Art Leaving Cert

The exam in June ‘History and appreciation of art section’ is  worth 37.5% of the overall result for Art. This section of the overall Art subject examines art in Ireland, European art and the appreciation of art. Up to 62.5% of the final grade is achieved before sitting the actual examination by completing practical coursework, this can be very beneficial to students.

Did you know it is not necessary to study art in the Leaving cert to study art at third level (but WIT and LKIT are exceptions)

Subject Overview

The Leaving Certificate Art syllabus is a broadly based course, which is made up of four units. These units should be linked together and based on the everyday visual experience of the student's own environment.


All students, both Ordinary and Higher level, follow a common course.
The practical work can include Life Sketching, Still Life, Imaginative Composition, Design and Craftwork.

The History of Art and Appreciation is a broad course covering Irish and European Art, and also Art Appreciation. It requires looking at artworks through the use of reproductions, slides and art galleries, reading books and writing essays on different subjects.


It is assessed at two levels, Ordinary Level and Higher level

The standard and quality of work determine the difference in levels. The modes of assessment include:

  • Three practical examinations carried out in May. These are;
    • Life Sketching
    • Still Life or Imaginative or Abstract Composition
    • Design or Craftwork

All three examinations have papers to help with the preparation of ideas, research, design and materials.
A written examination, involving some sketches, of Art History and Appreciation in June. Three questions are answered, one each on Irish, European and Appreciation of Art in two and half hours.