066-7141963 [email protected]


In St. Patrick’s Secondary School, we offer Chemistry as part of a partnership with Presentation Secondary School.

What is Chemistry? 

Below is a video which gives some insight into the subject of Chemistry. 


What is the importance of chemistry, and why would you want to learn about it?

In a nutshell Chemistry is important because it explains the world around you. Chemistry is the study of matter (the stuff we are made of!) and its interactions with other matter and energy. We’re all chemists. We use chemicals every day and perform chemical reactions without thinking much about them. Examples of how chemistry helps us understand and solve problems in everyday life include…


Environmental Issues: Chemistry is at the heart of environmental issues. Can we make a new substance to replace plastic? What makes one chemical a nutrient and another chemical a pollutant? How can you clean up the environment? What processes can produce the things you need without harming the environment?


Medicine: Whether you want to be a doctor or not you need to understand basic chemistry so you can understand how vitamins, supplements, and drugs can help or harm you. Part of the importance of chemistry lies in developing and testing new medical treatments and medicines.


Cooking: Chemistry explains how food changes as you cook it, how it rots, how to preserve food, how your body uses the food you eat, and how ingredients interact to make food. Chemistry is important because everything you do is chemistry! Even your body is made of chemicals. Chemical reactions occur when you breathe, eat, or just sit there reading. All matter is made of chemicals, so the importance of chemistry is that it is the study of everything.

What do we do in Leaving Certificate Chemistry?


The leaving cert course provides an introduction to all the major areas within general chemistry.

These topics include:

  1. Environmental chemistry
  2. Chemical Reactions
  3. Organic chemistry
  4. Atomic structure

Experimental investigations are an essential part of the Leaving Certificate course. Experimental work is examined as part of the Leaving Certificate Exam and forms the basis of at least 30% of the marks awarded on the exam paper Chemistry is examined in one paper, available at higher and ordinary level, with the majority taking higher level.

Links to other subjects

The chemistry syllabus has strong links with the other science subjects, especially physics.


What kind of student takes Chemistry?

Are you curious? Do you like problem solving? Are you creative? Did you enjoy Junior Certificate science? Do you like wearing a labcoat? Then chemistry just might be the subject for you.

What is Chemistry a requirement for at Third Level?

Not only is the place of Chemistry central to most courses in Sciences offered in third level education, but it is also an essential element in the study of Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Physiotherapy, Engineering, Agricultural Science, Nursing, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Technology and numerous technician courses. There are 211 courses listed on the CAO that require a science subject (some require two) with chemistry being preferred / required.


What jobs could a qualification in chemical science lead to?

All sorts! Chemical scientists work in a huge variety of careers both in and out of the lab, including many you might not have thought about before. 

Forensics – helping to solve crimes.

Nutrition and dietetics – concerned with the diet and its effects on health, especially with the practical application of a scientific understanding of nutrition.

Environmental science – understanding and safeguarding our environment.

Sustainability – developing alternative energy sources for a cleaner, healthier planet.

Nanotechnology – designing structures on an atomic scale for use in medicine, communication and industry.

Innovation – developing exciting new technology products.

Product development – improving our cosmetics, toiletries and household cleaning products.

Archaeology – dating and analysing artefacts.

Drug discovery – discovering new medicines.

Biotechnology – seeking treatments for diseases, experimenting with new energy sources and creating the next generation of consumer chemicals.

Marine chemistry – reducing pollution and discovering new natural compounds for use in food production and medicine.

Sportswear development – producing smart new materials for trainers, lightweight materials for bike frames and racquets, or aerodynamic suits for cycling and athletics.

Teaching – inspiring the next generation of chemists.

Food technology – inventing new foods or flavour.

I don’t want a career in science. What else is chemistry useful for?

Chemistry helps to improve analytical skills and critical thinking as a result studying chemistry is also great preparation for careers in: Sales and Marketing, Consultancy, Central and local government, Business and Finance, Law, Publishing, Journalism, Information technology and much more.

For more detailed information on the Leaving Certificate Chemistry syllabus click the link below.