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preparation, recording, extraction, presentation and analysis of financial information for the purpose of making economic decisions


Business Studies

Subject Outline:

Business Studies is that part of the curriculum which enables the student to make informed decisions in the everyday business of living, which contributes to the student’s understanding of the world of business, which encourages a positive attitude to enterprise and which develops appropriate skills in that field.

The syllabus is balanced between the business education necessary for the individual/household area and business education in the purely commercial context. This balance is achieved by devoting separate syllabus sections to “the Business of Living” and “Enterprise”. The business concepts and skills introduced in one are restated and reinforced in the other. A section on economic awareness forms a bridge between these two sections. 

Exam Structures:

Business Studies is offered at two levels- Higher and Ordinary

The higher level Junior Cert Exam consists of two papers. The first paper is 2 & ½ hours long with two sections to answer. Section A consists of 20 short questions worth 4 marks each. Section B consists of 6 long questions worth 40 marks each and student must do 4 of the 6 questions.

The ordinary level exam consists of 1 paper which is 2 & ½ hours long. There are two sections, A & B. Section A has 20 short questions worth 5 marks each and section B has 8 long questions worth 60 marks each where students must complete 5 out of the 8 questions.


Accounting is a business studies option within the Leaving Certificate programme. It covers aspects of business and social life which are not dealt with in any other subject in that programme. It is concerned with the preparation, recording, extraction, presentation and analysis of financial information for the purpose of making economic decisions.The subject has a dual role in education in that it has both a practical and theoretical aspect which are totally inter-linked throughout the syllabus. It is a form of communication with specific language and techniques which equips students for many areas of everyday financial, business and social life.

 Accounting has become an important part of young people's education, not just for socio-economic reasons but also because of the ever-increasing involvement of citizens in various roles in the running of clubs, societies and businesses of all types.

As a subject, Accounting promotes the personal development of the individual as outlined in the Rationale section of this document. In particular, personal initiative and enterprise are developed by the problem-solving focus of the programme.

While the course has been designed to follow on from the Junior Certificate Business Studies, provision has been made within it for well-motivated and mature students to study the subject on entering the Leaving Certificate programme, without the benefit of that background.The course is designed to cater for the present while being flexible as regards future developments. It is of particular importance that the accounting education offered in this course to students is appropriate to their abilities, needs and interests and that it reflects the broad nature of the subject and its potential for enhancing student development.

  • To contribute to a balanced and appropriate general education, leading to the personal and social development of each student, together with a fostering of the concept of accountability. 

  • To create an awareness of the business environment dimension in our lives and to provide each student with knowledge, understanding and skills leading to personal competence and responsible participation in this changing and challenging environment. 

  • To provide an area of study that will encourage initiative and develop in each student self-reliance, mental organisation, clear and logical thinking, mental agility, critical skills, planning habits, methods of investigation and processes whereby accuracy can be ensured. 

  • To offer a subject on the curriculum that is mainly of a practical application and which develops in each student numeracy and a knowledge and understanding of business and enterprise through the use of figures, computations and statistics. 

  • To expose students to aspects of business and enterprise with a view to career and working life, additional studies in accounting or as a basis for further education. 


 To enable students to develop an ability to: 

  • prepare, understand, interpret and analyse financial statements with confidence

  • appreciate and use financial statements as a means of business communication

  • use analytical techniques to arrive at conclusions from financial information for the purpose of decision-making

  • prepare relevant reports using financial information.

To develop in students the following skills and processes acquired particularly through accounting: 

  • informed personal and business decision-making

  • accounting processes and knowledge for personal use

  • computational, problem-solving, presentational and literacy skills

  • summarising and interpreting skills

To develop in students an ability to link accounting with relevant computer applications. 

To familiarise students with Accounting as a means of recording, analysing and evaluating economic activity and consequently to equip the students with an appreciation of the importance of detail, dates and accuracy as they relate to accounting transactions and computations.

 To provide students with an appreciation of the ethical and regulatory framework which influences and governs the preparation of financial statements.

 To develop in students

  • an appreciation of the nature and purpose of accounting

  • an understanding of the objectives, concepts and conventions of financial accounting

  • a mastery of basic accounting processes, their rules and norms

  • an understanding of accounting principles and techniques and their application to a range of different forms and types of enterprise

  • a knowledge of management accounting principles and practice, including the techniques of budgeting and budgetary control

  • an appreciation of the basis upon which accounting reports are prepared and the limitations of such information

  • an appreciation of the relationship between accounting and other areas of business

  • attitudes of enthusiasm, confidence and self-reliance as a result of competence in accounting practice.


The syllabus will be assessed in terms of the syllabus objectives.

 Candidates will be assessed on their ability to:

 recall and demonstrate a knowledge of syllabus content

  • show an understanding of terminology central to the syllabus

  • apply accounting conventions, principles and concepts to the solution of accounting problems

  • prepare and present financial statements

  • interpret, analyse and evaluate given data

  • link the accounting process with relevant computer applications.


