Leaving Certificate Physics

Leaving Cert Physics is the most mathematical of the sciences, with many exam questions requiring you to solve a problem using learnt formulas.

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It is important that you go over these experiments before the exam as Section A examines you on your knowledge of these practicals. 

Physics Course Content

Optics / Waves

  • Light
  • Sound


  • Time
  • Space
  • Distance
  • Speed
  • Acceleration.


  • Changes of state 
  • Energy conversions and mathematical problems.

Electricity and Magnetism: 

  • Simple Circuits
  • Gravity, 
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • AC & DC currents

Atomic Physics

  • Cathode rays
  • X-rays
  • Radioactive decay
  • Nuclear fission and fusion
  • Nuclear reactors 

Option sections

Particle Physics

  • A detailed study of sub atomic particles

Applied Electricity

  • A detailed study of electricity and how motors work

The Exam

100% of your mark goes for a one paper 3 hour exam but you are required to keep a record of your practical work over the two years of the course.  

Section A:

Answer 3 out of 4 questions (40 marks per question) based on experimental procedures and use of results.

Section B:

  • Answer 5 out of 8 questions (56 marks per question)
  • Questions are more broad and theory based

Future Careers with Leaving Certificate Physics

Physics is a requirement for entry into a number of third level courses and is useful for careers including finance, statistics, engineering, physics and computer science.

Download the leaving cert Physics Syllabus

Download the leaving cert Physics Chief examiner's report (2013) 

Download the leaving cert Physics Guidelines for Teachers