Higher, Ordinary and Foundation Levels

Leaving Certificate Mathematics usually is a requirement for a great many areas of employment and courses. In terms of the word of work, employers look for numeracy skills in all areas including apprenticeships, nursing and the Gardai. All Institutes of Technology insist on at least Ordinary Level Maths as a basic entry requirement. There are some exceptions, for example, Art Degrees/Courses. A Grade C or higher in Ordinary Level Maths is required for many Science or Commerce courses – this reflects the amount of Maths and Statistics involved in studying Science, Commerce or Psychology.

Knowledge of the Junior Certificate Higher Course will be assumed. The syllabus is presented in the form of a core and a list of options. Students study the whole of the core and one option:


Algebraic operations on polynomials and rational functions, unique solutions of simultaneous linear equations with two or three unknowns, inequalities, complex numbers, proof by induction of simple identities and matrices.

Line, plain vectors, transformation geometry, trigonometry, sequences and series.
Functions, differential calculus and integral calculus.
Fundamental principle of counting, discrete probability, statistics and difference equations.
There are four optional topics:
Further Calculus and series, further probability and statistics, groups or further geometry.

Knowledge of the content of the Junior Certificate course will be assumed.

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of rational numbers, estimation and approximation,
powers and nth root and areas.

Formulae and simple algebraic functions, unique solution of simultaneous linear equations with two unknowns, inequalities and complex numbers.
Synthetic geometry, co-ordinate geometry, enlargements, trigonometry and finite sequences and series.
Functions and Calculus
Discrete Mathematics and Statistics
Fundamental principles of counting. Discrete probability and Statistics
Further geometry or plane vectors or further sequences and series or linear programming



Number systems, arithmetic, areas and volumes, algebra, statistics and probability, trigonometry, functions and graphs, and geometry.

What level of Maths will you require?

You must have at least a ‘D’ on an ordinary level Maths paper to get into a Teacher Training College or College of Education.

All University and Institutes of Technology Engineering Degree Courses require at least a ‘C’ on a Higher Level Paper.

You need either Maths or Latin to matriculate in Trinity.

You must have Maths to study Economics, Geography, Sociology or Social Studies at Trinity, as well as Science, Pharmacy and Remedial Linguistics/ Speech Therapy.

You must have an ‘A’ in Higher Maths to become an Actuary.

At least Ordinary Level Maths is needed for Accountancy and to cope with the Maths content of Commerce degrees in U.C.D., you would probably need Honours Maths or a good grade in Ordinary level.

Many clerical type jobs such as Banks, Insurance Companies, Civil Service, etc., requires at least an Ordinary level in Maths.

You need either Maths to become a Cadet, to train as a Radiographer, a Computer Programmer or and Airline Pilot. You must have at least ‘C’ on a Higher Level Paper to become a Meteorological Officer.

Get in touch

Go to top