These courses enable learners to gain recognition for the achievement of considerable knowledge in a range of subject areas, as for example in the Leaving Certificate and one-year Post Leaving Certificate courses.
Courses may be academic or practical in focus, and awards that are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications may lead to progression opportunities higher up in the framework.
The majority of people with certificates at this level are well prepared for occupations that involve using their knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include office secretary, customer service representatives, special needs assistant, retail salespersons and childcare workers.
The Home Economics syllabus 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 in order to:
Home Economics is a popular subject choice for Leaving Cert Students.
What kind of student would Home Economics suit?
This subject suits a practical student who enjoys making things, doing things and knowing how things work.
It is 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.
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 Cycle Level.
This is a wide-ranging course, covering many life skills areas. Students enjoy the subject but they must be willing to learn and to undertake what is quite a substantially 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 other subjects: Biology, Business Studies and Building Construction. being aware of 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
1. Food Studies - 45%
2. Resource Management and Consumer Studies - 25%
3. Social Studies - 10%
1. Home Design and Management - 20%
2. Textiles, Fashion and Design - 20%
3. 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 syllabus is examined as follows:
1. Written Exam paper – 80%
The written examination consists of three sections:
12 short questions – Students answer 10.
These deal mainly with all the core areas of practice. (60 marks allocated)
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)
3 questions - Students are to answer 1.
Elective question, based on which Elective was chosen to do in class. (80 marks allocated)
2. 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 for careers in a wide range of areas including Health, Nutrition, Education, Tourism, Textiles, Design, the Food industry, Science and Social Studies.