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Leaving Cert Subjects

Guide to Leaving Cert Subjects

Subject Choice for LC

Towards the end of Third Year (or Transition Year if you are taking it), students will be asked to choose which subjects they would like to study for their Leaving Cert.

First you must consider which Leaving Cert programme you will take. This will depend largely on what is offered in your school. Explore The Three Leaving Certs here.

There are usually more subject options available for Leaving Cert than Junior Cycle, which means you can focus your studies more on the areas you are interested in.

Your choice of subjects in the Leaving Cert may effect what courses or employment options are available to you after you leave school, so it is important to take the time to choose carefully.

Find out all you need to know about each subject here

Use the Menu on this page to explore all your options.

Lynsey Gargan, Manufacturing Engineer

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

In school I was limited by the amount of subjects offered. I went to an all girl's convent school and they had pretty much the stereotypical girl's school subjects then.

For my optional subjects I did Geography, H&E Social and Scientific and Biology. I had all the regular subjects too. English, Irish, Maths and French. I think it's fairly obvious from the above list that my subjects didn't have much of a influence over my third level education choices.

If subjects like physics, engineering etc., had been on offer, I think I would have taken them instead but they were not available to me. I don't believe choices made in school about subjects always have to dictate what you do in college. In my case it just meant I had to work a little harder in the first year of college to catch up.

My school subjects never stopped me. If you know what you like and what you want do, you will always find a way. To be honest it's the knowing what you like that's harder, there are lots of paths to achieve what you want in education today.

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John Kelly, Timber Purchaser

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

I canít say that I have been influenced by one subject or the other. They have all come into their own when asked about different topics by clients. A wide general knowledge is useful. I still find this useful as I am not sure what I will do next.

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Caitriona Jackman, Planetary Scientist

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

For Leaving Certificate I did the usual English, Irish, Maths, then Physics which I loved, Chemistry which I wasn’t great at (kept breaking stuff in the practicals), French, Geography and Music as an extra. I really enjoyed English actually, and even though a lot of my job involves computer programming and some hard maths and physics, I still rely heavily on my writing skills.

As important as it is to have technical ability in my job, it is still crucial to be able to communicate any results I find. One of the main tasks for me is to write papers for scientific journals, and occasionally to write articles for a more general audience.

My French is also useful because I collaborate with several people from a lab in Paris and they like if I make an effort to speak a bit of French, even though my accent is very embarrassing!

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