Subject Overview

The subject aims to provide a relevant course for students who will complete their study of chemistry at this level while, at the same time, providing a foundation course for those who will continue to study chemistry or related subjects following completion of their Leaving Certificate. The syllabus consists of approximately 70% pure chemistry; the remaining 30% deals with the social and applied aspects of chemistry.


Subject content is presented at Ordinary level and Higher level under the headings:

  1. Periodic Table and Atomic Structure
  2. Chemical Bonding
  3. Stoichiometry, Formulas and Equations
  4. Volumetric Analysis
  5. Fuels and Heats of Reaction
  6. Rates of Reaction
  7. Organic Chemistry
  8. Chemical Equilibrium
  9. Environmental Chemistry: Water
    Option 1
    1A: Additional Industrial Chemistry
    1B: Atmospheric Chemistry
    Option 2
    2A: Materials
    2B: Additional Electrochemistry and the Extraction of Metals

Mandatory experiments are listed at the end of each main syllabus section.


Leaving Certificate Chemistry is assessed by means of a terminal examination paper at each level. Students are required to keep a record of their practical work over the two years of the course.


The syllabus was introduced into schools in September 2000 and was first examined in June 2002. The science subjects are included in the first phase of syllabus review under the senior cycle developments.


Leaving Certificate Chemistry Syllabus (Ordinary level and Higher level)
Leaving Certificate Chemistry – Guidelines for Teachers