Subject Overview

The aim of Junior Certificate Religious Education is to provide students with a framework for encountering and engaging with the variety of religious traditions in Ireland and elsewhere. The syllabus is built around a framework of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes. Such a framework would also prepare students for the Leaving Certificate course in religious education.


Junior Certificate Religious Education may be studied at Ordinary or Higher level.
The course consists of two parts:
Part 1
Students take any two of the following:
Section A – Communities of Faith
Section B – Foundations of Religion – Christianity
Section C – Foundations of Religion – Major World Religions
Part 2
Students take all of the following:
Section D – The Question of Faith
Section E – The Celebration of Faith
Section F – The Moral Challenge


Junior Certificate religious education is assessed at Ordinary and Higher Level. There are two assessment components:
Ordinary level Higher level
Examination paper 80% 80%
Journal work 20% 20%
The State Examinations Commission issues a list of topics for Journal Work at the beginning of each academic year.

Current status

The Junior Certificate religious education syllabus was introduced in 2000 and was examined for the first time in June 2003.