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Subject Overview

Science essentially deals with knowledge and understanding of our world. The study of science is concerned with the understanding of a body of scientific knowledge and the development of scientific skills through practical activities. It contributes to the development of logical thinking and reasoning, and skills of observation, measurement, interpretation, numeracy, problem solving and decision making.

Junior Certificate Science provides a suitable preparation (but is not a requirement) for the study of one or more science subjects at senior cycle.


The science syllabus contains the three main areas:

  1. Biology 1A Human Biology – food, digestion and associated body systems 1B Human Biology – the skeletal/muscular system, the senses and human reproduction 1C Animals, plants and micro-organisms
  2. Chemistry 2A Classification of substances 2B Air, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water 2C Atomic structure, reactions and compounds
  3. Physics 3A Force and energy 3B Heat, light and sound 3C Magnetism, electricity and electronics

Both Ordinary level and Higher level students must study all three sections.


There are two assessment components: coursework (35% of the marks) and an examination paper (65% of the marks). The coursework is common to both Ordinary level and Higher level. There are separate examination papers for each level.


The current, revised syllabus was introduced in 2003.


PDFJunior Certificate Science Syllabus PDFJunior Certificate Science – Guidelines for Teachers

We did that last year (56KB); Article from info@ncca (Septemeber 2007)

Related links

State Examinations Commission Department of Education and Science Junior Certificate Science Support Service Irish Science Teachers Association Scoilnet

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