Our Lady’s Bower
Subject Options Senior Cycle
Biology:
Brief Description:
If your chosen subject is biology you will gain an understanding of yourself and the natural world in which you live. The course uses practical activity and investigation to develop your skills and knowledge. The scope of biology is wide and varied and covers not only the traditional study of plants and animals but also areas such as molecular biology and biotechnology which have clear relevance to modern society.

What is Biology
Biology is the study of life. Through the study of biology students employ the processes of science to explore the diversity of life and the inter-relationships between organisms and their environment. They become aware of the use of living organisms and their products to enhance human health and the environment.
Students are provided with the knowledge, skills and understanding to pursue further education, training and employment in biology-related fields, and to make judgements on contemporary issues in biology and science that impact on their daily lives and on society. The syllabus consists of approximately 70% biological knowledge, understanding and skills; the remaining 30% deals with the technological, political, social and economic aspects of biology.

The syllabus introduced in 2002 has been developed in response to current knowledge and application of biology. Account has been taken of the need to include contemporary biological technologies such as DNA profiling and genetic screening. It aims to create in students an awareness of the application of biological knowledge to modern society and to develop an ability to make informed evaluations about contemporary biological issues.

The course covers a wide range of topics, including cell structure and diversity, metabolism, genetics and human and flowering plant anatomy and physiology. The general principles of ecology are studied, and one particular ecosystem is examined in detail. An ecology field trip is arranged in the 5th Year. Particular emphasis is placed on the practical aspects of biology, and there are a number of mandatory activities that each student must carry out for themselves.

What type of student might Biology suit?
Students who enjoyed science in the Junior Certificate might wish to consider studying biology at Senior Cycle. The course is a continuation of what was studied at Junior Cycle but in more detail. It is particularly suited to students who have scored highly in the Naturalist and Investigative areas in their interest test.
Sample Associated Careers
The types of courses and careers where the study of Biology at second level might be helpful would include the following;

Medicine, Veterinary, Dentistry, Nursing and associated careers.
Agriculture, Applied Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Botany, Ecology, Earth Science and Environmental Science, Genetics, Marine Science and Aquaculture, Microbiology and Zoology,
Psychologist, Astronomer, Teacher and Researcher.

Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It is needed as a matriculation subject for studying Medicine at TCD and Human Health and Disease. It is needed for Genetics for UCC. It is counted as a science subject in any course which has a science subject as a requirement.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.

Chemistry
Brief Description:
The subject aims to provide a relevant course for students who will complete their study of chemistry at this level while, at the same time, providing a foundation course for those who will continue to study chemistry or related subjects following completion of their Leaving Certificate. The syllabus consists of approximately 70% pure chemistry; the remaining 30% deals with the social and applied aspects of chemistry.
Sample Associated Careers
Chemistry, Ethnobotany, Environmental Law, Patent Law, Technical Writing, Pharmaceuticals, Oceanography, Software Design, Space Exploration, Government Policy, Forensic Science, Biotechnology, Metallurgy, Ceramics Industry, Plastics Industry, Paper Industry, Medicine, Teaching, Chemical Engineering, Geochemistry, Agrochemistry, Military Systems.
Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It is needed for Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy in UCC, Human Nutrition and Dietetics in DIT, Pharmacy in TCD and Veterinary Medicine in UCD. It is counted as a science subject in most courses which have a science subject as a requirement.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.

Physics
Brief Description:
This subject aims to give students an understanding of the fundamental principles of physics and their application to everyday life. It offers a general education in physics for all students, enabling them to develop an understanding of the scientific method and their ability to observe, to think logically, and to communicate effectively. Science, technology and society (STS) is an integral part of the syllabus so that students can be aware of the principles of the applications of physics in the everyday world.
Sample Associated Careers?
Engineering (chemical/mechanical/civil etc), architecture, computer-related programs, environmental studies, technicians, science educators, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Geology, Atmospheric Physics, Meteorology and Research Scientist.

Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It is needed for Theoretical Physics in TCD. It is counted as a science subject in most courses which has a science subject as a requirement.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.
Design & Communication Graphics
Brief Description:
Design and Communication Graphics provides students with the opportunity for visualizing and comprehending information presented verbally or graphically. Problem solving and creative thinking skills are developed through the analysis and solution of both 2- and 3-dimensional graphics. Graphics and design are communicated using freehand sketching skills, traditional draughting equipment and CAD.

Sample Associated Careers
Interior Designer, Electronics, Engineering, Architecture and communications.
Art
Brief Description:
The Leaving Certificate Art syllabus is a broadly based course, which is made up of four units. These units should be linked together and based on the everyday visual experience of the student’s own environment.
Sample Associated Careers
Illustration, Comic art, Digital colouring, Computer Graphics, Product packaging design, concept development for movies and other productions, Architecture, 3d modelling and animation, 2d animation.
Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It is needed for Art – Visual and Design – Visual Communications in Waterford IT and for Graphic Design in Letterkenny IT.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.

