Technological Subjects


Mr B Sheehan (Subject Co–ordinator)

Mr L Middleton

Within The High School there is a large emphasis placed upon the study of Technology. Technology education is provided through four syllabuses. These subjects contribute to a broad, balanced, and general education of students with particular reference to their vocational, further education, and a life-skill set.

Technology Subjects

Junior Certificate

  • Materials Technology Wood
  • Technical Graphics

Leaving Certificate

  • Construction Studies
  • Design and Communication Graphics (DCG)

Materials Technology Wood (MTW)

Materials Technology Wood (MTW) is one of the technology subjects offered at junior cycle. In MTW you will learn to design small projects and the skills required to use tools and equipment to make your designs. You will work mainly with wood but also with other materials. You will learn about wood as a material and how it is produced.

What will I learn in MTW?

Some of the things you will learn include:

• How to design a project given a brief description of what you are to make

• How to use the internet for research purposes

• How to use freehand sketching to communicate your ideas

• How to prepare a design drawing/plan of a project you design

• How to read design drawings and make small projects from these drawings

• How to safely use a range of hand and power tools in producing your design

 What is the MTW Junior Certificate examination like?

There are two parts to the exam:

• Coursework – you will design a project based on a given design brief (instructions).You will then make the project and prepare a project folder to accompany it (66%).

• Written examination – there will be a two hour written paper which examines the woodwork theory you have learned over the three years (33%). You can take the exam at Higher or at Ordinary level. When the time comes to decide, your teacher will help you choose the level that suits you best.

Is  MTW anything like what I did in primary school?

You will be building upon the drawing work you did in Visual Arts. You may already have learned a lot about wood as a material as part of your work in Science. You may also have learned about trees as part of the natural environment and as a habitat in both Geography and Science. The skills you developed when designing and making things in Science will also be very helpful in MTW. You will also use your mathematical skills quite a lot.

How will MTW be useful to me?

• You will know the correct procedures to follow when developing an idea into a finished artefact e.g. a piece of furniture or a child’s toy etc.

• You will be able to identify different trees, recognise their importance to us and our environment

• You will also have the skills to make objects from wood and know how to apply appropriate finishes to them, e.g. paint, varnish, stain or polish.

Will MTW be very different after the Junior Certificate?

MTW develops into Construction Studies (Architectural Technology) in senior cycle. In this subject:

• The emphasis is on the principles behind building and construction

• There is a large amount of practical work involved in the course

• drawing skills learned in MTW will be further developed.

Technical Graphics

Technical Graphics is one of the technology subjects offered at junior cycle. In Technical Graphics you will learn how to represent 3-D objects on paper and on computer. You will develop problem solving and creative thinking skills through the solution of graphical problems.

What will I learn in Technical Graphics?

Some of the things you will learn include:

• How to produce drawings using drawing equipment, freehand sketches and computers

• How to read and interpret drawings and diagrams

• How graphics relate to the design and manufacture of products.

What is the Technical Graphics Junior Certificate exam like?

You will sit a three hour examination paper. It is made up of two sections:

• Short answer questions which you complete on the sheet provided

• Longer questions which require more detailed answers. The longer questions allow you to show, in greater detail, the drawing and problem solving skills you have learned. You can take the exam at Higher or at Ordinary level. When the time comes to decide, your teacher will help you choose the level that suits you best.

 How will Technical Graphics be useful to me?

Technical Graphics helps you to think in a more logical and creative way. You will be able to communicate information using diagrams and sketches. You will have learned how to present information in a neat and organised fashion. This subject will be of use to you if you want to progress into career areas such as architecture or engineering.

Will Technical Graphics be very different after the Junior Certificate?

 At Leaving Certificate, you will be able to study Design and Communication Graphics.

In this subject:

• There will be a greater emphasis on computer graphics and freehand sketching

• The geometry that you have learned in Junior Certificate will be further developed

Construction Studies

Leaving Certificate Construction Studies provides students an introduction to the knowledge and skills involved in construction technology and construction materials and processes. Students develop their ability to communicate ideas and information and to apply accurate observation and scientific investigation through exploring materials and processes.

Construction Studies is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of a written examination, a practical test, and an assessment of student project work.



These pictures are examples of student project work. Please click 'here' for more pictures. 

