Embracing the world of politics, economics, religion and philosophy, History can be a most enjoyable challenge. The Leaving Certificate History syllabus entails developing historical skills, reading, information gathering, ability to make a clear argument and essay writing. A research topic must be pre-submitted and it accounts for 20% of the final mark. Students develop skills to analyse historical documents and a document question worth 20% of final marks will test
these skills. The final 60% will go towards essay style questions. A good command of English is essential, as all questions are essay style for both pass and honours levels. A strong interest in reading is essential for this subject.

 The course breakdown is as follows:
  • 1. Research study report 20%
  • 2. Documents based study 20%
  • 3. Dictatorship and Democracy, 1919-45 20%
  • 4. U.S and the World, 1945-90 20%
  • 5. Pursuit of Irish Sovereignty, 1912-49 20%

The History syllabus is examined by means of a written examination worth 80% of the marks and a report on the research study worth 20% of the marks.
The report on the research topic is prepared and submitted in advance of the final examination. The examination at Higher Level consists of one documents based question and three essay style questions relating to topics 3 – 5 above.

The examination at Ordinary Level consists of one documents based question and three paragraph style questions relating to topics 3 – 5 above.

Why study History?

History will give you a combination of skills and insights that will help to:

  • Prepare you for work
  • Enable you to participate fully in society
  • Develop you as a person

History helps us to understand many issues that affect the world today.

History helps to develop communication and research skills.

The course encourages the development of ICT skills.

The subject promotes the ability to question, criticise and contextualise any type of material.

 Relevance to careers

Employers tend to see those with a history education as:

  • Independent thinkers
  • Open-minded and objective
  • Disciplined
  • Good communicators
  • Able to analyse issues and problems
  • Able to put together logical arguments


At Third Level knowledge of History will prove very useful in the study of Politics, Journalism, Economics, Business, Sociology, Geography etc…

The History course will improve the student’s ability to collect, analyse and present information – advantageous in any line of work.

Useful For: Archaeology, Architecture, Barrister, Broadcasting, Civil Service, Garda, History Teacher, Journalism, Librarianship, Local Government, Politics, Researcher, Social Work, Solicitor, Tourism, Writer, Law, Heritage, Trade, European Studies, Genealogy.