Leaving Certificate Business creates an awareness of the importance of business activity and develops a positive and ethical attitude towards enterprise. The learning experiences in business develop students’ critical thinking, creative and organisational skills while enhancing literacy and numeracy skills using real-life examples. Business provides students with a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in business, marketing, law, enterprise and management.

Why Study Business?

Business is not specifically required for entry into any third level course but it would certainly be beneficial for candidates who might be interested in courses or careers in the area of finance, enterprise, law and communications.

What kind of Student would Business suit

Business will suit a candidate who is interested in current affairs and listens to the news, reads the papers and stays alert to what is happening in the general business world. While there is a fair share of learning of key concepts the ability to apply these concepts in everyday life will be the difference between passing the subject and getting a good mark. While the business concepts are easy to understand it will be important that you can show you can apply the concept to everyday business life. This subject suits someone who has an organised mind and likes to answer questions in bullet points not in long essay format.

This subject would be useful to anyone thinking of starting his or her own business in the future.


  • The 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.
  • Not necessary to write long essays, answers are presented in bullet points.
  • The course content is factual and requires a lot of learning, containing only a few mathematical elements.
  • Ideally, students would have an interest in business and current affairs and would have an up to date knowledge of economic environment.

Course Overview

This subject teaches the skills and knowledge needed to understand how business works.

This is a practical and vocationally-oriented course that introduces students to the world of Business in a straightforward and logical way. It aims to create an awareness of the importance of Business activity and to develop a positive and ethical attitude towards it. The importance of people in Business is highlighted.

The course sets out to illustrate the process of setting up a business and developing a new product or service. It emphasises the importance of good management and deals with skills and activities necessary for good management practice. It also deals with the impact of technology, foreign trade, global firms and competition and with business structures and the national economy.

Business requires students to stay alert and aware of the current related business media (newspapers, TV, radio). The course is theory based and therefore requires a lot of learning.

The current Leaving Certificate Business syllabus was first introduced in 1999 so there are a lot of past papers to help the student when revising.

Course Content

  • This subject is concerned with understanding the environment in which business operates in Ireland and in the wider world.
  • It also involves equipping the students with a positive view of enterprise and its applications in the business environment, in both the public and private sectors.
  • There are 7 core units covering the following topics: Introduction to people in business; Enterprise; Managing 1 & 2; Business in Action; Domestic Environment and International Environment.
  • There is a common syllabus covering Higher and Ordinary level, which will fulfil the aims and objectives of the course.
  • A flexibility of design that caters for present day Irish business education and yet is capable of adaptation to future developments in a structured and efficient way.
  • It assists students to develop their education for adult and working life including the creation of positive attitudes towards self-employment.
  • From time to time there may be field trips or guest speakers where the course allows. These are not a compulsory part of the course and are organised at the teachers’ discretion.

Exam Structure

Exam Structure – Higher & Ordinary Level

Higher Level – 1 x 3 hour paper (400 marks); 3 sections.
  • Section 1 – Short questions (8/10) 80 marks.
  • Section 2 – Applied Business Question – 80 marks (compulsory).
  • Section 3 – Long Questions (60 marks per question (4/7))
Ordinary Level – 1 x 2.5 hour paper (400 marks); 2 sections.
  • Section 1 – Short Question (10/15) 100 marks.
  • Section 2 – Long Questions (75 marks per question (4/8)).

Career Possibilities

Business is useful for careers in areas such as:

  • Banking
  • Administration
  • Insurance
  • Management and Marketing