If you would like to find out about history for Junior Cycle please click here.

For Leaving Certificate history requires a much greater depth of information and improved essay-writing skills at Higher Level.  The dates of the course are far more limited than in Junior Cert. Useful for careers in law, politics, journalism, media, archaeology, civil service, broadcasting, teaching, gardaí, tourism and social work. The skills acquired are useful in many areas of work e.g. the world of business where presentation of reports is very important and in the legal world where large volumes of material have to be gathered and analysed.


IRISH HISTORY     1815—1993 Students do two of the following topics:

Ireland and the Union, 1815—1870

Movements for political and social reform, 1870 –1914

The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition, 1912– 1949

The Irish Diaspora, 1840—1966

Politics and society in Northern Ireland, 1949—1993

Government, economy and society in the Republic of Ireland 1949—1989


HISTORY OF EUROPE AND THE WIDER WORLD 1815– 1992 Students do two of the following topics:

Nationalism and state formation in Europe, 1815—1871

Nation states and international tensions, 1871—1920

Dictatorship and democracy, 1920—1945

Division and realignment in Europe 1945—1992

European retreat from empire and the aftermath 1945-1990 (Prescribed documents for 2011 and 2012)

The United States and the world, 1945—1989


There will be two assessment components:

A report on the research study worth 20% (submitted April prior to Leaving Cert.)

A terminal examination worth 80%

At Ordinary Level the emphasis is more on paragraph, rather than essay writing.

At Higher Level the student must complete three essays and answer one document

based question, in which they can score highly.

Subject links

As the answers are written in essay style it would be an advantage to have a flair for English.

What skills will it help develop?

Research skills e.g. information-gathering/analysis/


Attention to detail and logic are also important skills.

What do students like about it?

Its relevance to current affairs. Interesting class discussions on historical issues.

Helps their essay writing skills for other subjects. The fact that students submit before their written exam a research study in which they can score highly means they can obtain a very good grade in the subject.

What might they find challenging about it?

As there is a lot of material to be learned it is necessary to work hard from the start. It can be difficult to learn the skill of essay-writing, as in Junior Cert. students are only required to write paragraphs.