Politics and Society


Leaving Certificate Politics and Society aims to develop the learner’s capacity to engage in reflective and active citizenship, informed by the insights and skills of social and political sciences.

Syllabus Objectives

  • The objectives of Leaving Certificate Politics and Society are to develop
  • An understanding of the social systems within which people act: locally, nationally and more widely
  • An understanding of concepts which underpin contemporary systems of government and of the diverse models for making these concepts operational
  • An understanding of and a respect for human rights and responsibilities, for human dignity and for democratic modes of governance
  • An understanding of and a respect for sustainable development
  • A commitment to and a capacity for active participation in the learner’s social and political worlds
  • A commitment to and a capacity for critical, discursive and independent thinking
  • A commitment to and a capacity for engagement in peaceful and democratic means of resolving conflicts
  • A sense of care for others and a respect for and a valuing of diversity in all areas of human life within the parameters of human rights principles
  • The capacity to analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative social and political research data, and to use such data carefully in forming opinions and coming to conclusions


Politics and Society is organised in four strands, each structured around key concepts. These strands are:

  • Power and decision-making
  • Active citizenship
  • Human rights and responsibilities
  • Globalisation and localisation


Assessment for certification in Politics and Society will be carried out through two assessment components: 

  • Report on a citizenship project (20% of the total marks). 
  • Written examination (80% of the total marks). 

Assessment will be based on the aims, objectives and learning outcomes as outlined in the specification.

The citizenship project will be based on a brief issued annually by the SEC. The brief will outline a number of topics, from which students will choose one for their citizen project. The brief will also outline the parameters for the project and for the report which will be submitted to the SEC for assessment. 

The report on a citizenship project will assess the ability to use the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society to make judgements as to how to be active in communities, and the student’s capacity to reflect upon and evaluate what they have learned or achieved from being an active participant in civil, social and political life. 

The terminal written examination will assess the ability to apply the knowledge and concepts of Politics and Society to make arguments about political and social issues and the skills of analysing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data on social and political issues.