Senior Cycle

The syllabus has four sections, each of which must be covered:

  • Imaginative Composition or Still Life (25%)

  • Craft Work (25%)

  • Life Drawing (12.5%)

  • Art History and Appreciation (37.5%)

From 2018, 6th Year Leaving Certificate Art Students are expected to complete a 10 week project which begins on return to school in January. The Department of Education will issue themes for the students to work from. This project will cover the practical elements of the traditional Leaving Certificate of Still life or Imaginative Composition, and also the students chosen craft.

The traditional Art History exam will continue to take place in June and there will also be a life drawing exam that will take place in early May.

Art History and Appreciation

Although it is mainly a practical course, Art History and Appreciation accounts for 37.5% of the grade in the final exams (150) marks. Within Art History there are three main areas of study:

  • Irish Art - This involves a study of Irish art from Newgrange to the present day.

  • European Art - This is a study of European art from medieval times to the present day. Topics covered include The Renaissance and The Impressionists.

  • Appreciation of Art and Design - Topics explored under this term include film appreciation, a review of an exhibition, product design interior design, architecture and local heritage.


There are four exams to sit at the end of sixth year, three of which will be completed before the Leaving Cert begins.

The three practical exams – Life Drawing, Imaginative Composition or Still Life and Design Craft - are held in May and students receive their papers a month in advance in order to prepare for the exams.

The fourth paper, The History of Art takes place in June. This exam is two and a half hours and consists of three essays, one from each section

Senior Art Work