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.
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.
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 Applied Maths
What kind of student might Applied Maths suit?
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.
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.
There is a separate examination paper for Ordinary level and Higher level:
Ordinary Level Paper
This is a 2.5 hour paper (150 minutes) 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.
Applied Maths is useful for careers such as Engineering, Physics, Construction, IT, Insurance, Systems Analysis and Architecture.
Note: Trinity College Dublin (TCD) accepts Applied Maths as a science subject for entry into both the science and pharmacy faculties.This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.