Chemistry involves a problem solving approach to the world of chemicals, atomic structure, how and why different chemical reactions occur, the rates at which reactions occur and the history of the atom and the periodic table. It is a 2 year course with a maximum of 24 students per class. It is examined at two levels – ordinary and higher level.
Chemistry also involves practical work where students carry out 28 mandatory experiments and record and analyse the data collected, drawing conclusions about what the student has observed in the process. All mandatory experiments must be recorded and be available for inspection.
- Atomic theory
- Periodic table
- Analytical techniques
- Acids, bases and pH
- Volumetric analysis
- Organic chemistry
The examination consists of a 3 hour written paper (worth 100%) and is divided into two sections.
- Section A questions students on 3 of the 28 mandatory experiments which students carry out over the course of the two year Leaving Certificate programme.
- Section B questions students on concepts in chemistry and tests students’ ability to apply these concepts in solving chemistry related problems.
Requirements to study Chemistry at Leaving Certificate
- It is imperative that students have a genuine interest in and aptitude for science.
- It is preferable for students to have studied and passed science at higher level for their Junior Certificate.
- It is preferable for students to be competent and comfortable with mathematics.
- Pharmaceuticals (offers lots of employment opportunities in Ireland)
- Environmental control
- Materials scientist
- Chemical and biochemical engineering
- Cosmetics industry
- Oil refining and plastics
- Sports science
- Genetic engineering
Is chemistry for you?
- Chemistry will appeal to those who have good analytical and practical skills.
- Chemistry offers opportunities for those who would like to carry out investigative laboratory work such as forensics or in a medical or pharmaceutical laboratory.
- Chemistry is a gateway to a wide variety of careers such as Medicine, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical science, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Biomedical Engineering, Genetics and many more exciting careers.
- Hard-working and capable candidates are rewarded in chemistry. At higher level each year, approximately 11% of candidates secure a H1, and 28-29% of candidates secure a H1 or a H2.
- If you are interested in using laboratory tests to identify unknown compounds, creating chemical reactions, learning how everyday chemicals are made and used, then chemistry could be for you.
- Chemistry is a compulsory requirement for a number of third level courses including Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Dietetics. Chemistry is also strongly recommended for all science and engineering courses.