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.

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Peter LaComber

Consulting Engineer

CRH plc

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Peter LaComber
Skills - organisation and attention to detail Interests - all things technical Education - basic engineering foundation course (degree or similar)
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Subject Choice for Leaving Cert...

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Business

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 13219 students who sat the Higher Level Business exam in 2017.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 4354 students who sat the Ordinary Level Business exam in 2017.

In brief... header image

Leaving Certificate business creates an awareness of the importance of business activity and develops a positive and ethical attitude towards enterprise. The learning experiences in business develop students’ critical thinking, creative and organisational skills while enhancing literacy and numeracy skills using real-life examples. Business provides students with a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in business, marketing, law, enterprise and management.


Why Study this?header image

Why Study Business

Business is not specifically required for entry into any third level course but it would certainly be beneficial for candidates who might be interested in courses or careers in the area of finance, enterprise, law and communications.

What kind of student would Business suit?

Business will suit a candidate who is interested in current affairs and listens to the news, reads the papers and stays alert to what is happening in the general business world. While there is a fair share of learning of key concepts the ability to apply these concepts in everyday life will be the difference between passing the subject and getting a good mark.

While the business concepts are easy to understand, it will be important to show that you can apply the concept to everyday business life.

This subject suits someone who has an organised mind and likes to answer questions in bullet points, rather than in long essay format.

This subject would be useful to anyone thinking of starting his or her own business in the future.

Recommendations/Tips/Comments

  • The subject is suited to students who are willing to work hard and caters for all abilities. 
  • It is not necessary for students to have studied Junior Certificate Business Studies, but this would be a help.
  • Not necessary to write long essays, answers are presented in bullet points.
  • Course content is factual and requires a lot of learning, containing only a few mathematical elements.
  • Ideally, students would have an interest in business and current affairs and would have an up to date knowledge of economic environment.
  • An organised and consistent attitude to homework and study would be essential in this subject.


Videos & Interviews header image


Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
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...
 
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...
 
Corporate Accountant - Gail Sterio
Gail Sterio, McDonald's

I took German, Biology, Accounting and Business Studies along with English, Irish & Maths. I think it is very difficult to choose subjects in school. It feels like the world is on your shoulders and that this choice will have a huge impact on your future career.

The reality these days is that people change and mature at different stages in their life. Many people I know are not working in the area that they studied for in College - let alone school.

In hindsight - I think it is important to study what you are good at as this will enable you to get the points you need for your desired college course. The college course normally does not assume prior knowledge in these subjects and will start with the basics.

 
  go to interview...
 
Occupational Psychologist  - Aoife Lyons
Aoife Lyons, Civil and Public Service JobsFor my Leaving Certificate I did the standard subjects and German, Geography, Biology and Business Studies. I knew quite early on that I didn't want to do Accountancy or anything that would require more than one science subject so I was able to study the subjects that I liked. There really isn't anything that I would have done differently.  
  go to interview...
 
Electronic Engineer - Shane Callanan
Shane Callanan, Smart FuturesWhen in I was in school I didn’t really have a definite career plan. However I did prefer the Science subjects in general over languages or Business type subjects. Along with the obligatory subjects, I continued with Physics, Chemistry and Honours Maths for my leaving certificate, not so much as a conscious career choice but because I liked them. However as it turned out these all helped me during my course, and they tied in with 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...
 
Tax Trainee - Anna Holohan
Anna Holohan , Irish Tax InstituteStudying a broad degree like I did meant that there were lots of different options available once I finished college. I wasnít too sure what I wanted to do until I took a Revenue Law lecture. Studying Revenue Law, I found that tax had a good mixture of both business and law and therefore it appealed to me.  
  go to interview...
 
Lecturer - Aoife Mc Dermott
Aoife Mc Dermott, Department of Education and SkillsIn school I took English, Irish, Maths, French, Biology, Economics and Business. The fact that I enjoyed economics in school led me to the choice of my degree.

