Subject Overview

Geography is concerned with the study of people and their environment. The subject will help students develop an understanding of the changing relationships between the physical and human worlds. Through their study of geography, students will develop geographical skills that will help them to make informed judgements about issues at local, national and international levels.


Leaving Certificate geography may be studied at Ordinary or Higher level. The course is divided into core, elective and optional units of study. Students are expected to develop important geographical skills as they study these units.
Core Units
1. Patterns and processes in the physical environment
2. Regional geography
3. The Geographical Investigation and skills unit
Elective Units
4. Patterns and processes in economic activities
5. Patterns and processes in the human environment
Optional Units
6. Global interdependence
7. Geoecology
8. Culture and identity
9. The atmosphere-ocean environment
Ordinary level students study all core units and one of the elective units. Higher level students study all core units, one of the elective units and one of the optional units.


Leaving Certificate Geography is assessed at Ordinary and Higher level in ascending order of difficulty. There are two assessment components:
  • Examination paper 80%
  • Report on a Geographical Investigation 20%

Current status

This revised Leaving Certificate Geography syllabus was introduced in 2004.