Junior Certificate

Junior Certificate Programme

Subject Choice (44 periods a week)


English, Irish, Maths, French/Spanish, History, Geography, Science, Religion, SPHE, PE, CSPE.

Option Subjects:

Art, Business, Home Economics, Technology, Technical Graphics, Metalwork, Music, Woodwork


A Guide to Junior Certificate Option Subjects

Art, Craft & Design

Art: emphasises ideas, feelings and visual qualities

Craft: emphasises the correct use of tools and materials

Design: emphasises planning, problem solving and completion, using drawing as a means of thinking

The main aims of this subject are as follows:

  • to promote self-expression through creative skill and crafts.
  • to develop an awareness and appreciation of the artistic view and knowledge.
  • to willingly work on projects and techniques to increase ability and perfect style
  • to willingly work solo or as part of a group.
  • to show dedication to their craftwork.

Pupils will gain experience in the following:

  • Visual research skills
  • Observation and recording through sketching etc.
  • Personal expression
  • Skills, craftsmanship and presentation
  • Critical studies and appraisal

Possible Career Opportunities:

Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Design, Marketing, Printing


Business Studies

This subject is divided into 3 separate but related areas:

The Business of Living: enables the student to make informed decisions in the everyday business of living and contributes to an understanding of the world of business. It informs pupils of their consumer rights, helps them to make sound financial decisions and encourages a positive attitude to enterprise.

Enterprise: looks at the financial aspects of business. Pupils are provided with the opportunity to prepare and analyse financial records of organisations

Economics & Business Background: looks at the practical aspects of running a business, such as setting up, finance, insurance and marketing, It also introduces students to the role of the government in business and the economy

Possible Career Opportunities:

Accounting, Business Management, Banking, Marketing Insurance, Sales.


Home Economics

Home Economics aims to equip young people with important skills for living as individuals and of establishing and developing a stable environment for their families. It builds on the pupils knowledge of different forms of home life and on their immediate experiences of making choices in relation to the organisation of their own lives. It encompasses studies of many of the processes which are necessary for day to day living, particularly within the household. It is made up of 3 main areas:

Theory: is a core area of the subject overlapping the 2 practical areas.

It includes learning about food and culinary skills, consumer studies, social and health studies and resource management

Cookery: involves menu creation, food preparation and cooking

Textiles & Sewing: involves basic stitching, embroidery and the use of sewing machines to make household garments

Possible Career Opportunities:

Catering, Beautician, Child Care, Teaching, Dietician, Social Worker, Hotel Management


Materials Technology (Wood)

This subject combines theory and practice to design and produce products, mainly manufactured from wood. It aims to develop a creative approach to problem solving through designing and making projects. Manipulative skills will be developed through the processing of materials in the context of making or executing a project. The subject will involve:

Practical: drawing and sketching, design and making projects use of machine and hand tools

Theory: understanding the basics of good design and manufacture , acquiring knowledge on the proper use of tools and materials

Possible Career Opportunities:

Carpentry, Quantity Surveying, Furniture Design, Architecture, Building Management, Joinery


Materials Technology (Metalwork)

Metalwork is an activity-based course focusing on metal/plastic, how to work with both materials in question and how to assemble different parts. The pupils will be working with basic electronic components/mechanisms in order to make something mechanical instead of conceptual. Metalwork entails both theory and practical elements.

Practical: Practical element requires following a working drawing creating a particular artefact. In order to manufacture this particular artefact you will require the use of materials i.e. metals and plastics. In order to manufacture the object pupils will require the use of machines and hand tools.

Theory: Theory element entails understanding the basics of metal/plastic production, comprehension of machine & hand tools, basic understanding of mechanisms & electronics.

Possible Career Opportunities:

Engineering teacher, Mechanical Engineer, Chemical Engineer, Industrial Engineer, Electrical Engineer, ICT, Materials Engineer, Biomedical Engineer, Fabrication and Welder.



Technology requires using a design process to solve technological problems. In Technology, you will use the design process to work through a task or problem in order to arrive at a solution, which is usually in the form of an artefact or finished product. You will learn how to safely use the tools, materials and equipment necessary to make this product.

Practical: Practical element entails designing and creating a solution to a particular problem through the use of materials i.e. metals, plastics, wood and fabrics. In order to solve the problems pupils will require the use of machines and hand tools.

Theory: Theory element entails understanding the basics of everyday materials, machine & hand tools, an in-depth knowledge of mechanisms, electronics, PIC Boards, Structures and the affects Technology has in Society.

Possible Career Opportunities:

Technology Teacher, Product Designer, Electrical Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Automotive Technician, Environmental Engineer, Designer, ICT and Electrician.



The music course is designed to enable students to acquire musical skills suited to their age, varying abilities and musical experiences. It involves a mixture of both theory and practical work:

Theory: the theory is listening based where pupils learn about the history of a variety of musical styles and the instruments associated with each. They listen to a wide variety of musical examples and develop the skills to compare and contrast the different styles. They also learn how to read music and how to work with simple tunes

Practical: pupils are taught how to play instruments and practice various tunes. They are provided with the opportunity to improve their musical skills through practice. They also learn and sing a variety of songs

Possible Career Opportunities:

Sound Engineer, Television & Radio Production, Recording, Multi-media Studies, Music Management.


Technical Graphics

In Technical Graphics you will learn how to represent 3-D objects on paper and on computer. You will develop problem solving and creative thinking skills through the solution of graphical problems.

Some of the things you wil learn include:

- how to produce drawings using drawing equipment, freehand sketches and computer

- how to read and interpret drawings and diagrams

- how graphics relate to the design and manufacture of products

Possible Career Opportunities:

Architect, Product Designer, Engineer

Cross Curricular: Technical Graphics will be very helpful in the study of Materials Technology Wood, Technology and Metalwork as each of these subjects require you to make drawings of the pieces you will be making. The problem solving and geometry you will learn in Technical Graphics will prove very useful in Mathematics.