What is Economics?

Economics is regarded as the most practical business subject and is the study of how people manage limited resources such as money to meet their goals. By understanding the reasons why people spend their money in certain ways, economists can try to introduce incentives to their change their behaviours. As a discipline, Economics is divided into two broad categories.

Microeconomics considers how individual people decide what goods they are willing to buy or not buy based on maximising their personal ‘utility’ (getting as much benefit as possible from their money), and how firms and businesses will try to take advantage of consumers’ habits to maximise profit. It also examines how multiple businesses in a market will price their goods based on their competitors and their various costs.

Macroeconomics then considers how governments handle the economy as a whole, and how they select policies which meet their goals, such as stable economic growth (avoiding recessions), minimising the national debt, and encouraging employment. How the government handles issues such as fiscal policy (how much money flows in the economy), international trade, and banking all have implications for economics stability and growth.

What kind of student might Economics suit?

Anyone considering a future career in any area of business, journalism or finance.
Students who enjoyed Junior Cert Business.
Students who take an interest in politics, current affairs, or psychology.

Career Possibilities

All Business courses require an Economics content so having this subject is an advantage and is useful for careers in Banking, Insurance, Finance and Marketing.

Third Level Entry Requirements

This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAG system.


This subject is suited to students who are willing to work hard and caters for all abilities.

It is not necessary for students to have studied Junior Certificate Business Studies, but this would be a help. Ideally, students should have a general interest in how the economy works.

Exam Structure

Leaving Certificate Physics is assessed by means of one terminal examination paper at each level. Students are required to keep a record of their practical work over the two years of the course.

The Leaving Certificate Physics exam is three hours in duration.

While there is an element of maths in the physics course, honours maths is not a requirement to do honours physics. Students should not avoid physics on the basis of not having honours maths. It is entirely possible to get on well in honours physics without honours maths.

Pupils should become able to draw and read graphs and be competent in using a calculator throughout the course. The physics syllabus has strong links with the other science subjects especially chemistry. There are strands of physics which overlap with woodwork and construction especially the electricity and heat sections.

Pupils who will gain the most from studying physics are those who have an interest in science at Junior Cert level and those who enjoy learning about how things work. The science, technology and society section allows students the chance to see where the physics they are learning applies as in TVs, car motors and electricity in the home and also, to see some of the industrial applications of certain topics.