Luckily by taking what started out as a general degree I was able to figure out that what I liked about economics was being able to pose questions and look for solutions; the critical thinking component, rather than the content was actually the part that appealed most to me.

Through exposure to a variety of subjects in my first year in college I was in a much better position to chose the subjects that I wanted to specialise in.

Choosing to specialise in business and sociology worked well for me; the business component gave me a marketable knowledge base and skill set, while the sociology component encouraged me to think critically and introduced me to research skills.

I wouldn't do anything differently. It was great to be in a course where the classes got smaller as I progressed through, so I got a lot of guidance as I stumbled forward!

Choosing a specialised degree wouldn't have been a good choice for me at the time - I'm still amazed when I think of my friends who knew exactly what they wanted to do as they left school.

The biggest thing I learnt through my degree was that I had developed a skill set that I could use in a variety of ways. Having a degree in a specific area doesn't limit you to that for life! 
  go to interview...
 
Garda Reserve - Rasaq Falade
Rasaq Falade, Garda ReserveHaving come from an analytical science and business management background these have influenced my career path by paying attention to details, accurate reporting and having a critical and analytical angle of viewing situations as well as effective leadership and people management qualities. 
  go to interview...
 
Horticulturist - Paul Dowling
Paul Dowling, TeagascBiology and Chemistry were my favorites. Another which I found useful was Woodwork. Unfortunately, I gave up Woodwork, which is a good practical subject too early. The subjects I really enjoyed the most were Biology and Chemistry. Other practical subjects like Metalwork or Orienteering have been helpful. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business.  
  go to interview...
 
 

Course Overview header image

This subject teaches the skills and knowledge needed to understand how business works. 

This is a practical course that introduces students to the world of business in a straightforward and logical way. It aims to create an awareness of the importance of business activity and to develop a positive and ethical attitude towards it. The importance of people in business is highlighted.

The course sets out to illustrate the process of setting up a business and developing a new product or service. It emphasises the importance of good management and deals with skills and activities necessary for good management practice. It also deals with the impact of technology, foreign trade, global firms and competition and with business structures and the national economy.

Business requires students to stay alert and to be aware of current related business media (e.g. newspapers, TV, radio).  The course is theory based and therefore requires a lot of learning.

Leaving cert business has been on offer for many years now, so there are lots of past papers to help the student when revising.


Course Contentheader image

  • This subject is concerned with understanding the environment in which business operates in Ireland and in the wider world. 
  • It also involves equipping the students with a positive view of enterprise and its applications in the business environment, in both the public and private sectors. 
  • There are 7 core units covering the following topics: Introduction to people in business; Enterprise; Managing 1 & 2; Business in action; Domestic Environment and International Environment. 
  • There is a common syllabus covering Higher and Ordinary level, which will fulfil the aims and objectives of the course. 
  • A flexibility of design that caters for present day Irish business education and yet is capable of adaptation to future developments in a structured and efficient way. 
  • It assists students to develop their education for adult and working life including the creation of positive attitudes towards self-employment. 
  • From time to time there may be field trips or guest speakers where the course allows.  These are not a compulsory part of the course and are organised at the teachers’ discretion. 


Exam Structure header image

Exam Structure - Higher & Ordinary Level

Higher Level – 1 x 3 hour paper (400 marks); 3 sections. 

Section 1 – Short questions (8/10) 80 marks. 

Section 2 – Applied Business Question – 80 marks (compulsory).  

Section 3 – Long Questions (60 marks per question (4/7))

Ordinary Level – 1 x 2.5 hour paper (400 marks); 2 sections.   

Section 1 – Short Question (10/15) 100 marks. 

Section 2 – Long Questions (75 marks per question (4/8)). 


Career Possibilities header image

Business is useful for careers in a wide range of areas including Banking, Finnace, Administration, Law, Insurance, Management and Marketing among others.