Accountancy
Brief Description:
• To contribute to a balanced an appropriate general education, leading to the personal and social development of each student together with a fostering of the concept of accountability
• To create awareness of the business environment and to to provide each student with the knowledge, understanding and skills leading to a personal competence and responsible participation in this changing and challenging environment.
• To encourage the development of self-reliance, mental organisation and agility, clear and logical thinking, planning habits, methods of investigation and processes whereby accuracy can be ensured
• To enhance numeracy skills and promote awareness of the use of figures computations and statistics in the world of business and enterprise
• To expose students to aspects of business and enterprise with a view to career and working life, additional studies in accounting or as a basis for further education.
Sample Associated Careers
Accountant, Auditor, Bank Examiner, Corporate Controller, Financial Planners, Securities Trader, Professor, Tax Specialist, Financial Analyst, Investment Bankers.
Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It is needed for Commerce – Accounting in NUI Galway is important for Accounting Technician in AIT.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.

Business Studies
Brief Description:
This is a practical and vocationally-oriented course that introduces students to the world of Business in a straightforward and logical way. It aims to create an awareness of the importance of Business activity and to develop a positive and ethical attitude towards it. The importance of people in Business is highlighted. The course sets out to illustrate the process of setting up a business and developing a new product or service. It emphasises the importance of good management and deals with skills and activities necessary for good management practice. It also deals with the impact of technology, foreign trade, global firms and competition and with business structures and the national economy.
Sample Associated Careers?
Accountant, Advertising, Account Executive, Banker, Retail/Investment/Commercial, Building Society Manager, Buyer, Industrial/Retail, Company Secretary, Commodity/Futures Broker Distribution/Logistics Manager, Insurance Underwriter, Management Consultant, Marketing Executive, Market Research Executive, Human Resources Manager, Public Relations Account Executive , Recruitment Consultant, Retail Manager, Sales Executive, Stockbroker, Systems Analyst/IT Consultant.
Economics
Brief Description:
Economics is a way of thinking about how people make decisions and interact with each other. As such it is one of the cognitive and social sciences, such as psychology, sociology and philosophy. Economics focuses on “the ordinary business of life” as the economist Alfred Marshall stated. It explains how we get our incomes, how we use them, the supply of resources and the production and exchange of goods and services. Decisions relating to these have social consequences, intended and unintended, which are also analysed in Economics.
Students who have studied Junior Certificate Business Studies will have received a basic introduction to economics but this is not essential for study of Leaving Certificate Economics.
Sample Associated Careers?
Banking, accountancy, tax advice, insurance, economists.
Home Economics
Brief Description:
The Home Economics syllabus provides students with knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary for managing their own lives, for further and higher education and work. The learning experiences in home economics develop flexibility and adaptability in students, prepare them for a consumer-oriented society and provide a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in food, textiles, science, design, social studies and tourism.
The subject is an applied subject combining theory with practice. It is concerned with the management of resources (material and human) to meet the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and economic needs of individuals and families. The study of home economics emphasises the interdependent relationships that exist between individuals, families and their immediate and distant environments.

Sample Associated Careers?
Child Development and Guidance, Consumer Education, Family Living and Parenting Education, Fashion, Textiles, Food and Nutrition, Housing and Furnishings, Individual and Family Health, Leadership Development, Family and Human Services, Fashion Design, Manufacturing and Merchandising, Food Science, Dietetics and Nutrition, Food Service and Hospitality, Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation, Interior Design, Furnishings and Maintenance.
Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It may be used for Food Innovation and Food science and Management in DIT, for Home Economics with Economics/Consumer Studies – second level teaching and Home Economics with Irish in St. Angela’s College Sligo and Veterinary Nursing in UCD.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.

Geography
Brief Description:
Geography is concerned with the study of people and their environment. The subject will help students develop an understanding of the changing relationships between the physical and human worlds. Through their study of geography, students will develop geographical skills that will help them to make informed judgements about issues at local, national and international levels.
Sample Associated Careers
Urban Planner/Community Development, Cartographer, Climatologist, Transportation Management, Environmental Management.
Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It may be used for Earth Sciences, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacy and Science in TCD. Please see college website or prospectus.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.

History
Brief Description:
History deals with the experience of human life in the past. The study of history involves an investigation of the surviving evidence relating to such experience. It brings students into contact with human experiences that are often very different from their own and fosters their developing understanding of the human condition and human motivation. Through its focus on the evaluation of evidence, it contributes significantly to the development of students’ skills of critical thinking. Through its focus on research, it allows students the opportunity to develop their skills of independent learning.
Associated Careers
Historians, Journalism, Museum curator, writer, archivist and in education (teaching/lecturing).
OLB offers both Early Modern and Modern History.
Music
Brief Description:
The Leaving Certificate Music syllabus provides continuity and progression from Junior Certificate Music. The general aims and overall shape of both is broadly similar. In providing the musical knowledge, understanding, practical competencies and attitudes appropriate to their age, abilities and interests, the syllabus caters for the varying needs of all students including those who wish to pursue further studies in music.

