Leaving Certificate Geography

Leaving Cert Geography is a big course and covers a diverse range of topics from volcanoes to the European Union. The exam is essay-based, so you will find Geography easier if you are comfortable writing essay-style answers.

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With seven or more essays to be written, timing is crucial in the written exam. It's really important that you keep an eye on the clock and avoid the temptation to run over time perfecting one essay at the cost of not finishing your last question. The examiner will be looking for SRPs (single relevant points) in your essay. A SRP can be described as a "single meaty statement", a sentence or paragraph with one clear and true point. At higher level an SRP is worth 2 marks so a typical 30 mark essay will need at least 15 SRPs. The Geographical Investigation is usually submitted in April of 6th year and is worth 20% of the final grade. 

Geography Course Content

Physical Geography

  • Rivers
  • The Sea
  • Glaciation
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Weather & Climate
  • Karst Regions

Regional geography

  • Irish Regions
  • European Region
  • Continental/ Subcontinental Regions

Geographical investigation

Two Elective Units (pick one):

Patterns and processes in economic activities (elective)

  • Energy
  • Developing Economies
  • Multinationals and Globalisation
  • European Union

Patterns and processes in the human environment (elective)

  • Population
  • Urban Geography

Four Optional Units (pick one; higher level only):

  • Global interdependence
  • Geoecology
  • Culture and identity
  • The Atmosphere-Ocean environment

The Exam

  1. 1.    Geographical Investigation Report (20%)
  2. 2.    Written Examination (80%)

There is one written paper which lasts for 2 hours and 50 minutes. There are three parts to the written paper. 

Part One

Twelve short questions where you will be marked out of your best ten. (25 mins, 80 marks)

Part Two

Essay style questions where you have a choice of ONE question from three in each section. Spend no more than 30 mins on each question (80 marks).

    Section 1: Physical Geography (Q1, Q2, Q3 - Pick one)

    Section 2: Regional Geography (Q4, Q5, Q6 - Pick one)

    Section 3: Human Elective (Q7, Q8, Q9 - Pick one) OR Economic Elective (Q10, Q11, Q12 -      Pick one)

Part Three (Higher level only)

You will be given 4 questions on your chosen option and you pick one. Each question will require you to write a single longer essay where you discuss three or four aspects of the theme in detail in 30 minutes (80 marks)

Future Careers with Leaving Certificate Geography

Some Universities accept Geography as a Science subject. Future careers include; Earth Scientist, Planner, Environmental Science, Fishing Industry.


Download the Leaving Cert Geography Syllabus

Download the Leaving Cert Geography Chief Examiner's Report (2012) 

Download the Leaving Cert Geography Guidlines for Teachers