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St Andrew's College Dublin St Andrew's College Dublin


Junior Certificate History

All students from First Year to Third Year study Junior Certificate History. There are three periods of history each week.  At present there are seven teachers of Junior Certificate History and the Junior Certificate course focuses on the skills of the historian and the study of primary and secondary sources. The Junior Certificate course begins in First Year with a study of the work and skills of the historian and the archaeologist. The theme of the First Year course is how we find out about the past. The focus is on how people lived in the past and what their societies were like. The areas covered are Ancient Ireland, Ancient Rome, life in the medieval ages and the Renaissance. In Second Year the emphasis is on Studies of Change and the emergence of the modern world. Students study the explorations, the reformation, the plantations, revolutionary period and the industrial revolution.  Finally in Third Year the course concentrates on the twentieth century and Understanding the modern world. Students study the political and social developments in Irish history and international relations in the twentieth century.

Transition Year History

History is offered as an optional subject and students who opt for history do one double period of history a week for half the academic year. There are approximately 13 double classes (17 hours).

Examples of topics which may be covered are:

  • Changing society- America post World War II
  • A study of  people involved in the struggle for independence
  • The history of St Andrew’s College

Our objective in the Transition year programme is:

  • To enable pupils to acquire critical thinking skills to analyse and interpret information effectively and responsibly.
  • To promote a realistic perception by pupils of recent events by using a variety of sources, artefacts, primary and secondary sources and visits to historical places.
  • To develop in pupils a sense of community in understanding the history of St Andrew’s College and to use oral history to make the school’s past come alive for the pupils.
  • To facilitate students to engage in work which helps to develop their historical research skills.

Leaving Certificate History

The study of history at Leaving Certificate level is optional. The syllabus framework consists of two inter-linking parts:

a)     Working with evidence

b)     Topics of study

1.            Working with evidence

a)            Introduction:  history and the historian

Students who study Leaving Certificate history are given an introduction to the nature of history and the work of the historian. This will form the basis for future work on the topics, the document based study and the research study.

b)            A document based study

Students undertake a document based study of one of the syllabus topics as the primary means of developing their skills in working with evidence.

c)            A research study

Students undertake a research study of a significant historical subject chosen by the student as a means of developing their research skills.  This is worth 20% of a student’s final grade.

2.            Topics for study

In St Andrew’s College, we study the Later Modern period, 1815 – 1993. 

There are six modules on the history of Ireland and six modules on the history of Europe and the wider world.

The Six modules on Irish history are:

1.            Ireland and the Union, 1815-1870

2.            Movements for political and social reform 1870-1914                                     

3.            The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition 1912-1949                    

4.            The Irish Diaspora 1840-1966        

5.            Politics and Society in Northern Ireland, 1949-1993

6.            Government, economy and society in the Republic of Ireland, 1949-1989

Students will complete two of the above modules. The two Irish modules currently taken by Fifth and Sixth Year students in St Andrew’s College are No. 5: Politics and Society in Northern Ireland, 1949-1993 and  No. 6: Government, Economy and Society in the Republic of Ireland, 1949-1989 (prescribed topic 2018 and 2019 for the Document Based Question)

The six modules on the history of Europe and the wider world are:

1.            Nationalism and state formation in Europe, 1815-1871

2.            Nation states and international tensions, 1871-1920

3.            Dictatorship and democracy, 1920-1945

4.            Division and realignment in Europe, 1945-1990

5.            European retreat from empire and the aftermath, 1945-1990

6.            The United States and the world, 1945-1989

Students will complete two of the above modules. The two European modules currently taken by Fifth and Sixth Year students in St Andrew’s College are Studies No 3: Dictatorship and Democracy, 1920-1945 and No 6: The United States and the World. 1945-1989.


The final examination is made up of four sections, one on each module worth 20%. There is one document based question and three essay style questions. A research study report in submitted in the April before the Leaving Certificate examinations, this report is worth 20%.