Assessment Modes

Accounting will be assessed at two levels, Ordinary and Higher. At both levels, syllabus objectives will be assessed through a written, terminal examination. (The feasibility of introducing an assignment in computer applications for assessment purposes, will be evaluated following a pilot scheme).

Differentiation of Levels

There are two main differences between Higher Level and Ordinary Level: Structure of the syllabus: within the syllabus some material is designated higher level only (HL) Depth of treatment: at higher level there is a deeper treatment of the subject. Higher Level students will be required to demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the concepts and issues as well as a greater proficiency in skills, applications and analysis.


Paper structure

Total Marks 400


Section 1: 120 Marks


Answer Q1 or two other questions


Q1 (Final Accounts) 120 marks

Q2 60 marks

Q3 60 marks

Q4 60marks

Section 2: 200 Marks


Answer 2 Questions



Q5 100 marks

Q6 100 marks

Q7 100 marks

Section 3: 80 Marks


Answer 1 Question



Q8 80 marks

Q9 80 marks


  • Students must answer 4 or 5 questions depending on their choice in section 1.

  • Financial Accounting is examined in Section 1 and 2.

  • Cost & Management Accounting is examined in Section 3.

Syllabus Content
  •  Introduction to Accounting
  • Accounting Concepts, Bases and Policies

  • Double Entry Bookkeeping

  • Accounting for Accruals and Prepayments

  • Bad Debts

  • The Conceptual Framework of Accounting

  • The Regulatory Framework of Accounting (H.L.)

  • Final Accounts of a Sole Trader

  • Private Company Accounts

  • Manufacturing Accounts

  • Departmental Accounts

  • Depreciation and Revaluation of Fixed Assets

  • Control Accounts

  • Farm Accounts

  • Club Accounts

  • Service Firms

  • Incomplete Records

  • Correction of Errors – Suspense Accounts

  • Cash Flow Statements

  • Analysis and Interpretation of Financial Statements

  • Published Accounts

  • Tabular Statements

  • Costing

  • Product Costing

  • Marginal Costing

  • Budgeting

  • Information Technology and Computer Applications in Accounting



  • To contribute to a balanced and appropriate general education, leading to the personal and social development of students through a study of business and enterprise.

  • To encourage initiative and self-reliance in each student.

  • To develop a clear understanding of the role of enterprise, to encourage the development of appropriate enterprise learning skills, and to generate in students a positive and ethical attitude to enterprise in personal, business and public life.

  • To develop a critical understanding of the overall environment in which business functions.

  • To help prepare students for participation in a changing business environment for adult and working life and also as a basis for further education.

  • To develop students' literacy, numeracy, problem-solving and communication skills and to develop an attention to detail in the presentation of information.

  • To develop an understanding of the structures, institutions, processes and management of business.

  • To enable students to make informed business decisions.

  • To enable students to use established commercial principles and knowledge, to critically evaluate commercial information, and to offer solutions to given commercial problems.

  • To promote a positive awareness of cultural and social diversity in international business.

  • To enable students to understand and appreciate ethics in business.


The syllabus will be assessed in relation to the syllabus objectives, initially through a written terminal examination. A variety of questioning techniques will be used, and a flexible and varied approach will be taken to the style of questioning in the written examination. This syllabus contains outcomes common to Ordinary and Higher levels and some that are designated Higher level only (HL).

At Ordinary level, candidates will be required to:

  • recall and demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the syllabus content.

In addition, Higher level candidates will be required to:

  • demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the concepts and issues than Ordinary level candidates, as well as a greater proficiency in applications and analysis;

  • apply the business terms, concepts and theories to address problems and issues;

  • select organise, interpret and use information supplied;

  • evaluate evidence, make reasoned judgements and present conclusions accurately and appropriately.


Examination structure and marking scheme

The examination will be a written terminal examination. The examination is to be

marked out of 400 marks. There will be one paper at two levels, Ordinary and Higher. The

Ordinary level examination comprises two sections and is of two hours thirty minutes

duration. The Higher level paper examination comprises three sections and is of three hours


Overview of proposed assessment

Higher Level paper

Time: Three hours, Marks: 400, Three Sections 1(80 marks=20%), 2(80 marks=20%) and 3(240 marks=60%).

Note: Candidates must attempt all three sections

Ordinary Level paper

Time: Two and a half hours, Marks: 400, Two Sections 1(100 marks=25%) and 2(300 marks=75%)

Structure of syllabus

The syllabus is broken down into three sections: A, B, and C.

Section A: People in Business

(Unit 1) Introduction to people in business

People and their relationships in business

Conflicting interests and how they are resolved

Section B: Enterprise

(Unit 2) Enterprise

Introduction and definition of enterprise

Entrepreneurs and enterprise skills

(Unit 3) Managing 1

Introduction and definition of management

Managers and management skills

Management activities

(Unit 4) Managing 2

Household and business manager

Human resource management

Changing role of management

Monitoring the business

(Unit 5) Business in action

Identifying opportunities


Getting started


Section C: Environment

(Unit 6) Domestic environment

Categories of industry

Types of business organisation

Community development

Business and the economy

Government and business

Social responsibilities of business

(Unit 7) International environment

Introduction to the international trading environment

European Union

International business




Leaving Certificate Economics provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for understanding how the Irish and global economy functions. The learning experiences in economics develop students’ critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making and numeracy skills. Economics provides students with a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in business, economics, finance, enterprise and management. Economics can be subdivided into Microeconomics, which deals with the part of economics concerned with single factors and the effects of individual decisions, and Macroeconomics, which is based on the large-scale or general economic factors, such as interest rates and national productivity. Some of the basic economic concepts are wealth, income, welfare, scarcity, choice, wants, needs, goods and services, utility, production, consumption and exchange, opportunity cost, diminishing returns, open and closed economics.

