AT SENIOR LEVEL YOU MAY CHOOSE TO DO ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
- Applied Maths
1. BIOLOGY means ‘The Study of Life’ is all its variety of forms. The human race shares this planet with one and half million species of animals and plants, many of which are essential for our survival as a species. It follows, therefore, that knowledge of the science of biology is essential for an understanding of human life and the living environment around us.
The Leaving Certificate Biology course is divided into 3 units.
- The study of Life - Scientific Method, Food, Ecology
- The Cell- Cell Structure, Enzymes, Biochemical reactions of Photosynthesis and Respiration,Cell Replication and Heredity
- The Organism - Microbiology, Plant and Animal systems and Processes
Students undertake 15 mandatory activitieswhich include both laboratory work and fieldwork.
Assesment:100% of the subject is examined in the terminal written exam
Careers: Biology as a life science is a ground level subject which leads directly to many ‘Bio’ orientated 3rd level courses: Biochemistry, Dentistry, Food Science, Food Technology,Medicine,Microbiology,Nursing,Paramedics,Physiotherapy and Veterinary Science.
2. PHYSICS, as a subject, is an adventure! It can be challenging but it can also be rewarding. Understanding a little more about the often-surprising ways of the physical world, far from detracting from your appreciation of nature, can make the world seem a more fascinating and complex place.
How does the electric motor work? What evidence do we have that the Universe is expanding (the Big Bang)? Why is it that sound can go around corners but light cannot? How can we measure the power of an athlete? The answer to these questions and many more can be found in the study of Physics.
These are the main areas of study including some of the applications covered:
Mechanics (force and movement): satellites, collisions, acceleration of a car.
Optics: optical fibres, correcting faulty eyesight, mirrors
Heat: different temperature scales, refrigerators
Waves: spectra of light,loudness of sounds (decibels)
Electricity and magnetism: generators, Earth’s magnetism
Atomic and nuclear physics: television “tubes”, radioactivity, transistors.
Career Areas:Some of the career areas in which Physics can be particularly useful are Medical; Optician; Technical; Engineering and Architectural; Electronic; Communications; Information Technology, Scientific; Aviation.
Physics is essential for: Dentistry UCC (Physics or Biology); Theoretical Physics (HB3); some Applied Physics courses or courses that are physics related.
Note: Higher level Mathematics is not a requirement for Leaving Certificate Physics topics – however it is better suited to students with mathematical inclination.
3. CHEMISTRY is desirable not only for those who wish to pursue a career in science or in careers allied to science, but also for those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Chemistry is very much the central foundation science subject, which makes it ideal to pair with Physics and Applied Maths. Students of third level Medical courses are advised to choose both Physics and Biology to partner their Chemistry choice.
The Chemistry syllabus features assessment of practical work and industrial case studies with a particular emphasis on environmental control. Topics include: the Periodic Table; Atomic Structure; Stoichiometry; Formulae and Equation; Chemical Equilibrium; Electrochemistry; Volumetric analysis etc.
Usefulness: Not only is the place of Chemistry central to most courses in Natural Sciences offered in third level education, but it is also an essential element in the study of Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Physiotherapy, Engineering, Agricultural Science, Nursing, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Technology and numerous technician courses.
Assessment: 100% terminal exam.
Useful skills: commitment to hard work; mathematical ability; interest in environmental and pharmaceutical issues.
Note: A ‘C’ grade in higher level Chemistry is required for Human Nutrition & Dietetics degree in DIT; Medicine and Dentistry in UCC; Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine UCD; Pharmacy in TCD; Applied Chemistry degrees.
4. APPLIED MATHS Students learn how to apply mathematical knowledge to solve every day problem areas like Physics, Engineering, Geography and Biological Sciences. This mathematical analysis is used to compute velocity, acceleration, motion, energy and power etc. The units of study may include: equilibrium under concurrent forces, pressure in liquids, differential equations and centre of gravity. Those who wish to study Engineering, Science, Actuary, Architecture or Mathematics at third level will find First Year easier.
Assessment: 100% terminal written exam