Junior Cert Religion aims to ensure that students are exposed to a broad range of religious traditions and to the non-religious interpretation of life.
It is a popular subject, being compulsory in many schools with over 24,000 candidates sitting the paper in 2008, comprising approximately 40% of all the students who sit the Junior Certificate in a given year. Religious education is available at both Higher and Ordinary levels, with most (around 75%) of students opting for the Higher Level paper.
Students learn about many of the world’s religions including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and also non-religious traditions such as humanism and atheism.
The Junior Cert Religion course is divided into two parts:
Part 1, of which students study two sections.
● Section A: Communities of Faith
● Section B: Foundations of Religion – Christianity
● Section C : Foundations of Religion – Major World Religions
Part 2, of which students study all sections
● Section D: The Question of Faith
● Section C: The Celebration of Faith
● The Moral Challenge
Students prepare a Journal in advance of the written exam, which accounts for 20% of their overall mark. This journal is based on titles which are made available by the State Examinations Commission each year. The journal titles for students sitting the Junior Cert in 2016 are available here.
The remaining 80% of the marks are based on a two hour written exam. The exam includes both long and short questions, with students completing one essay question. There is a wide variety of choice in the exam and students can play to their individual strengths and favourite areas.