The study of History at junior cycle aims to enable students to develop the necessary conceptual understanding, disciplinary skills and subject knowledge to investigate the actions of people in the past and to come to a deeper understanding of the human condition. Students also come to see the world, and their place in it, from an historical perspective; and understand how the people and events of the past have shaped the contemporary world.The focus of study is on three strands: the Nature of History; the History of Ireland; and the History of Europe and the Wider World.

A new History specification will be introduced to schools in September 2018.

The specification aims to develop in students an interest and enthusiasm for history and to enable them to acquire values and attitudes that shape their view of people in the past, including a regard for heritage and their cultural inheritance, and a sense of historical empathy, where people are judged in the context and values of the time in which they lived.

Students will develop a disciplinary awareness through exploring the past from different perspectives; thinking critically about issues, events and people they encounter; interrogating sources of evidence objectively and making judgements about viewpoints expressed, including the capacity to identify propaganda.

For students entering first year before September 2018 the Junior Certificate History syllabus applies.

For students entering first year in or after September 2018 the new Junior Cycle History specification applies. Both can be viewed here.

The Junior Cycle History specification will be introduced into schools in September 2018. The development of the specification began in November 2016.

The background paper and consultation report for Junior Cycle History explores the development of the subject at junior cycle; highlights good practice at home and abroad; and to uses evidence-based research to inform the revision of the specification.

The History Development Group consists of the nominees from a range of education stakeholders including teacher and management bodies, Department of Education and Skills, and the State Examinations Commission.

This group oversaw the development of a draft Junior Cycle History specification from September 2016 to March 2017. The draft specification and consultation report is available here.


Watch our Student Voice video here.

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