Home Economics

Home Economics

Brief overview of the subject: Home Economics Scientific & Social

Leaving Certificate home economics 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. This syllabus is for students in the senior cycle of post-primary education and is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels.

Level Differentiation
The syllabus has been designed as a common syllabus for Ordinary and Higher levels.

Some material has been designated Higher level only.  The text book indicates clearly what material is Higher Level only.

Number of classes per week: 5

Expected hours of homework/outside study per week: 2.5 hours (min)

Main areas of study:


The syllabus is based on a core of three areas of study that is studied by all students and one elective area, from a choice of three.

Core – 80%

Food studies – 45%


• To enable students to have the knowledge and understanding of food and food-related issues necessary for personal and family health and to apply this knowledge and understanding to the wider area of the food industry

• To enable students to develop and extend organisational, manipulative and creative skills in relation to the preparation, cooking and presentation of food

Resource management and consumer studies – 25%


• To enable students to develop and apply the management skills necessary for the effective organisation and management of available resources to satisfy personal and family needs

• To enable students to have the knowledge and skills necessary to be discerning and responsible consumers

Social studies -10%


• To enable students to understand sociological factors affecting the individual and families

Electives – 20%
The elective allows students the opportunity to undertake a more detailed study of one area of the core.

There are three electives, from which one may be chosen:

Home design and management
Textiles, fashion and design
Social studies
Social studies


• To allow students to further develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to certain aspects of the core, particularly social studies


• To provide students with knowledge and understanding of the social issues that relate to the family, education, work, unemployment, leisure, and poverty

• To enable students to develop the skills to analyse and interpret material as a basis for expressing and communicating balanced viewpoints


·       Leaving Certificate Home Economics – Scientific and Social is assessed, at Ordinary and Higher level in the form of a terminal written examination and an assessment of practical work, which is an integral part of the study of home economics.

Written Exam paper – 80% (higher & ordinary level)

The exam is 2 hours 30 minutes in duration.

The written examination consists of three sections:

·       Section A
12 short questions – Students answer 10.
These deal 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% (common level)

Five assignments will be issued to the school at the beginning of Fifth Year.
Students are required to complete four assignments from the following five areas of practice:
–          A Application of nutritional principles

–          B Food preparation and cooking processes

–          C Food technology

–          D Properties of a food

–          E Comparative analysis

Students are required to document each assignment in a Food Studies Practical Coursework Journal.
The completed Food Studies Practical Coursework Journal must be submitted for examination in November of the Leaving Certificate year.
Different assignments are issued each year by the State Examinations Commission.
Assignments are common to Higher and Ordinary levels.
Skills Required:

Time management, organisation, discipline to work independently, problem solving, adaptability, analysis and application, investigation, and a strong work ethic.


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.

Cross-curricular links: English, Biology, Business Studies, Art, Building Construction, History, Geography

Link to syllabus :


Department Members:

Monica Keating

Geraldine Newell

Textbooks for Current cohort for Relevant Year groups:

Complete Home Economics by L. Gillick & L.Healy (Educate.ie)

Complete Home Economics Exam Skillbuilder Workbook by L. Gillick & L.Healy (Educate.ie)

Complete Home Economics Food Studies Assignment Guide by L. Gillick & L.Healy (Educate.ie)

Exam papers

Hardback A4 Copy

A4 Plastic Cover for Cookery Journal

During the year, students need to bring in ingredients for practical cookery classes

Useful Websites and Online Resources:



Career opportunities :

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, education and tourism:

1. Teaching

2. Food Industry- Chef, sensory analyst, baker, waitress, health &

safety hygienist

3. Textiles & Design Industry

4. Tourism

5. Nutrition & Dietician

6. Hotel Management Business Management

7. Culinary Travel and Tourism

8. Social Care and childcare

9. Exercise and Health Instructing

10. Health Promotion

11. Interior Design