The Politics & Society Leaving Certificate programme is about the social systems within which people act locally, nationally and more widely.
Students who take this course will look at the concepts underpinning contemporary systems of government and the roles of groups such as multinational companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and intergovernmental bodies, in shaping the world we live in.
Politics & Society is a challenging and rewarding subject. It will suit any student who is interested in areas such as human rights, equality, diversity, sustainable development, power and democratic decision-making.
If you want to become a more informed and active global citizen then this subject will be of interest to you.
Studying Politics & Society gives students a real insight into people, power and how society works.
This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors:
Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 103 students who sat the Ordinary Level Politics & Society exam in 2019.
Explore Marks Distribution for all Subjects:
Politics & Society is a new subject that has been developed for Leaving Certificate. It was introduced on a phased basis, starting with a small number of schools from September 2016. Politics and Society was first examined in 2018.
The Politics & Society syllabus covers some of the key themes and ideas in the social and political sciences.
As a student on the course, you get to apply these themes and ideas to your school and to the local environment, as well as exploring how they apply in the wider world. For example, through looking at the changes in your own local community over the last few years, you will have an opportunity to discuss whether or not these changes constitute development, and whether or not they are sustainable.
The Politics & Society course consists of 4 main areas covered in topics as follows:
Power and decision-making:
Topic 1 Power and decision-making in school
Topic 2 Power and decision-making at national and European level
Topic 3 Effectively contributing to communities
Topic 4 Rights and responsibilities in communication with others
Human rights and responsibilities:
Topic 5 Human rights and responsibilities in Ireland
Topic 6 Human rights and responsibilities in Europe and the wider world
Globalisation and localisation:
Topic 7 Globalisation and identity
Topic 8 Sustainable development
Politics & Society can be taken at Ordinary or Higher level.
Assessment is based on the course aims, objectives and learning outcomes. There are two assessment components at each level:
- A citizenship project report which accounts for 20% of the total marks.
- A written examination which accounts for 80% of the final grade
The citizenship project changes from year to year and is based number of topics* from which students choose one to work on. The citizenship project requires students to research a topic of interest to them and then put their learning into action.
Assessment of the citizenship project is based on your ability to use the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society to make judgements as to how to be active in communities, and to reflect on and evaluate what you have learned or achieved from being an active participant in civil, social and political life.
The written exam will assess your ability to apply the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society to make arguments about political and social issues and the skills of analysing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data on social and political issues. The written examination will be two and a half hours long and will have three sections.
*Topics are based on a brief issued annually by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) - click here.
Politics & Society is a useful subject to take if you want to study politics or sociology or other courses such as law, anthropology, philosophy, development studies, media studies, and many more.
The skills of critical thinking and active citizenship that you will develop through this subject will be useful to you in any future learning and in your everyday life.
Subject Group: Social
These subjects explore common issues faced by all people living in society. They develop the skills and knowledge used to manage personal resources and guide human behaviour.
Required for 3rd Level?
Politics & Society is a useful Leaving Certificate subject to take if you want to study politics or sociology at third level, or courses such as law, anthropology, philosophy, or media studies.
It will also provide a useful foundation for interdisciplinary programmes such as international relations, women’s studies, development studies and equality studies.
This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.