Students are expected to spend the duration of the course practicing and developing their skills in several of these areas.
If you want to study more in an artistic area you can continue in Fine Art and specialise in painting, sculpting or printmaking. Alternatively, you could go into the design area and specialise in areas such as fashion, graphic, interior or furniture design. Studying art as the title suggests allows students to be creative and explore their desire for self-expression and develop an appreciation for artistic work of others including the work of famous artists and the History of Art.
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. This subject does require a lot of work and study for the Leaving Certificate and you would need to be creative and/or be able to interpret the creative work of others.
Note: that the Leaving Cert Art course has nothing to do with the portfolio submissions which Art and Design colleges often require. The course does not aim to build a portfolio, and all marks are given for work done on the day. However, it is common to take Art while preparing a portfolio, and much of the practice work done in class can be included.
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.
Unlike the Junior Certificate, the practical examination takes place over the course of a week in supervised sessions of up to five hours, during which students are to complete a project (such as a sketch or drawing) and submit it for evaluation.
The Art course also features a written examination on History and Appreciation of Art, which counts for 37.5% of the marks. The exam is divided into three sections, one on Irish Art, one on European Art, and a final section on artistic appreciation. The course content is extremely broad, and covers everything from prehistoric Art to the modern day, but students are free to focus their studies on a few narrow areas of interest such as renaissance or Celtic Art. Diagrams and illustrative sketches are encouraged in the exam.
Art is useful for careers in animation, art teaching, computer design, architecture, fashion design, interior design, graphic design, painting and decorating, photography and art therapy.