Sample Associated Careers
Programme director, DJ, Concert Hall Manager, Stage Manager, Piano tuner – technician, Music teacher and Conductor.
Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
Required for Education, Religion and Music – second level teaching in Mater Dei Institute of Education. Can be used for Arts in NUI Maynooth, Music Applied in Dundalk IT and Music, Media and Performance Technology in UL.
Entry to College can often be subject to audition.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.
German
Brief Description:
Syllabus content draws on and develops many aspects of the aims, objectives and content of languages at junior cycle. The aims are
• To foster in learners such communicative skills in the target language as will enable them to:
o take full part in classroom activities conducted in the target language
o participate in everyday transactions and interactions
o extract information and derive enjoyment from the mass media
o consider as a realistic option the possibility of pursuing leisure activities, further study and/or career opportunities through the medium of the target language
• To give learners a critical awareness of how meaning is organised and conveyed by the structures and vocabulary of the target language, and thus to contribute to their understanding of the workings of human language in general
• To help learners develop strategies for effective language learning
• To equip learners with a broad acquaintance with the cultural, social and political complexion of countries in which the target language is a normal medium of communication and thus to help raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity generally.
Sample Associated Careers?
Teaching, International Law, Starting your own Business, Customer service and translator.
Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It is used in Bar studies – Management and Entrepreneurship and Culinary Entrepreneurship in DIT, Business Studies and German, German and Law and German, Computer Science Linguistics and German in TCD, Business studies with a modern language – German in UL, Business studies with German in WIT, Commerce International – German in NUI Galway, European Business – German in DCU and International German in UCD.
Can be used for most courses with a language requirement.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.
French
Brief Description:
Syllabus content draws on and develops many aspects of the aims, objectives and content of languages at junior cycle. The aims are
• To foster in learners such communicative skills in the target language as will enable them to:
o take full part in classroom activities conducted in the target language
o participate in everyday transactions and interactions
o extract information and derive enjoyment from the mass media
o consider as a realistic option the possibility of pursuing leisure activities, further study and/or career opportunities through the medium of the target language
• To give learners a critical awareness of how meaning is organised and conveyed by the structures and vocabulary of the target language, and thus to contribute to their understanding of the workings of human language in general
• To help learners develop strategies for effective language learning
• To equip learners with a broad acquaintance with the cultural, social and political complexion of countries in which the target language is a normal medium of communication and thus to help raise their awareness of cultural, social and political diversity generally.
Sample Associated Careers
Teaching, International Law, Starting your own Business, Customer service and translator.
Subject Requirement for 3rd Level?
It is used for Business Studies and French, Computer Science Linguistics and French, French and Law and French in TCD, Business studies with modern language – French in UL, Business with French in WIT, Commerce International with French and Law and French in UCC, Commerce International with French in NUI Galway, Bar studies – Management and Entrepreneurship and Culinary Entrepreneurship in DIT, European Business with French in DCU, International French in UCD, Law BCL Maitrise and Law with French Law – BCL in UCD.
Please see college website or prospectus to verify specific requirements.

Subject Choice – Senior Cycle
General Requirements for Third Level
• At the very minimum a pass in English, Irish and Mathematics is essential for entry into UCD, UCC, NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth.
• A language other then English is required for entry into TCD, UCC, UCD, NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth.
• Irish is not needed as an entry requirement for TCD, DCU, UL or any of the IT’s.
• A language other then English is not required for DCU, UL and the IT’s.
• Check the specific entry requirements for specific courses e.g. subject and level/grade requirements.
• If you are considering Medical, Paramedical, Nursing, Science or Engineering courses you should select a science subject (or two for some courses) e.g.

o Medicine/Dentistry Courses – TCD : Higher Level Grade B3 and a Higher Level Grade C3 in two Laboratory sciences.
Medicine – UCD: Ordinary Level D3 any laboratory Science Subject (Higher Level C3 Chemistry for consideration for 5 years only).
Veterinary Medicine UCD : Requires a Higher Level Grade C3 in Chemistry.
Medicine – Royal College of Surgeons : A Higher Level Grade B3 in a laboratory science (Physics/Chemistry/Biology)or Maths.)
Medicine/Dentistry Courses – UCC : Higher Level Grade C in Chemistry and a Higher Level Grade C in either Physics or Biology.
Human Nutrition/Medical Laboratory Science in D.I.T. : Requires a Higher Level Grade C in Chemistry in Leaving Certificate.
This is not an exhaustive list – please consult college website/prospectus.

Recommendations
• Choose a subject you have an interest in or have enjoyed studying in the past.
• Ask yourself:
o What subject am I most interested in?
o Which subjects am I likely to be best at?
o What subjects will I need?
• Choose a combination that will leave as many options open to you as possible for your future.
• Research the subjects as much as you can before making a decision, speak to subject teachers and research specific entry requirements for third level courses you may be considering.
• Consult the Guidance Counsellor.
• Choose a subject and not a teacher.
• Don’t choose a subject because you assume it is a ‘doss’ or an ‘easy’ option, there is no such thing!
• Don’t choose a subject based on what you think your friends may be doing.