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What are your interests?



The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Subject Choice for Leaving Cert...

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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 2018:
Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 236 students who sat the Higher Level Japanese exam in 2018.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 60 students who sat the Ordinary Level Japanese exam in 2018.

In brief... header image

Japanese as a Leaving Cert subject aims to bring students closer to fluency in the Japanese language, as well as developing a good knowledge of literature, culture, geography, and national history to provide a context for communication. Most students who choose to study Japanese find it a fun and rewarding subject to study. 

Why Study this?header image

What kind of student might Japanese suit?

  • Anyone with an interest in Asian or Japanese culture, history, and language.
  • Students who are considering working in Asia, Japan, business, or international relations in the future.
  • Students who can already speak Japanese and want easy points.

For a summary of other reasons to study Japanese, this presentation explains some of the reasons why those interested in exams, economics, business, technology, cars, energy saving, culture or language might want to consider studying Japanese.


Japanese is not offered by many schools as a core Leaving Cert subject choice, but that does not preclude any one from taking it outside school and sitting it at examination.

Some schools require all their Leaving Certificate students to take a language. If students have the option to choose whether or not to take a language, they should consider it seriously as it may determine the choices available to them when it comes to applying for college.

For example, a third language is a requirement of a number of departments in the NUI colleges. Always check entry requirements for individual colleges  and courses.


Videos & Interviews header image

Studying Japanese - Japanese

Edel Carleton - Japanese

Fiona Uyema - Japanese

Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
Chef - Fiona Uyema
Fiona Uyema, Languages ConnectStudying French was useful for me to study Japanese in college. However I didn't like French in school as I don't believe it is taught in a fun way for students. It's mostly based around learning things off with no enjoyment around the language itself or the culture. 
  go to interview...
Embassy of Japan in Ireland - Edel Carleton
Edel Carleton, Languages ConnectI loved languages in school, and continue to love them now, which I think has definitely been the biggest influence on my career. I went to an all Irish primary school, then began German in secondary school and took up Japanese in TY.  
  go to interview...
Lecturer - Dr. Patrick Cadwell
Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Languages ConnectStudying languages altered my career path the most - I studied French first and then Japanese, and these subjects led me to Luxembourg and Japan. 
  go to interview...

Course Overview header image

Leaving Certificate Japanese follows a common syllabus framework for the teaching and examining of modern languages in the Leaving Certificate.

The syllabus aims to develop learners’ communicative skills in Japanese, to develop their strategies for effective language learning and raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity.

Assessment is by means of a written examination, and an aural and oral examination at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level.

Course Contentheader image

The following general aims are proposed by this syllabus for the preparation of students for the Leaving Certificate in Japanese.

1. To foster in learners such communicative skills in the target language as will enable them to:
take a full part in classroom activities conducted in the target language;

  • participate in normal, everyday transactions and interactions, both spoken and written, both at home and abroad;
  • extract information and derive enjoyment from the mass media and the more accessible literature of the target language community;
  • consider as a realistic option the possibility of pursuing leisure activities, further study and/or career opportunities through the medium of the target language.

2. To give students a critical awareness of how meaning is organised and conveyed by the structures and vocabulary of the target language, and thus to contribute to their understanding of the workings of human language in general.

3. To help learners develop strategies for effective language learning.

4. To equip learners with a broad acquaintance with the cultural, social and political complexion of contexts in which the target language is a normal medium of communication and thus to help raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity generally.

Exam Structure header image

The examination will assess a candidate’s ability to:

  1. understand the spoken language
  2. understand the written language
  3. communicate in the spoken language
  4. communicate in the written language
Mark Allocation for Leaving Certificate French:

Section    Higher Level Ordinary Level
Speaking 25%   20%
Listening Comprehension 20% 25% 
Reading Comprehension 30% 40% 
Writing 25%  15%

Career Possibilities header image

Japanese is useful for careers in Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Sales, Marketing, Technology and Translation among others. Japan is home of many successful video game and animation companies who often seek to recruit foreign employees who can speak Japanese.

Career Guidance