Junior Certificate Science Coursework B Physics

The study of Science entails practical laboratory work (experiments) along with the study of theory. In the modern world where advances in Science and Technology are bringing great changes to our lives, the study of Science is particularly relevant to help people assess the implication of these developments.

The study of Science at Junior Certificate level involves the study of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science.

Junior Certificate Science marks are distributed as follows:  

  • Coursework A - 10%    (Experiments and investigations specified in the syllabus) 
  • Coursework B - 25%    (2 specified investigations)
  • Terminal examination - 65%    (Section 1 - Biology / Section 2 - Chemistry / Section 3 - Physics)

    Science branches into 3 separate subjects for the Leaving Certificate:
  • Biology.
  • Chemistry.
  • Physics.

Coursework B
Student Investigations Each student is required to undertake two specified investigations in their third year and to submit a pro forma report on these for assessment. These additional investigations, based on the topics and learning outcomes in the syllabus, will be set by the examining body and will vary from year to year. These investigations account for 25% of the students final Junior Certificate grade and will require substantial time investment, by the student, during the year. Students will be notified of the investigation titles well in advance of the laboratory time they will be allocated to conduct the investigations, and this laboratory time-slot cannot be altered. DES deadlines for submission by the students of their report must be adhered to, and, in order to prevent missed deadlines, students are expected to exercise due diligence in the preparation, planning and conduct of their chosen investigations. Students who fail to do so will not be given additional time, and reports still incomplete come deadline, will be submitted as is.

2018 Junior Certificate Science Coursework B – Investigation Titles


Investigate and compare the quantitative effects of changing

(a) concentration of solution,

(b) type of solute used

on the change in mass of a sample of potato placed in distilled water, salt solution and sugar solution.


Investigate and compare the quantitative effects of changing

(a) applied voltage,

(b) concentration of sulfuric acid

on the rate of production of either hydrogen or oxygen gas during the electrolysis of acidified water.


Investigate and compare the quantitative effects of changing

(a) hair colour,

(b) the usage of shampoo or similar commercial hair treatments 

 on the tensile strength of hair taken from the human head.


We have developed a blank copy of the Coursework for your use.  It differs slightly from the state examinations booklet in that we have specified how many resources you reference, how many safety aspects you must specify, etc...(Note - these numbers are a minimum).  A copy of a blank Coursework B booklet can be found here. 

Additional coursework B material can be found in the table below to help you with your projects.

The following table contains a summary of all the JC Science chapters complete with appropriate past questions.  It is an excellent revision guide.

There is a shortage of people in Ireland with training in Science and Technology to meet our current needs. It is also important to remember that a Science subject is required at Leaving Cert level for some third level courses, e.g. Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Food Science etc.

Students' Corner:

Jeonah Roperoz (1.1) recently suggested the following to remember the characteristics of life:

Real Elephants Noses Grow Really Really Massive

Respiration. Excretion. Nutrition.Growth. Reproduction.Responsivity.Movement

Useful websites:

Department of Education and Science sites:


Department of Education and Science


State Examinations Commission


National Council for Curriculum and Assessment


Scoilnet, the NCTE schools website


Teacher Support Network sites:


Second Level Support Service - Physics and Chemistry


Biology Support Service


Chemistry Support Service


Physics Support Service


Irish Science Teachers' Association - membership is   open to all teachers of science


The Association for Science Education (UK) -   membership is open to all teachers of science


National Science Teachers Assocation (USA) - membership   is open to all teachers of science


Resource sites:


Concept Cartoons offer excellent starting points for   discussion and thinking


Science Enhancement Programme - focuses on scientific   enquiry and practical work, scientific knowledge and conceptual   understanding, scientific research and developments


Drawing tool for both teachers and pupils


Puzzle makers


Crossword construction kit


Wordsearch construction kit


Hot Potatoes software - construct crosswords,   wordsearches, cloze test, matching exercises


Chemical Jigsaw Puzzle


PhET - Physics Education Technology, interactive   physics animations from the Unversity of Colorado


Freezeray Interactive Science Resources


Biology Corner


BBC Schools site - human body interactive games


Science photograph library - teachers can register,   then download and use the images, as long as credit for source is given


Science Smarties - a variety of assessments for each   topic of the Junior Cert. syllabus, from a TeachNet Ireland site


Science, Technology and Society sites


Ingenious Ireland


The science behind the news


Science and technology in action


Science trail at the science centre, Birr castle


General Interest sites:


Skoool.ie has a section on science


How Stuff Works


Natural History Museum of Ireland


Explore materials science


NASA Astrobiology Institute




Exploratorium - interactive with many DIY experiments


Timeline for events in science and mathematics


European Space Agency Human Spaceflight - teachers   can request a free copy of the Education Kit aimed at students aged 12-15



 First Years Attachments:

Energy Powerpoint - posters

Saoirse Ní Chuilleagáin's poster


Mock Powerpoints and Pdfs for Revision Purposes

Biology Definitions

Physics Definitions

Chemistry Definitions

Biology Revision Notes

Physics Revision Notes

Chemistry Revision Notes




If you're willing to put in the work, Junior Science is one of the easier exams to prepare for as the information you need to remember is very factual i.e. no waffling. Make sure you learn your definitions as these make up a large part of the exam. 

What's on the Junior certificate Science course


  • Food, 
  • Digestion 
  • Skeletal and Muscular system, 
  • The Senses 
  • Human reproduction
  • Animals, Plants and Micro-Organisms


  • Classification of substances
  • Air, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide 
  • Water
  • Atomic structure
  • Reactions and Compounds  


  • Force and Energy
  • Heat, Light and Sound
  • Magnetism
  • Electricity and Electronics

What's the Junior certificate Science exam like?

35% of the marks go for a report you write on an investigation carried out before the exam as well as the practical notebook you used to record experiments done in class. Your teacher will choose one investigation form a choice of three titles on each of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. 

The two hour written exam has three sections. Biology is covered in Questions 1, 2 and 3, Chemistry is covered in Questions 4, 5 and and Physics is covered in Questions 7, 8 and 9.

Any tips for doing well in Junior certificate Science ?

Make sure you go over your definitions as many questions will ask you to define a key term. In Physics make sure you learn off your formulas. The exam tends to cover most of the topics so it's not a good idea to take short cuts by leaving out topics. Don't forget to go over your experiments as these always make up a big part of the exam. Practicing past exam papers is especially important in Science. Study one topic at a time and then go through that topic on Studyclix comparing your answer with the marking scheme. 

Download the Junior Cert Science Syllabus

Download the Junior cert Science Chief examiner's report (2010)

Download the Junior cert Science Guidelines for Teachers

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