Junior Certificate


Almost all junior cycle students take courses leading to the Junior Certificate, the State examination taken at the end of the third year of junior cycle, when students are 15 years of age. Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level, although three subjects, Irish, English and mathematics, can also be studied at Foundation Level. While a majority of subjects are assessed as part of the Junior Certificate Examination, the junior cycle provision also includes a number of subjects that are integral to the curriculum, but are not formally assessed in this way. The inclusion of these subjects in the curriculum ensures that students receive a broad, balanced education that introduces them to all the areas of experience relevant to the needs of learners at this age and stage of their development. Non-examination subjects at junior cycle include Physical Education, Social, Personal and Health Education and Computer Studies, while Religious Education is available both as an examination and non-examination subject.


EnglishHome Economics
HistoryArt, Craft, Design
GeographyMaterials Technology (Wood)
Ancient GreekTechnical Graphics
Classical StudiesBusiness Studies
Hebrew StudiesTypewriting
FrenchEnvironmental and Social Studies (ESS)
GermanCivic, Social and Political Education
SpanishReligious Education
ItalianPhysical Education
ScienceSocial, Personal and Health Education

Subjects in the junior cycle curriculum are kept under continuous review by the NCCA as part of its ongoing review of junior cycle (lower secondary) education.

Junior Certificate Fact sheets

The NCCA has put together a set of fact sheets which give information about the different subjects available in junior cycle. While the fact sheets have been designed with sixth class pupils and first year students in mind, they will also be useful for parents.

They can be used by first year tutors and guidance counsellors in post-primary schools and teachers of senior classes in primary schools. They will also be useful for school information evenings and open days.

Click the subject to view the fact sheet. To download, right click and select 'save as'. Files are in pdf format and can be viewed and printed using Adobe Reader

Art, Craft, DesignBusiness StudiesClassical Studies
HistoryHome EconomicsIrish
ItalianLatin and Ancient GreekMathematics
Materials Technology WoodMusicMetalwork
Physical EducationReligious EducationScience
SpanishSPHETechnical Graphics

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The facts of the matter; Article from info@ncca (April 2008)



Related links

Junior Certificate Syllabuses and Teaching Guidelines
Junior Certificate School Programme
State Examinations Commission