Construction Studies

What is the subject about? 

Leaving Certificate Construction Studies provides students with an introduction to the knowledge and skills involved in construction technology and construction materials and processes in Ireland. It involves theoretical study and practical projects aimed at developing an understanding of the knowledge and skills concerned with building methods and practices. Students will learn about building regulations and structural principles used in Ireland to create durable buildings, which offer shelter from the elements, provide comfort, warmth and all our living needs in a safe and regulated standard. Construction is mostly related to domestic dwellings but also deals with broader aspects – such as planning permission, town planning and new technologies. 

How is the subject assessed? 

The Construction Studies course comprises of three components at Higher Level and Ordinary Level: 

I. Written Examination (50%) 

The written examination takes place in June and it is a 3 hour examination where students are required to answer 5 questions from a choice of 10. Question one is a compulsory drawing question of a building detail. 

Exam questions cover a range of topics from: 

– Substructure (below ground) 

– Superstructure (above ground) 

– Internal Construction (floors, openings, walls, stairs, stud partitions, chimney, etc) 

– Services and external works (plumbing, heating, electrical and waste disposal) 

– Heat and thermal properties of buildings 

– Illumination and sound in buildings 

– Building design and layout 

– Energy efficient planning and technologies 

Higher Level covers three more topics than Ordinary Level and requires a much greater knowledge of all topics. 


II. Practical Skills Test (25%) 

This is a 4 hour practical, woodwork examination held in May under examination conditions. The students are given a working drawing. They have to interpret the drawing, mark out the wood, process and complete the artefact in the time given. 


III. Project Work (25%) 

A practical project where the student constructs a scale building detail, a scale model of a building, a research style project or a craft piece. The student also produces a portfolio to accompany the project clearly evidencing their rationale, research and manufacture. The project work takes approximately forty hours to complete. All work to be carried out during class time. 


Additional Comments 

– Construction Studies is not the same as Junior Cycle Materials Technology Wood. There are practical aspects to the subject, however there is a larger focus on the theory of Construction Technology. 

– It is recommended that a student taking Leaving Certificate Construction Studies has a general interest in buildings and the built environment. 

– Each student should have an aptitude and interest for design and practical work. 

– Junior Certificate Woodwork and/or Technical Graphics would be desirable subjects to have taken at Junior Certificate though not compulsory.

– Students who have not completed either of the above subjects will require the maximum effort during the two years to have any chance of even moderate success at the Senior Cycle.


Career Opportunities 

– Education 

– Architecture 

– Architectural Technologist 

– Interior Design 

– Engineering 

– Services Industries 

– Construction Management 

– Health and Safety Officer 

– Quantity Surveyor