Overview: Course

The specification for junior cycle Applied Technology focuses on developing students’ understanding of, and skills in, the application and impact of technologies in the world around them. This will be achieved through three inter-connected contextual strands: Principles and practices, Energy and control and Technology and society.

Strand 1: Principles and practices  

In this strand, students will learn about and employ the fundamental principles and practices associated with the study of Applied Technology. Students will apply their knowledge of materials and equipment to create solutions that consider the end-user experience. The study of principles and practices facilitates the application of knowledge of existing and emerging technologies which will help students to decide the best means to creatively solve a real-world problem and realise a solution.

Strand 2: Energy and control  

In this strand, students explore sources of energy which, when changed or controlled, enable devices to perform tasks safely and efficiently. Students are encouraged to recognise the need for economic and sustainable use of energy and materials. Students will create controlled solutions using the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes developed through the study of the other strands.

Strand 3: Technology and society  

In this strand, students experience the interaction between technology and society. Students examine the environmental impacts of their design choices and consider user needs related to solutions. Students acquire a basic understanding of, and curiosity about, some of the issues which society faces as a result of technological developments and explore their potential use in society.

Throughout each of the strands, the use of four elements: Analysis and problem solving, Design and innovation, Planning, managing, creating and Communicating creates a framework for learning that ensures a coherent learning experience for the students.

Element 1: Analysis and problem solving  

The learning outcomes in this element encourage students to investigate ideas and relationships that assist students in refining their solutions to problems. Students will learn to develop systematic approaches to analysis of problems that aid the development of solutions. This element encourages learning that is fundamental to Applied Technology and promotes the development of skills for lifelong learning.

Element 2: Design and innovation  

The learning outcomes in this element encourage students to ‘think outside the box’. Students will have the opportunity not only to study the existing technologies relevant to the subject, but also to explore new and emerging developments. The design solutions developed by students will be influenced by their learning across the three strands.

Element 3: Planning, managing, creating  

The learning outcomes in this element encourage students to develop a range of project management skills while taking their designs to the creation stage. Students will develop the necessary skills needed to manipulate materials and select appropriate equipment in the realisation of solutions.

Element 4: Communicating  

The learning outcomes in this element encourage students to select and use appropriate media to relay technical information, design ideas and learn about the impact technology has on the environment around them.

Applied Technology uses an interdisciplinary approach which encourages the integration of the three strands in the teaching and learning of the subject. It has been designed for a minimum of 200 hours of timetabled student engagement across the three years of junior cycle.


This specification aims to strike a balance between exploring the breadth of possibilities the study of the subject presents and providing opportunities for in-depth experiences of particular areas as appropriate. To this end, it allows for a certain amount of flexibility and freedom for teachers to facilitate learning in a way that reflects students’ own choices, their curiosity and their creativity. The achievement of learning outcomes should be planned in a way that is active and stimulating.