Civic, Social and Political Education

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Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) is one of the compulsory subjects in the Junior Certificate course in Ireland.

Further Details[edit]

  • CSPE is a common level subject unlike other subjects in the curriculum. The course encourages civic responsibility through the development of skills of active participation and through the undertaking of Action Projects and teaches about the basis of the Irish political system.
  • There are seven key concepts in CSPE these include the promotion of Rights and Responsibilities, Human Dignity, Stewardship, Development, Democracy, Law and Interdependence.


A total of 40% of the marks in the exam are awarded for a written theory test, which includes such things as producing a poster, letter or article on a CSPE topic (such as poverty, racism, discrimination, etc.) and interpreting opinion polls.The written exam also has a number of short questions.

The remaining 60% of the marks are given for a report on an Action Project performed by an entire class of students at a time. This has to be based on one of the core topics - e.g. workers rights, environmentalism, racism, human rights, etc.

Senior Cycle[edit]

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) are currently working on a subject which focuses on citizenship to be introduced as part of the Leaving Certificate curriculum. Politics and Society[1] (currently working title) will be based on key sociological concepts.[2] The purpose of this subject is to ensure students continue to hold the ability to be reflective and active citizens. The subject is to be introduced sometime before or shortly after 2012.

On February 3, 2011 it was reported that the NCCA have finally given approval for the introduction of the subject. The Minister for Education and Skills will be responsible for integrating the subject within the curriculum. It has not yet to be confirmed when the subject will be introduced though it is expected sometime after 2012.[3]



In France, the equivalent of CSPE is called ECJS (éducation civique, juridique et sociale).