Physics deals with the laws and forces governing natural phenomena including; light, heat, electricity and magnetism. It is essential for the study of all branches of Engineering. This is an experimental subject and practical laboratory work is an integral part of the course.


Mechanics, forces, energy, heat, wave motion, sound light optical instruments, wave nature of light, electricity, electric field, capacitance, electric current, electromagnetism, atomic physics and the nucleus, semiconductors.

Higher Level students do a more in-depth study of each topic than the ordinary level student.


Physics is a very useful subject for technical/engineering/scientific courses/careers. Physics is essential for a degree in electronic and electrical Engineering(UCC) and for Theoretical Physics (TCD).
Students who swish to study Physics at Higher Level would be will advised to have a Grade B Higher Level Science and a Grade B Higher Level Mathematics at Junior Certificate Level.


The new L.C. Biology course comprises of 3 main sections, each of which includes a series of compulsory, practical student activities and projects.

Section 1 – Biology the study of Life

This section includes topics such as characteristics of life and the relationships between species and between species and their environment. This is known as “ecology”.

The “ecology” section includes ‘field work’, projects and activities including:
1. Plant and animal collection,
2. Equipment using keys to identify plants and animals,
3. A detailed study of an ecosystem e.g. woodland, beach, stream, hedgerow etc..

Also included are the effects of humans, good or bad, on the environment and a study of the chemicals needed for life.

Section 2 – The Cell

In this section the structure of cells is examined and how they work, produce and use energy; how nutrients are absorbed, and how waste is removed.

Genetics – is a vital component of the course. Genetics deals with:
1. How cells reproduce
2. How cell function is controlled by DNA
3. What is DNA, what is it’s structure, and how it produces proteins which give organisms their appearance, role and behaviour
4. How mutations (changes) in DNA, either accidental or deliberate, can alter the functioning of cells giving rise to “Evolution”.

The evidence for and against Evolution is discussed as is the basic mechanism by which it works.

Section 3 – The Organism

Here, the diversity (range) of living organisms is discussed. Examples of topics includes:
1. The structure of flowering plants
2. How food and nutrients are transported
3. How plants respond to their environment
4. How plants reproduce

Humans are used as a typical example of an animal species. Examined in detail are:
1. Human circulation
2. Breathing
3. Respiration
4. Maintenance of the correct chemical environment in the body
5. The nervous system, hormones, skeletal structure, defense against disease and
6. Human Reproduction

There is no direct examination of practical work but a detailed knowledge of practical aspects will be expected in answers to direct questions in the written examination.

Examples Included:

Field Work activities in the area of ecology. A detailed quantitative study of a selected ecosystem is required. A question covering this will be asked in the written examination
The structure, working principle and use of microscopes. The preparation of slides and examination of specific structures
The dissection of a cow or sheep’s heart
A range of laboratory experiments will be conducted by students or demonstrated by the teacher.
Topics may include:

Tests for sugar

Enzyme activity

Action of yeast
Exercise and breathing rate

Controls on seed Germination etc..

The course is offered at Higher and Ordinary level. Basic core material is the same for both but extra material is demanded for H Level as sell as a greater depth of knowledge and applications of that knowledge. Pure science accounts for 70% of the course while 30% is based on the technological, social, political and economic aspects of Biology.

These notes were compiled by Dr. Eamonn Mc Cabe – Marian College


Higher and Ordinary Levels

This is an experimental subject and records of practical work done should be kept and be available for inspection.


Introduction to atomic structure, kinetic/particulate nature of matter, stoichemistry, formulae and equations, periodic table and atomic structure, thermochemistry, rates of chemical reaction, crystal structures and shapes of molecules, carbon and hydrogen, chemical equilibrium, hydrogen, oxygen and water, chemistry of non-metals nitrogen and sulphur, electrochemistry and reactions of some organic compounds containing oxygen.

Higher level candidates do a more in-depth study of each topic than ordinary level candidates.


Chemistry is essential for Human Nutrition and Dietetics-DIT
Dentistry-UCC and Medical Laboratory Science Diploma-DIT
Students who wish to take Higher Level Chemistry in the Leaving Cert. would be will advised to have Higher Levels Grade B in both Science and Mathematics at Junior Certificate Level.
Chemistry - HC-is now essential for Veterinary Medicine/Science in UCD.

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