Geography – Junior Cycle

Subject Overview

Geography is the study of people and their relationships with their environment It is concerned with helping to develop an understanding of the physical, social and economic processes which shape that environment.

To achieve that understanding, the Geography syllabus aims to introduce young people to a broad body of knowledge and equip them with a wide range of practical skills.


The subject is structured around a number of key geographical concepts which are studied in local, national and international settings.

The syllabus is presented in three sections, each based on a broad theme:

  • The Human Habitat – Processes and Change
  • Population, Settlement Patterns and Urbanisation
  • Patterns in Economic Activity


Assessment is by way of written terminal examination and optional field study. There are two examination papers, one for Higher level and one for Ordinary level.

Current status

The Junior Certificate Geography syllabus was introduced in 1990 and first examined in 1992. As part of the review of junior cycle, it is one of syllabuses currently undergoing a rebalancing process, in a move towards presenting all junior cycle syllabuses in similar formats.