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The Ultimate Guide to Junior Cycle History for Leaving Cert Students

Updated: Jan 1


The Junior Cycle History curriculum is an integral part of the Leaving Cert education in Ireland. As a student, you will learn about the history of Ireland and the world, from ancient times to the present day. This subject aims to help you develop an appreciation for the past, an understanding of historical events, and an ability to think critically about historical sources and interpretations.

In this guide, we'll go over the basics of Junior Cycle History, including what you'll study, what you can expect in the exams, and tips for success.

What You'll Study in Junior Cycle History

Junior Cycle History covers a wide range of topics, from ancient civilizations to modern-day events. Here are some of the key topics you'll encounter:

  • Ancient Civilizations: You'll learn about the early civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome and their impact on the world.

  • Medieval Europe: You'll study the Middle Ages in Europe, including the rise of the Catholic Church, the feudal system, and the Renaissance.

  • Early Modern Europe: You'll delve into the developments of the 16th and 17th centuries, including the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the Scientific Revolution.

  • The History of Ireland: You'll learn about the history of Ireland from the Viking Age to the present day, including the Norman Conquest, the Plantations, and the Easter Rising.

  • World Wars and 20th Century Conflict: You'll study the two World Wars and the impact they had on the world, as well as other conflicts such as the Cold War and the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Exam Format and Tips for Success

The Junior Cycle History exams will test your knowledge and understanding of the key topics covered in the course. The exams will typically include a mix of short-answer questions, essay questions, and source-based questions.

Here are some tips to help you succeed in the exams:

  • Stay organized: Keep detailed notes on the key topics you're studying, and make sure to review them regularly.

  • Practice, practice, practice: Practice writing essays and answering short-answer questions to get a feel for the exam format and to build your confidence.

  • Analyze sources: Make sure you understand how to analyze historical sources, and practice using this skill in your exams.

  • Stay up-to-date: Keep up with current events and how they relate to the historical events you're studying.


The Junior Cycle History curriculum is an important part of your Leaving Cert education. By studying the history of Ireland and the world, you'll develop an appreciation for the past and an ability to think critically about historical sources and interpretations. With the right preparation and hard work, you can achieve success in the exams and go on to further study or a rewarding career.

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