What is the subject about? 

Leaving Certificate Economics provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for understanding the economic forces which impact their everyday lives, their society and their economy at local, national and global levels. By exploring the microeconomic and macroeconomic world in which they live, students will understand the economic, social, political and environmental implications of the decisions made by individuals, businesses, our government and others. Economics is a contemporary subject, therefore students who take up this subject will investigate current affairs topics relating to the economic environment. Economics aims to stimulate students’ curiosity and interest in the economic environment and how they interact with it and making them more informed as decision-makers. The learning experiences in economics develop students’ critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making and numeracy skills. 

Topics studied: 

– Understanding economics 

– Scarcity & Choice 

– Environmental Sustainability 

– Demand & Supply 

– Elasticity 

– Government Intervention 

– Types of Market structures 

– Market failure 

– Fiscal and monetary policy 

– Employment and unemployment 

– National Income 

– International economics: economic growth & development 

– International trade and competitiveness 


How is the subject assessed? 

Economics can be taken at Higher Level or Ordinary Level. There are two assessment components at each level: 

I. Written examination (80%): 

  • Section A (Choice of Short Answer Questions) 
  • Section B (Choice of extended response questions) 

II. Research study (20%) 

Through the research study, students are afforded an opportunity to engage in research, analysis and reflection. The research study will assess the students’ ability to use the knowledge, concepts and skills developed in their study of economics to evaluate information and data and make informed conclusions. 

The research study will be based on a brief issued annually by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). A common brief will be issued for Ordinary Level and Higher Level. The brief will outline a number of topics from which students will choose one for their research study. The brief will also outline the parameters for the research study and for the report which will be submitted to the SEC for assessment. The research study will be completed in sixth year. 

Additional comments 

– Junior Cycle Business Studies would be desirable to have taken at Junior Cycle though not compulsory. 

– Students should have a keen interest in current affairs. 

Career Opportunities 

– Economist 

– Politics 

– Banking & Finance 

– Management 

– Logistics 

– Journalist 

– Education