The Home Economics syllabus (social and scientific) provides students with knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary for managing their own lives, for further and higher education and work. The learning experiences in home economics develop flexibility and adaptability in students, prepare them for a consumer-oriented society and provide a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in food, textiles, science, design, social studies and tourism.
Why Study Home Economics?
Students should study this subject if they are interested in the following areas:
- Be able to research, study, analyse and interpret material
- Be able and willing to learn Nutrition and Culinary skills
- Be able to communicate well
- Be organised
- Be able to discuss topics and work in teams
Home Economics (Social and Scientific) is a popular subject choice for Leaving Cert Students.
What kind of Student would Home Economics suit?
This subject should suit a practical student who would enjoy making things, doing things and knowing how things work.
It would be advisable for students opting for Leaving Certificate Home Economics to have completed the Junior Certificate course. Some of the areas covered on the Junior Cert Home Economics course are continued at Leaving Certificate level.
- Practical cookery assessed through written exams only
- Textile Electives—fashion design, social studies, home design and management
- There is a lot more Sociology e.g. Family /marriage/ relationships/ family problems e.g. alcoholism, gambling, the elderly, housing, problems facing teenagers/ child care development
- In-depth Study of Nutrition, Resource Management and Consumer Studies
Much of the course is theory based – students are often under the illusion that “it’s all cooking” and find it quite a shock when they realise even the Practical Section has to be written up and presented – because there is no Practical Examination as at Junior Cert. Level.
It is a wide course, covering many life skills. Students enjoy the subject but they must be willing to learn and to undertake quite a substantial theoretical subject. There is both an Honours and Ordinary level within the subject. Students’ can opt to take the written exam at Higher or Ordinary level, however the Coursework Journal is at a general level and is corrected as such. There is also a link with some other subjects, namely Biology, Business Studies and even Building Construction – again, this cross-curricular advantage is helpful when choosing subjects.
The subject is an applied subject combining theory with practice. It is concerned with the management of resources (material and human) to meet the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and economic needs of individuals and families. The study of home economics emphasises the interdependent relationships that exist between individuals, families and their immediate and distant environments.
The syllabus consists of Core Areas and Three Electives:
The Core Areas
- Food Studies – 45%
- Resource Management and Consumer Studies – 25%
- Social Studies – 10%
- Home Design and Management – 20% or
- Textiles, Fashion and Design – 20% or
- Social Studies – 20%
Students opt for one Elective area only. Those choosing the Textiles, Fashion and Design elective must produce a garment which will be inspected and graded.
The Elective areas are extensions of the content contained in the Core Areas and provide students with the opportunity to study certain topics in more depth.
As part of the Core Areas, a mandatory section comprises of Practical Coursework which must be completed during the two years and will be sent to the Department of Education and Science for inspection. This is 20% of the final examination marks.
The Leaving Certificate Home Economics (Social and Scientific) syllabus is examined as follows:
Written Exam paper – 80%
The written examination consists of three sections:
- Section A
12 short questions – Students answer 10.
These deal mainly with all the core areas of practice. (60 marks allocated)
- Section B
5 questions – Students are to answer Question 1 (Food Science and Nutrition) and any other 2 questions (from the other Core Areas). (180 marks allocated)
- Section C
3 questions – Students are to answer 1.
Elective question, based on which Elective was chosen to do in class. (80 marks allocated)
Practical Coursework – 20%
This is worth 20% of the final mark; this is submitted in journal form earlier in the Leaving Certificate year.
This subject provides a good foundation in careers including Health, Education and Tourism, Clothing and Design and the Food industry, some sample occupations below;
- Baking and Confectionery
- Child Care
- Consumer Adviser
- Demonstrator – Food
- Wines etc.
- Food Safety
- Environmental Designer
- Fashion Designer
- Food Science
- Health Inspector
- Home Management
- Home Economics Teacher
- Hotel Housekeeper and Manager
- Institutional Management
- Occupational Therapist
- Social Worker
- Sewing Machinist
- Some Artistic Careers
- Textile Designer
- Nursery and Pre-school Management
- Artisan Industry
- Interior Design and Product Development