  • To give students a general picture and an understanding of economic activities, patterns and principles.

  • To develop in students the capacity to apply these principles and to help them transfer this knowledge to new situations, and to achieve critical thought.

  • To develop in all our students an interest in everyday economics and to aid them in their education for citizenship.

  • To provide a suitable basis for further study of the subject.

  • To examine how things should work in an in-depth manner, examining real data and analysing it to draw conclusions.

  • To helps students to develop a clear understanding of the role of economics and to encourage the development of appropriate learning skills.

  • To generate in students a positive and ethical attitude to economics in personal, business and public life.

  • The objective of microeconomic education is to teach students about how people make choices at the individual or household level.

  • Microeconomics also teaches students how these people interact in markets.

  • To give a better understanding of how ones economic actions effect the people around you.

  • The objectives of teaching macroeconomics are the same as microeconomics, just on a larger scale. Macroeconomics studies the effects of decisions made by groups of people, rather than the effects of decisions made by just a few people.

  • The objective of teaching macroeconomics is for students to ultimately understand the outcome of the combined effect of aggregate decisions and how the large forces that affect them come about.

  • To develop students' literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills.

  • To develop a clear understanding of the various financial and government institutions, structures and processes.


Exam Structure

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. There are no projects, practical aspects, field trips, etc. Teacher may include project work but it is not a requirement of the syllabus.

Higher Level & Ordinary Level

  • One Paper – 2.5 hour paper 

  • Section A – 9 Q’s do 6 (100 marks)

  • Section B – 8 Q’s do 4 (75 each. 300 in total). Large element of choice here.

Note: While Ordinary and Higher level pupils cover the same ground, the latter will be expected to have a wider knowledge and deeper understanding than the pupils who present at Ordinary Level.

Syllabus Content
  • Production and Consumption. (a) Resources (factors of production) Natural – Land, Man made – Capital; Human – Labour and Enterprise. (b) Production units; Firms and industries. Consumption units: Households. (c) Scale of production; size, type and location of firms and industries. Economies and diseconomies of scale.

  • Economic System and Economic Thought. Brief historical outline of economic thought – Smith, Marx, Keynes etc. Market, centrally planned and mixed economies.

  • Demand and Supply. (a) Concept of a market. Factor, intermediate and final markets. (b) Consumer demand; assumptions; individual and market demand; influences on demand; marginal utility; demand curves; shifts in demand; different forms of demand; elasticities of demand. (c) Supply; assumptions; individual and market supply; significance of short-run and long-run in supply; influences on supply; shifts in supply. Cost curves; fixed, variable, average and marginal. Social costs and benefits; elasticity of supply.

  • Price and Output. (a) Determination of price and output under conditions of perfect competition. Assumptions. Short and longrun equilibrium of the firm and industry. Implications of perfect competition for producer, consumer and society. (b) Determination of price and output under monopoly conditions. Causes and characteristics of monopolies. Short and longrun equilibrium of the monopolist. Price discrimination. Implications of monopoly for producer, consumer and society. Control of monopolies. (c)

  • Determination of National Income and its Fluctuations Concept of national income; its measurement and statistical sources. Factors influencing the size and composition of national income. Its limitations as a measure of economic performance.

  • Money and Banking. Brief historical survey; functions of money; types of money. Banks and the creation of credit. Central banks and the control of money. Demand for and supply of money. National and international financial institutions. Recent developments.

  • Government finance. Sources of income of central and local government. Size, composition and influence of government expenditure.

  • The budget. The economic implications of budget deficits and surpluses.

  • Inflation. Its measurement of prices. Causes, remedies and effects of inflation in open and closed economies. Deflation and its effects. International Trade and Payments Brief historical survey.

  • International Trade. Arguments for and against free trade. Institutions which promote free trade. Restrictions on free trade. Terms of trade. Exchange rates and their determination. Floating, fixed and managed rates of exchange. Revaluation/Devaluation. Balance of trade and balance of payments. Short term and long term deficits and surpluses: significances and remedies.

  • Economics of Population. Global and national population, size, composition and trends. Over, under and optimum population. The labour force and employment. The importance of population, and its influence on economic development and growth.

  • Economic Growth and Development. Its meaning and significance. Relative income levels of different countries. Reasons for disparities. Economic planning, growth and the environment; the Irish experience.

  • Economic Policies, Problems and Conflicts Government social and economic aims and their significance. Methods of achieving these aims. Possible conflicts in achieving them simultaneously in a national and international context.

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