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Subject Choice

Help on Subject Choice

This may be the first time you have the chance to choose which subjects you want to study. It’s important that you choose your subjects carefully, as getting the right mix of subjects will affect your future in school, at third level and in the work force.

Make sure to choose your favourite subjects. If you are good at a subject it will come naturally to you, and if you enjoy it, you will excel at it.

It is also vital that you take into account future college and career paths and ensure that when it comes to applying for higher education you are not caught out because you did not study a particular subject at Leaving Certificate level. Organise a meeting with your Guidance Counsellor who will have knowledge of the subject requirements necessary to gain entrance into particular college courses. Get advice from the teacher of the subject and ask them what the syllabus covers. Speak to other students who have studied the subject and browse the textbooks to see if they appeal to you.

After all the advice you have to make your own decision.

There’s a little quiz for you on the next tab - Quiz


Here's a simple Quiz to see how well prepared you are for Subject Choice


Very good! You have been busy.

Oops! It seems that you have a lot of work to do. Read the correct answers and get started on some of the issues.

#1. Do you know about Minimum Entry Requirements at third level?

If you have yet to look at the Minimum Entry Requirements for Third Level Courses then you should take some time here ...

#2. Have you read the section on Subject Choice in Qualifax?

Some good advice on Subject Choice here ...

#3. Have you read related material in the media about this subject?

A quick Internet search will give you lots of material on any of the Senior cycle subjects. This site has several articles on LC Subjects, click here to view them ...

#4. Are you planning to take this subject because you want to know more about it?

The most important reason for taking a subject is to increase your knowledge in that area. If you pick a subject for other reasons it will be difficult to keep up your enthusiasm for it over the next two years.

#5. Have you read about the career implications of taking the subject?

A Career decision is still a long way off but decisions now can have big implications later. This is a matter to discuss with your Guidance Counsellor and parents.

#6. Did you like learning the content in the related subject at Junior Cert?

Many LC subjects have their equivalents in the Junior Cert. If you really liked an area in the Junior Cert then perhaps you should seriously think of doing it in the Leaving Cert too.


#7. Have you taken time to look at a textbook in the subject?

Borrow a textbook on the subject and take a little time to look into some of the material. Even if there is a lot you do not fully understand it will still give you a taste of what would be involved if you choose to take it on for the Leaving Cert. Make up your own mind once you are informed.

#8. Have you had class time with a teacher of the subject?

Advice from someone who actually teaches the subject in the Senior Cycle is important. Ask them lots of questions.

#9. Have you spoken to at least one student currently doing the subject?

Students who are already doing the subject are a valuable source of information. They can advise on the reality of studying the subject in the areas of  content , homework etc. Ask them questions!



Links to lots of informative material


Do and Don't

Some articles on this site about Subject Choice


  • Choose subjects you enjoy
  • Choose subjects you are good at
  • Choose subjects you need for your chosen career
  • Keep your options open for the future by making a balanced choice now
  • Talk to your Guidance Counsellor and your teachers
  • Talk to your parents or guardians
  • I like the subject material


  • Choose a subject because your friend is taking it
  • Choose a subject just because you like or dislike the teacher
  • Choose a subject because you think it will be easy
  • Choose a new subject without finding out more about it
  • Make a decision at the last minute without thinking about it
  • There isn’t much homework

Schools Input

  • Allow plenty of time, a few months if possible from start to finish.
  • Develop a whole school approach with several teachers giving input over a period of time.
  • Students need facts, time and advice.
  • A rushed decision is more likely to be a bad decision.
  • Inform the parents of the process and the issues around choosing subjects.
  • Tell parents where they can get more information.
  • Allow time to meet individuals if necessary.

Min Entry Requirements

When selecting your subjects for Leaving Cert one of the important items to consider is the Minimum Entry Requirements for CAO Courses. To gain entry to any CAO Course you have to get enough points and also may have to have done certain subjects to a specific level. You must also have the particular academic entry requirements (also called matriculation requirements) for the course you want to take.

You can this out in a module in Qualifax. Subject Requirement module is here ...

There is further information about this on the NUI website here ...

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