What will I learn in Construction Studies in school?

The Construction Studies theory course covers all details in a domestic dwelling from the foundation up to the roof. Students will learn the materials and be able to draw detailed cross sections of a house. There are many aspects which they will cover such as:

Substructure,  Superstructure,  Internal construction, Services and external works,  Heat and thermal effects in buildings,  Illumination in buildings, Sound in buildings, Modern Technologies

 As you would imagine there is a large emphasis on the practical side of the subject. The students make a leaving certificate project which is their pride and joy. Along with this there is a one day practical exam.

What is the Construction Studies Leaving Certificate exam like?

The Leaving Certificate paper that the students sit is worth 50% .This exam is 3 hours long and has a very broad choice of questions.

  • Answer 5 question out of 10.Question 1 is compulsory. This question is a scaled drawing showing a cross sectional view
  • Their project and portfolio are worth 25%
  • The one day practical exam is also worth 25%. This is a 4 hour long exam which takes place in the school under supervision. This happens in May of leaving certificate year.

What career choice is the subject leaning towards?

Construction Studies is a core element of many 3rd level options including Engineering, Construction and Architecture and knowledge of this subject will greatly enhance a student’s ability in any 3rd level engineering based programme.


Design and Communication Graphics

DCG is the follow-on subject from Junior Certificate Technical Graphics. The subject was first examined in June 2009 having replaced Technical Drawing. 

Leaving Certificate Design and Communication Graphics involve problem solving and creative thinking. These skills are developed through solving problems in both 2-D and 3-D graphics. Graphics and design are communicated using a variety of media, including computer-aided design (CAD).  The main areas of study are: Plane and Descriptive Geometry, Communication of Design and Computer Graphics, and Applied Graphics.

Design and Communication Graphics is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level, by means of two assessment components: a student assignment, of which CAD forms a significant and compulsory element, and an examination paper.

What will I learn in DCG?

Some of the things you will learn include:

•How to produce drawings using drawing equipment, freehand sketches and computers

• How to read and interpret drawings and diagrams

• Creative problem solving

• Computer graphics and CAD modelling

• Design capabilities

 ​​Will DCG have anything to do with other subjects I will be studying?

​Yes, DCG will be very helpful in the study of Construction Studies, as each of these subjects require you to make drawings of the pieces you will be making. The problem solving and geometry you will learn in DCG will prove very useful in Mathematics.

 What is the DCG examination like?​

Design and Communication Graphics is assessed at both Ordinary level and Higher level by means of a 3 hour terminal exam (60%) and a student project (40%) that includes a including a compulsory CAD element.

The student project:

40% of the total marks awarded in the Leaving certificate are for the project. The project is completed in class time under the supervision of the teacher (Approximately 40 hours to complete).

  • The emphasis of  the project is on is on Elements of Design, Communication Graphics, Use of ICT in Design

How will DCG be useful to me?

Design and Communication Graphics helps you to think in a more logical and creative way. You will be able to communicate information using diagrams and sketches. You will have learned how to present information in a neat and organised fashion. This subject will be of use to you if you want to progress into career areas such as architecture, all engineering codes, trades people and quantity surveying. This subject will develop your problem solving skills through the completion of the student assignment. 

 Skills developed during the course:

​These skills include graphic communication, creative problem solving, spatial abilities / visualisation, design capabilities, computer graphics and CAD modelling.  The creative and decision-making capabilities of students are developed within the activities associated with design. It is intended to develop the creative thinking and problem solving abilities of students through project work.

​Course structure:​

• Compulsory core elements (including Computer Aided Design (CAD/ICT)
• Five options (two to be studied)

Transition year

Construction Studies

  • An introduction to the built environment
  • Environmental issues relating to buildings
  • Modern technologies
  • Architectural planning
  • The construction industry
  • Drawings and documents
  • Practical project work

Design and Communication Graphics (DCG)

  • Draftsmanship, free hand drawing, pictorial drawing, perspective, rendered drawing
  • Standards and conventions
  • Descriptive geometry
  • Drawn project
  • Introduction to computer aided design, use of solidworks software

Pupils who may wish to take this subject for Leaving Certificate and who have not studied Technical graphics for Junior Certificate can get a feel for the subject and catch up on the main concepts missed.