'Ours is not to reap the harvest, Ours is just to sow the seed'
Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey


Subject summary

Geography is the study of people, their environment, and the interaction between the two. The course follows from Junior Certificate Geography, and covers very similar topics (such as rocks, soils, oceans, population movements, map-reading, and economic activities) in a lot more detail. There are a large number of optional sections on the course, allowing students to focus on the sections of the course which they like.

Why study ?

1) Geography gives you crucial life skills to understand the world around you and how to interact with it as a concerned global citizen. 2) Geography helps you become an engaged and active citizen 3) Geography helps young people with social and environmental responsibility

Course Content

At the Leaving Certificate Level, the uptake of Geography is one of choice and presently over 30% percent of sixth year students have opted to continue their study of this subject. The Leaving Certificate Geography course was revised in 2006 and currently the revised syllabus has a core, elective and option structure. In fifth year the physical and regional sections are covered (relating to the core section) with an emphasis placed on the elective and option section to be completed in sixth year. All students will build on and develop in greater detail the knowledge that they acquired during the Junior Cycle.

Section 1

Core unit.

The main objective of the core unit is to provide a useful tool through which students can understand and interpret the physical landscape. This unit also places an emphasis on the interactions humans have had with the physical processes at work in the environment through a study of rocks, rivers and the work of the sea. Through a study of FIVE main regions on a global scale (West of Ireland, Greater Dublin Area, The Paris Basin, the Mezzogiorno in Southern Italy and the Indian Subcontinent, students will understand the interaction of physical, economic and human processes in EACH of these five regions.

Section 2

Elective Unit.

This offers the student the opportunity to study the Patterns and Processes in Economic Activities (where such areas as globalisation, the influence of the E.U and sustainable development will be studied) or “Patterns and Processes in the Human Environment” where an emphasis on population studies, migration and urban issues will be examined.

Section 3


This allows the student the opportunity to develop their skills in ONE of four options. Such options include Global Interdependence, Geoecology, Culture and Identity and The Atmosphere-Ocean Environment. This optional unit is for Higher Level students only.

In Mount Sackville the option of Geoecology is routinely taken as our main area of study. Short answer questions are also asked in the Leaving Certificate Geography paper where the student must choose 10 out of the 12 questions set. These questions can be taken from the Core unit alongside questions based on the analysis of Ordnance Survey maps and statistical skills.

A Geographical Investigation is also required to be studied for the Leaving Certificate. This investigation has an allocation of 100 marks at both Ordinary AND Higher Level and is separate from the written examination. One topic will be chosen as a basis for further study and while it is acceptable that candidates may work in groups on one investigation topic, each candidate will be required to submit for assessment an individual report. In Mount Sackville a study of the physical processes (either deposition or erosion) in a river environment is routinely chosen as a topic for investigation and accounts for 20% of the final mark. Such investigations and fieldwork studies provide the opportunity for students to develop key geographical skills that they have been introduced to during their time of study. Previous study areas include Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo and Tower Beach, Portrane, Co. Dublin

Exam Structure

Leaving Certificate Geography is assessed at Ordinary and Higher level in ascending order of difficulty.

There are two assessment components:

Written Examination (80%)

Geographical Investigation Report (20%) to be handed up in the April of 6th year.

The written paper is worth 400 marks and takes place over 2 hours 50 minutes. Students complete 12 short answer questions (worth 100 marks) and 1 long question from a choice of 3 on physical geography, regional geography, population studies and geoecology (worth 300 marks in total).

Career Possibilities

Geography can be studied at third level as a science subject, or as an arts subject. TCD accepts geography as a science subject for entry into both the science and pharmacy faculty. Geography graduates are seen as employable due to their combination of transferable skills including problem-solving and critical thinking. Career possibilities arising out of this subject: Teacher/Lecturer, Cartography, Engineering, Travel and Tourism, Meteorology/Weather Forecasting/ Global and Development work, Landscape Architect/Town Planning/Journalism

08 2022
State Examinations
25 2022
1st Year Sports Camp - Half Day
25 2022
TYs meeting in school with Principal, Deputy Principal, Deans and tutors
26 2022
1st Year Sports Camp - Half Day
Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061

© 2022 Mount Sackville Secondary School