Senior Cycle


After completing the Junior cycle and sitting the Junior Certificate students begin the Senior Cycle programme. The Senior Cycle generally caters for students from 15 to 18 although the Leaving Certificate is not limited to post-primary students. The main programmes that students can follow at Senior Cycle are:

Not all of these programmes are followed in every school. You must find out what is available in your school or the school you are thinking of attending.

Compulsory subjects

Within these programmes, there are a number of compulsory subjects. The subjects that are compulsory vary for different programmes and different types of school. All third-level courses have minimum subject requirements for entry. These often include Maths, English and Irish. You should check these minimum requirements before deciding which subjects to take for the Leaving Certificate.

Irish is compulsory in most programmes. In some very limited circumstances, a student may not have to study Irish.

Page edited: 19 November 2014



Related Documents

  • Starting post-primary school
    Describes post-primary education, including how to choose a post-primary school and enrol your child.
  • Junior Cycle
    The first three-year period of second-level education is called the Junior Cycle.
  • Junior Certificate
    The Junior Certificate examination is held at the end of the three-year Junior Cycle in second-level schools.

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