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The trio in their third year

"Most important of all, he had to buy his new schoolbooks, which would include those for his two new subjects, Care of Magical Creatures and Divination."
—Third year is the first in which students start electives[src]
A third year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is in their third year of magical education, and are 13 to 14 years of age.

It is an important year for students, as they have to start elective courses. Every student must select at least two elective courses to pursue, along with the core classes they must take.

During the third year

Classes

Third year students must take: Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, Herbology, and two or more electives.

Electives

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Divination

Students have to start two or more electives during this year. Divination teaches methods of divining the future, or gathering insights into future events, through various rituals and tools. The magic taught in this class, as well as the ability to say prophetic things is a branch of magic referred to as "divination." Arithmancy is apparently a more accurate (or at least more accepted) way of predicting the future, similar to an obscure but existing hobby of numerology the belief that number patterns existing in real life can be calculated to give information regarding the future.

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Care of Magical Creatures

Study of Ancient Runes is a mostly theoretical subject that studies the ancient runic scripts of magic. In Care of Magical Creatures students learn about a wide range of magical creatures, from flobberworms to Fire crabs, and even unicorns and thestrals. Students are taught about feeding, maintaining, breeding, and proper treatment of these various creatures. Muggle Studies is exactly what the name implies the study of the daily lives of Muggles and how they cope with not being magical.

Hogsmeade

"Hogsmeade looked like a Christmas card; the little thatched cottages and shops were all covered in a layer of crisp snow; there were holly wreaths on the doors and strings of enchanted candles hanging in the trees."
—Hogsmeade description[src]
Pottermore background hogsmeade at christmas

Hogsmeade during Christmas

During this year, students have more freedom and independence. Hogsmeade weekend trips are special trips that third year and above students at Hogwarts can take on certain weekends to Hogsmeade village. They have to obtain the permission of a parent or guardian, who have to sign a premission slip. If a student does not have the form signed, they may not enter the village and will have to stay at Hogwarts Castle in sight of the teachers. But if the form was signed but the student did something which disrupted the school's educational aura or safety, then they will lose their visitation rights to for the rest of a year.

Curriculum

Defence Against the Dark Arts

Potions

Herbology

Transfiguration

Charms

Care of Magical Creatures

Muggle Studies

Divination

Required textbooks

Appearances

Notes and references

Hogwarts years
First - Second - Third - Fourth - Fifth - Sixth - Seventh