Project Description


The Irish educational system enables students to have equitable access to high quality education. The Department of Education and Skills, The Department of Education and Skills, which is attached to the Ministry of Education, is the responsible governing office for the Irish educational system and for establishing curricula.

The assignment to a grade is completely up to the schools. It is usually according to the students date of birth and to their grades.

Education in Ireland is compulsory from 6 to 15 years old.

Excellent educational tradition

Ireland is being characterized by a long and excellent educational tradition, which continues today, as reflected in the latest PISA (programme for international assessment of students) report. This report shows the Irish educational system as a pioneering model in the investment of new technologies and education. In addition, it reveals that the Irish educational model stands out from other countries for its deep-rooted system of values.

The Irish educational system has a magnificent international reputation which has grown in recent years. The secondary school curriculum in Ireland is considered one of the best in the world and gives international students a solid foundation for their future.

Likewise, the student-teacher ratio is very low, approximately 17 students per class, which allows a more individualized educational attention with results in a closer and more familiar atmosphere. Thereby, Ireland has become one of the students’ favorite destinations since it allows them to enjoy an excellent educational project in a quiet, safe and familiar environment.

Secondary Education in Ireland is available from 12 to 18 years old and is divided into several blocks:

The “Junior Cycle” is the first three years of secondary school, starting at the age of 12 ending with an exam known as the “Junior Certificate”. It is an academic title that certifies that the student has successfully passed the first stage of secondary education.

The Junior Certificate is obtained by passing the compulsory exams in English, Mathematics, History, Geography, and CSPE (political, social, and civic education)) and other electives such as Music, Business, Technology, Science, Art, Domestic Economics, Religion, Carpentry, Metalworking, German, French, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek and Classical Studies.

Political, Social and Civic Education (CSPE) is a subject exempt of exams, but compulsory as well in the Junior Cycle.

The Transition Year is an academic year that works as a link between the Junior and Senior Cycle. It has a lower academic load focusing on more practical aspects of education. Its main objective is to promote students’ personal, social, educational and vocational development, as well as to prepare them for their role as autonomous, responsible and active members of society. This year is very unique compared with other educational systems and we are proud to being able to offer it to our students and to our exchange students.

During this year, students learn to work as a team through group and research projects, they attend various seminars and conferences, they do community services, etc. Moreover, during the second quarter of the Transition Year, students will take spend approximately 2-4 weeks dedicated to internships.

The subjects taught vary, ranging from the traditional main subjects such as Mathematics, History and English, to other optional and newly incorporated subjects such as Cooking, Domestic Economics, Photography, Self Defense, Drawing, Speech, Choir, International Relations, and a very long etcetera.

The evaluation of learning is not carried out done through final exams but, in most cases, is usually based on the group or individual project presentations, a positive attitude, and a good work ethic throughout the year.

Students attending Transition Year must be prepared to pay for some extras, e.g. for excursions or.

The final block is the “Senior Cycle” and it includes 5th and 6th grade. In the end, Irish students must pass a final exam known as the “Leaving Certificate”.

Both the Junior and the Leaving Certificate include several exams that usually take place between the first 2-3 weeks of June.

The most common subjects for the Leaving Certificate are:

  • Mathematics (compulsory)
  • English (compulsory)
  • Irish (It is the original language of Ireland that was spokend hundreds of years ago an even today, it is still spoken in some rural áreas. International students are usually not required to study this subject)

There is a wide selection of electives, such as:

  • Modern languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish…)
  • Physics, chemistry, biology, geography, economics, music, computer science, accounting, art, technical drawing, engineering, etc.)

The academic year in Ireland is divided into three terms: the first one goes from September to Christmas, the second one from January to Easter, and the third one from March / April to May. Irish students have a holiday period of about 10 days during the last week of October, known as the half – term break, and another one in the second quarter (more specifically in February).

Usually, international students that wish to sit the Leaving Certificate but do at least two subjects at higher level and score at least a C grade in each of these.


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+353 (0)76 680 3169



Virginia/ Co Cavan


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