Leaving Cert History


For the Leaving Cert, History is an optional subject. It is taught in five class periods per week. See below for what is taught in fifth and sixth year. In 2011 , Wexford CBS achieved 18% A1’s in Higher Level History. The National average is 6%. If you are prepared to put the effort in, the rewards are there.



Subject Aims:

a) Develop the skills of History – to develop a range of research skills essential for study of History. To realise there are different interpretations of different historical issues. To develop an appreciation of the nature and variety of historical evidence.

b) Knowledge and understanding – to develop knowledge and understanding of human activity in the past. To realise the past is different, they did things differently. To learn Irish, European and World History.

c) Preparation for life and citizenship – to develop the ability to think critically, to develop positive values associated with the study of History. To develop in students an appreciation of the society in which they live and of other societies, past and present.


Subject Objectives:

Students should acquire knowledge and understanding of:

– Elements of each topic

– Actions and experience of previous generations

– How elements of Irish society fit into a broader context

– Human activity in the past

– Ability to apply a) procedural, b) interpretative and c) substantive concepts


a) Source and evidence, fact and opinion, bias

b) Change and continuity, cause and consequence, comparison and contrast

c) Power and authority, conflict and reconciliation, democracy and human rights, culture and civilisation, economy and society, identity and community, space and time.



Fifth Year: Dictatorship and Democracy, 1920-1945: (EUROPE TOPIC 3)


* Fascism – origins and growth * Nazi State in peace and war * Anti-Semitism and Holocaust – Holocaust survivor talk, * Propaganda – Nuremberg Rallies

* Lenin and Stalin, * Stalin’s Show Trials

* France 1920-1945 and Vichy State

* Wartime alliances

* Technology of warfare,

* Home front,

* Anglo-American Popular culture in peace and war








Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914   (Ireland topic 2)


* Home Rule

* GAA to 1891

* Dublin 1913 Strike & Lock-out

* Elections of 1885/86

* Unionism

* Suffrage Movement

* 1st Sinn Fein

*Irish Volunteers

* Cultural Nationalism.






Sixth Year Sovereignty and Partition 1912-1949 (Ireland topic 3)


*Home Rule Crisis 1910-1914

*Ireland and ww1

*1916 Rising

*Growth of Sinn Féin

*War of Independence

*Treaty Negotiations

*Civil War

*Cumann na nGaedheal domestic and foreign policies

*DeValera dismantling the treaty

*Language, religion and culture1922-1949(including the Eucharistic Congress 1932)

*Northern Ireland 1920-39

*Impact of ww2 on Ireland, north and South(including Belfast during World War 2)


Case study for 2016/17

  • Stalin’s show trials
  • The Nuremberg Rallies
  • The Jarrow March

Structure of Leaving Cert History







• There are six topics to choose from. In this school we pick

1. Topic 3 dictatorship and democracy in Europe, 1920-45

2. This topic will be examined in essay format(approx 3-4 foolscap pages for higher level)

• The second Europe and the Wider world topic is Topic 5: European retreat from Empire and the aftermath, 1945-90


This topic will be examined by studying documents on three case studies.

The three case studies are

1. British withdrawal from India. 1945-7

2. The secession of katanga 1960-65

3. Race Relations in france in the 1980s



• There are six topics to choose from in the Modern Ireland section. In this school we study:

– Topic 2 movements for Political and Social Reform, 1870-1914

– Topic 3 the pursuit of Sovereignty and the impact of partition, 1912-49

• Both these topics will be examined in essay format. For Higher Level students, this requires 3-4 foolscap pages(9-12 paragraphs)