Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) is taught to all Junior Certifcate Students. It aims to help you to become actively involved in your community, your country and the wider world.

What will I learn in CSPE?
  • In CSPE class you will get a chance to think about questions such as:
  • what does it mean to be an active citizen?
  • how can I get involved in my community?
  • how can I make a difference?
  • what are human rights?
  • how can I play a part in protecting the  environment?

But you will do more than just thinking about these things. You will be taking action.

How will CSPE connect with the world outside of school?

CSPE is all about understanding our community, our society and the wider world; how each work and how we can make them better. Some of the things you may do are:

  • take part in an environmental project, such as recycling, in your local area
  • organise a visit to a local court • support a campaign for children’s rights
  • watch what’s happening in the news
  • discuss the topics that come up in class with your family and friends.
How will I learn CSPE in school?

Being active in the classroom is very important in CSPE. Some of the things you may do with your teacher and classmates are:

  • work on your own, but also in pairs and in groups
  • discuss and debate topics in class
  • learn through games, role play, photos and other activities
  • use newspapers, magazines, books and the Internet to find out information
  • invite a guest speaker into the class or go on a trip outside of school.

Some other things that will help you learn in class are:

  • asking questions
  • keeping a file of your notes and handouts as they will be useful for learning and for revision
  • finding out how voting works by organising a mock election in your class.
How will I know how I am getting on?
  • Your teacher will let you know:
  • what you did well.
  • what you need to improve.
  • what you could do to improve.
You will also see how you improve in:
  • taking part in a discussion.
  • researching information.
  • working as part of a team.
  • taking an action for change.
Is learning CSPE anything like what I did in primary school?
 CSPE will build on what you learned about ‘Myself and the Wider World’ in Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE).  It will also build on what you learned about ‘Environmental Awareness and Care’ in the subjects Geography and Science.
Will CSPE be very different after Junior Certificate?
At the moment, there is no subject called CSPE after the Junior Cert., However, a Leaving Certificate subject called Politics and Society is likely to be introduced in the future.  What you have learned in CSPE will be useful if you study Geography, Home Economics, History or Economics in the Leaving Cert.
What is the CSPE Junior Certificate exam like?
CSPE is examined at a common level. You will be assessed in two ways:
  • a written examination, which is worth 40% of your final grade and
  • a report on your participation in an action project or the presentation of a course work assessment booklet.  This report is worth 60% of the total examination mark.
Will CSPE have anything to do with other subjects I will be studying?
Yes, it will. You will find that building skills for citizenship in CSPE is similar to personal development in SPHE.  You will find links between Religious Education and CSPE in learning about the community.  Concepts of democracy, law, rights and responsibilities, and knowledge of Ireland and the wider world in CSPE will help you with History and Geography in the Junior Cycle.
How will CSPE be useful to me?
You will find CSPE useful if you want to study politics or sociology or many other courses. You will also find it useful in your everyday life as it helps you to understand your community, society and the wider world.

For more information about the CSPE course:

For more information about the Junior Certificate exam:

For more information about CSPE: