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top mathematics

Mathematics in Marian College

Mathematics contributes to the school curriculum by developing students’ abilities to solve problems, to calculate, to reason logically, algebraically, and geometrically and to make sense of data. Mathematics is important for students in many other areas of study, particularly Science and Technology. It is also important in everyday life, in many forms of employment and in decision-making. We aim to emphasise the importance of maths using the expansive range of skills, knowledge and experience within the department and encourage students to get involved in national competitions, courses and extra classes offered by the Society of Actuaries Ireland and the Trinity Access Program. Information on Junior Cycle changes can be found on www.jcsp.ie

Apart from the normal Leaving Certificate Maths curriculum, Marian also offers Applied Maths to Senior Cycle students as an optional extra subject.

Within the Mathematics department, we aim to set challenging targets with high expectations for students of all levels and abilities. We strongly believe in the importance of offering a variety of different approaches to teaching and learning to help motivate students. We will always look to ensure that the students are actively participating and enjoying mathematics. The Mathematics department are continuously up-skilling and searching for new approaches to ensure the enrichment of our students’ mathematical education. 

A number of staff members are involved in Lesson Study, which is a form of professional development based around teachers collaborating to design a research lesson. The Maths Development Team are using Lesson Study to support teachers in adopting structured problem solving in their teaching of mathematics. Lesson Study is recognised internationally as being the most-effective form of professional development in changing classroom practices. Teaching through structured problem solvingis widely acknowledged to develop students’ ability to think mathematically and to solve problems. More information can be found on www.projectmaths.ie

At the end of their mathematical education at Marian College, it is our vision that each student will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively using a variety of means in a range of contexts
  • Make informed financial decisions and develop good consumer skills
  • Recognise the potential uses of mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding in all areas of learning
  • Describe, illustrate, interpret and explain patterns and relationships
  • Devise and evaluate strategies for investigating and solving problems using mathematical knowledge, reasoning and skills
  • Observe and evaluate empirical events and processes and draw valid deductions and conclusions
  • Use technology and digital media tools to learn, communicate, work and think collaboratively and creatively in a responsible and ethical manner
  • Approach problems systematically choosing appropriate techniques for their solution


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.

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.



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