Metalwork is one of the technology subjects offered at Junior Cycle. It is an activity-based course focusing on metal, how to work with it and how to assemble different parts.  Other materials such as plastics and wood are also investigated and used in project work.  You will be working with basic electronic components too.

What will I learn in Metalwork?

Some of the things you will learn include:

  • how to read and follow a technical drawing
  • skills in shaping, cutting and joining materials
  • how to use a wide variety of tools and machines correctly and safely
  • the properties of different metals and how they are made
  • the importance of metal in our everyday lives
  • how to use the internet in your research.
How will I learn Metalwork in school?

Some of the things you may do with your teacher and your classmates are:

  • examine the properties of different metals, plastics and wood
  • examine simple mechanisms and ‘how things work’
  • learn how to do freehand sketching
  • develop good craft skills using hand tools and machines in a safe way
  • learn many different methods of joining and assembling materials
  • learn how to apply a variety of decorative finishes to protect your work
  • learn about basic electronic components and how to construct simple electronic circuits.
How can I learn more about Metalwork outside of school?

Some of the things you may do are:

  • take note of the importance of metals and engineering materials in everyday life in the world around you
  • look out for different metals and try to name them
  • look at designs of everyday items around you.  Try to work out how they are put together and why they are put together in this way.
Is learning Metalwork anything like what I did in primary school?

You will find that aspects of Maths you did in primary school will be useful to you, for example working out measurements from drawings.  You will also have examined different materials in SESE: Science so you will be building on this knowledge.

Will Metalwork have anything to do with other subjects I will be studying?

Yes.  Metalwork covers some of the same topics studied in Materials Technology Wood.  Many of the practical skills learned in Metalwork are similar to those learned in the other two subjects. If you are taking Technical Graphics it will help you to understand drawings and diagrams that you will be using in Metalwork.  You will also find some of the same topics coming up in Science and Geography.

Will Metalwork be very different after the Junior Certificate?

Leaving Cert. Engineering (Engineering Technology) builds on what you learned in Junior Cert. Metalwork. However, the topics are covered in much greater detail and a higher level of skill is necessary in practical work

How will Metalwork be useful to me?

You will be able to work with metals and other materials such as wood and plastic.  You will be able to assemble these materials into useful and interesting items.  You will know the most suitable finish to apply to your project and how to apply it.

What is the Metalwork Junior Certificate exam like?

There are two (or three) parts to the exam:

  • Course-work project – there is a project worth 37.5% at Higher level or 75% at Ordinary level. You will have approximately four months to make it
  • Written examination – the written paper is based on metalwork theory and makes up 25% for both levels
  • practical exam (Higher level only) – this is worth 37.5% of the total marks for Higher level.  This involves making and assembling parts from a given drawing and you will have three hours to do this.

You can take the exam at Higher level or at Ordinary level. When the time comes to decide, your teacher will help you choose the level that suits you best.

How will I know how I am getting on?

Your teacher will let you know:

  • what you have done well
  • how you can improve your work.

Other things you may do are:

  • as you progress through the junior cycle, have a look back over your earlier projects to see how your metalworking skills have improved
  • you will notice that project drawings will become easier to read and understand.

For more information about the Metalwork course:

For more information about the Junior Certificate exam:

For more information about Metalwork: