We come across science in everyday things in the world round us, both living and non-living. Studying Science in school can help you to understand the importance of science in our lives and in the environment.

What will I learn in Science?

The Science course covers the three sciences:  Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Biology is the science of living things.  You will learn about:

  • plants and animals including humans
  • the environment and how to care for it.

Chemistry deals with the composition of substances and their properties.  You will learn about:

  • the materials that make up the world around us
  • how materials can change and be changed.

Physics is the science of matter and energy and how they interact.  You will learn about:

  • forces and energy
  • how things work
How can I learn more about Science outside of school?

Some of the things you may do are:

  • watch science programmes on television
  • keep up to date with the science stories in the news
  • use the Internet, which is a huge source of science explanations and experiments. Ask your teacher for a list of websites.
How will I know how I am getting on?

As you progress in Science you will learn to work like a scientist.  You will learn how to plan and carry out experiments and investigations and make sense of the results.  As you do your coursework you will be able to see how you are getting on by looking back at earlier experiments and investigations.  Your teacher will also tell you how your skills have improved.

Is learning Science anything like what I did in primary school?

In primary school you learned about living things, energy and forces, materials, and about care for the environment.  You also explored the world around you and learned to work like a scientist.  In Junior Certificate Science you will use and develop these science skills.

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

Science links with many of the other subjects you will be studying. You will use some of the things you learn in Mathematics to analyse and interpret the results of your investigations. In Geography you will study about the environment and soil. In Home Economics you will study about food and the human body.

What is the Science Junior Certificate exam like?

In Junior Certificate Science you will be examined in two ways:

  • coursework – during the three years of the Junior Certificate you report on the investigations that you carry out in class.  These reports count for 35% of your Junior Certificate marks
  • written examination – you will answer questions on the science topics that you have studied and on the skills (e.g. science investigation skills) that you have developed.

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

Will Science be very different after Junior Certificate?

After the Junior Certificate, Science splits into four subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Agricultural Science.  Depending on your school, you can choose to do different combinations of these.  If you would like to choose any of these subjects in Leaving Certificate, it is important that you take Science as a subject for Junior Certificate.

How will Science be useful to me?

Many of the skills you learn while studying science such as problem-solving and investigation skills are very useful outside of school and will be of use to you in whatever job you choose to do.

In third level there are many different types of science courses on offer and many different careers open to science students.

These include becoming a: pharmacist, radiographer, doctor, dentist, technician, psychologist, astronomer, teacher, vet and researcher.

For more information about the Science course:


For more information about the Junior Certificate exam:


For more information about science: