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Monday, July 24, 2017

Geography Department




Geography is a compelling and imaginative discipline. As a relevant archive of contemporary knowledge and information, Geography is as infinite as it is indispensible in our daily efforts to comprehend and understand the people and places we inhabit and interact with on a day to day basis. Geography, as a way of viewing the world, is constantly evolving. Herein lies the strength of the discipline; its entrepreneurial nature embodies almost every comprehensible aspect of life on earth.

At its core, Geography is the study of people and place and how we as humans interact with the greater world around us. Both junior and senior level geography’s are anchored to this notion, and prioritises students examining the physical, human and economic processes that shape the world in which we live in.

 As Geography scholars, students will develop any number of key skills relevant to the immediate discipline and to their other subjects.

 The Oatlands Geography Department aims to:

  • Develop students’ core geographical skills though a vast range of learning approaches and set geographical idioms.
  • Develop confident learners who are open to the excitement and inspiration offered by the natural world and its physical phenomenon.
  • Develop a relevance of geography to pupils’ lives, surroundings, personal experiences and futures; to give them the tools and motivations required to succeed and enjoy learning.
  • Develop successful learners who can work independently and collaboratively.
  • Develop successful learners who communicate coherently and effectively.
  • Develop an enhanced Geographical skill set and apply acquired skills to complete Geographical exercises and Geographical investigation, through written work, fieldwork, observation, problem solving, project work, peer learning and group work.

Oatlands Geography Department 2012/2013

Mr. Peter Beirne, Mr. David Kelly , Mr. Rodger Ryan , Mr. Shane Willoughby


All students are required to study Geography at Junior Certificate level.

Click for Junior Cert Department Plan

The subject is split broadly into the following headings:

1. Human Habitat:

This section observes the physical environment in which we live and the factors that influence it, for example earthquakes, volcanoes, the agents of erosion (rivers, sea and ice), the weather, world climates, and the forces at work in our atmosphere.

2. Population, Settlement and Urbanisation:

Students examine changes in local and global population patterns and future population trends. Historical settlement patterns and modern day urban settlement patterns are analysed. Planning modern urban centres and urban problems are considered. A local land use and transport study of the Stillorgan area is completed by 2nd year students.

3. Economic Geography:

This section is broadly divided into primary, secondary and tertiary activities. Students in 1st Year get an understanding of primary processes through their annual trip to Causey Farm. This section culminates with a consideration of economic inequality in the developed and developing world.



Transition Year Geography is project-based - with students expected to carry out research and complete projects within set timeframes. Transition Year students are expected to be leaders in promoting the Green School policy of Oatlands. To this end, Transition Year students get involved in national spring clean day as part of this project. Students will show an ability to work independently and develop teamwork skills within group projects.

 The range of projects at TY level include:

·                     US States

·                     Natural disasters

·                     Local environment project

·                     Green schools

 The Transition Year programme is reviewed annually by the Geography Department.


Geography is a very popular choice amongst Leaving Certificate students at Oatlands College. The Leaving Certificate Geography syllabus was revised in 2006 and currently the syllabus has a core, elective and option. 5th year students cover the core options of regional and physical Geography. 5th students also carry out a Geographical investigation as part of their Leaving Certificate. This investigation accounts for 20% of their overall grade in the subject.

Section 1 - Core

The core section consists of Regional and Physical Geography.  In Physical Geography, students study the earth’s structure and how it changes over time. Plate tectonics (earthquakes and volcanoes), the rock cycle, folding, rivers and the sea are all key elements of the course.

Additionally, students examine two Irish, two European and one continental region. Students will scrutinize regional differences based on physical and human factors.

Section 2 - Elective

Students have a choice of studying patterns and processes in the human environment or in the economic environment. The economic elective covers such diverse and contemporary concepts as globalisation, EU policies, multinational companies and energy sources.

Section 3 – Option

Students have a choice of four options including global interdependence, geo-ecology, culture and identity and the atmosphere-ocean environment. Higher level students only are required to study this section.

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