Leaving Certificate History

Late Modern History (1815-1993) for the Leaving Cert is divided into six Irish topics and six European topics. Choosing History for the Leaving Cert because you thought it was easy at Junior Cert is a dangerous move.

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Leaving Cert History is a challenging course and requires essay style answers. Good English skills, the ability to do research and an interest in History are all important if you do this subject. Up to 20% of your final result will be based on your research project done before the exam. 

History (Late Modern) Course Content

Irish History (1815-1993) 

  • Ireland & the Union,
  • Movements for political and social reform
  • Sovereignty & the impact of partition
  • The Irish Diaspora
  • Politics and society in Northern Ireland
  • Government society and the economy in Ireland (1949-1989) 

History of Europe and the Wider World 1815-1993 

  • Nationalism and State Formation
  • Nation states and international tensions
  • Dictatorship and democracy
  • Division and realignment in Europe
  • European retreat from Empire and the aftermath
  • The US and the World.

The Exam

A written examination paper (80%) and a research study report (20%)

At both levels, the examination paper features a documents-based question (linked to the documents-based study) and three general questions. All four questions carry equal marks.

Future Careers with Leaving Certificate History

Leaving cert History is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system. History can be used in a wide variety of careers including Archaeology, Writing, Research, Education and Tourism.


Download the Leaving Cert History Syllabus

Download the Leaving Cert History Chief Examiner's Report (2011) 

Download the Leaving Cert History Guidlines for teachers