It is important to note that currently the school will only look at the possibility of offering Chemistry for Leaving Cert where enough students have indicated a desire to take the subject and where timetabling allows this to occur.


Deals with the composition of all matter and substances, their changes and their relevance to each other. It involves everything we eat, wear, use, etc. including plastics, medicines, preservatives and many more. Of the science subjects chemistry is probably the most useful for future career choice as it keeps open more options. Useful for pharmacy, lab sciences, chemical engineering, medical labs, agriculture, nursing, medicine, aviation and in cosmetics, glass, brewing, fuel, plastics, textiles and pharmaceutical areas.  At Senior Cycle, Chemistry goes into far more detail than JC Science and a number of new topics are introduced. There is some emphasis on practical work and on the social & applied aspects of chemistry (everyday use). For LC Chemistry, Maths is important and it is desirable that a student would have undertaken the Higher Level course and obtained an honour in Junior Cert Maths.


Main topics

Detailed study of atomic structure and chemical bonding

Properties of gases

Volumetric analysis

Rates of reaction

Organic chemistry

Water and environmental chemistry



3 hour written paper

Practical work is examined on the examination paper. However students must write up all practicals which may be checked by a Department Inspector.



Maths, Physics, Biology. Students may find Honours Chemistry difficult if they are not comfortable with Maths.


Skills it will help develop

Analytical/Practical. Encourages one to develop logic and attention to detail.


How might it help my future career?

Chemistry is a compulsory subject for some Third Level Courses.  It would be useful in many areas e.g. Science/Engineering/Paramedical/Food Science/Medical Laboratory Science.  It is compulsory for Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Science and Human Nutrition.  It is also worth noting the expanding chemical industries in the Cork region.  Many multi-national companies e.g. Pfizer, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline are based in Cork.


What do students like about it?

Practical work and its application to daily life.  The text-book is well presented and therefore it is easy to learn from it.  In the exam the answers tend to be concise and exact.


What do students find challenging about it?

There are a small number of core concepts that need to be grasped early on in the course in order to have a good understanding of the subject. It is a very long course so students must be prepared to work from the beginning of fifth year.