In hindsight, I would have chosen Applied Maths over Technical Drawing as the engineering course had a significant Applied Maths content.

Overall, I feel my subject choices were appropriate for my career choice.

 
  go to interview...
 
Civil Engineer - Maria O'Neill
Maria O'Neill, STEPS

In hindsight, I am happy to say I wouldn't have done anything differently to date! In my Junior Cert I did 9 subjects ; Maths, Irish, English, History, Geography, Science, Business Studies, French and Tech Graphics. I liked Languages and history the least. I won't lie, Maths, Geography, and Tech Graphics were the ones I enjoyed the most.

When I was choosing for my leaving Cert I still hadn't decided what I would do when I was finished. I was thinking of Engineering, Teaching or Physiotherapy. I wanted to leave my options open. To do physio you need a language (to get in to UCD) and 2 science subjects. I decided to do Maths, Irish, English, French, Geography, Physics and Chemistry for my leaving. That left all the options open.

I was good at Business Studies, but after looking at courses in college, I discovered you don't usually need a business subject to get into a business course. This is not the case for Science based courses. In 6th year I took up Applied Maths. Since I was doing Physics and Maths I had a good background for the subject. Twenty classes and just homework, and I got an honour. If anyone was to ask me if they should do it, if you like maths, its a great subject!

 
  go to interview...
 
Restaurant Manager - Lisa Berry
Lisa Berry, McDonald's

Honestly, I was not all that school focused, I didn't really know what I wanted to do after I finished school.

I completed school in 1994 and most of my courses have been management development courses through the various companies I have worked for.

In hindsight I would have applied myself more in school and once I had realised that I enjoyed management and working with people I should have studied in this field.

I am lucky in that I have the opportunity now to have my work based experience recognised with the course I am doing through McDonald's and NCI that will result in a degree for me in the future.

 
  go to interview...
 
Science Entrepreneur - Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly, BioPharmachem Ireland

I did the following subjects for my Leaving Cert: Irish, English, Maths, French, Physics, Chemistry, Accounting and Applied Maths.

When choosing my subjects in 5th year in School I deliberately ensured that I did at least one business and one science subject because this gave me more flexibility in my choice of courses. I would recommend this strategy - particularly for those who aren't sure what they wish to study in college.

 
  go to interview...
 
Mechanical Engineer - Natasha Ibanez
Natasha Ibanez , CRH plcWe had no Physics, Chemistry and other technical subjects in the school I attended, which would have been useful for my career development.  I did however have the opportunitiy to study Honours Maths in preparation for my current career.

In hindsight I would have looked for the opportunitiy to at least study Applied Maths, which would have made it easier to go through first year in college.

I am delighted I went to UCD, where it was possible to do one common year before choosing the Engineering discipline. 
  go to interview...
 
Engineer - Process - Kerrie Horan
Kerrie Horan, Intel

Subjects I look were Chemistry, Technical Drawing, Business Studies and German for my Leaving Cert.  All of which I have used since and believe it or not business aspects including accounting are an integral part of engineering

I would say that Physics and Applied Maths would have come in very useful as it was tough entering an Engineering Degree without having either of these.

 
  go to interview...
 
 

Course Overview header image

The Applied Mathematics course at Leaving Certificate is called 'Theoretical Mechanics' or 'Mathematical Physics' in third level courses. It is one of many branches of the more general field of Applied Mathematics.


Course Contentheader image

The course essentially covers the mathematics behind the behaviour of objects when placed in various situations, such as being thrown as projectiles, bounced off walls or other objects, immersed in fluids, or swung around on a rope. There are 10 questions on the exam paper, each covering one of these topics in detail. However, the exam only requires the student to complete six questions, so it is not uncommon for teachers to focus on six or seven topics, which makes the course and workload more manageable.

The course tends to avoid theory-heavy questions (such as proofs and manipulating formulae) which are found on the Mathematics paper, instead offering practical problems with numerical solutions, such as computing the volume of fluid in a container, or finding the optimal angle to throw a projectile at so that it will travel as far as possible. As a result, Applied Maths is excellent for developing strong problem solving skills, which are very valuable for future employment. 

View resources from Engineers Ireland (STEPS) relating to Leaving Cert Applied Maths here


Exam Structure header image

There is a separate examination paper for Ordinary level and Higher level:

Ordinary Level Paper

This is a 2.5 hour paper (150 minues) and carries 300 marks. You are required to answer 6 out of 9 questions and each carry 50 marks.

Higher Level Paper

This is a 2.5 hour paper (150 minutes) and carries 300 marks. You are required to answer 6 out of 10 questions. Each carry 50 marks.

Tip: Allow approx. 25 minutes per question in either paper. If you answer more than six questions, they will all be corrected and you will be given the marks for the best six.


Career Possibilities header image

Applied Maths is useful for careers such as Engineering, Physics, Construction, IT, Insurance, Systems Analysis and Architecture.



Career Guidance