Home Economics

When we hear the term, ‘Home Economics’ most of us think about cooking and food. Home Economics is about much more than food however. Home Economics combines aspects of science, nutrition, cooking, parenting skills and finance. Students learn about the inter-relationships between diet, health, family, home and choice and the management of resources.

Home Economics gives students a valuable insight into:

  • What’s really in the food we eat everyday;
  • How to plan and cook nutritious and economical meals;
  • How to choose the best food for themselves and their family;
  • The importance of good nutrition and health; and
  • The role of the consumer in modern eating patterns.

Home Economics delivers vital skills that enable students to lead effective lives as individuals and family members as well as members of the wider community.

Here are some recipes attached that you can try at home.

Recipe Booklet

GCSE in Home Economics

Through studying this specification, students develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • home economics;
  • practical home economics skills;
  • diet and health;
  • how to be a discerning consumer;
  • issues that affect the quality of human life;
  • human needs within a multicultural society; and
  • relevant technological and scientific developments.

This specification encourages students to adopt a critical and analytical approach to decision-making and problem-solving in relation to home economics. It also encourages them to develop as effective and independent learners.

The new specification prepares students for GCE Home Economics and other subject-related courses.


We have divided this course content into three compulsory units:
Unit 1: Diet and Health, and Consumer Awareness
Unit 2: Diet and Health (Controlled Assessment)
Unit 3: Consumer Awareness (Controlled Assessment)

These are outlined in more detail below:

Unit 1: Diet and Health, and Consumer Awareness

  • What’s on the Plate?
  • What’s in Food?
  • What’s on the Label?
  • Ages and Stages
  • Dietary Disorders
  • Special Diets
  • The Facts Behind the Issues
  • Keeping Food Safe
  • Creativity and Food
  • Being an Effective Consumer
  • What Influences Shopping?
  • Money Matters
  • Wiser Buyer.

Unit 2: Diet and Health (Controlled Assessment Tasks)

  • Planning activity;
  • Practical activity; and
  • Evaluation activitiy.

Unit 3: Consumer Awareness (Controlled Assessment)

  • Identification of issues;
  • Research-based activity;
  • Primary investigation; and
  • Conclusions and evaluation.

The course is assessed through one written paper and a series of controlled assessment tasks.

For more information, see the specification.

Students must complete one examination for GCSE Home Economics’.  The exam lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 40 percent of the final award.

The exam tests students on their knowledge and understanding of:

Component 1: Diet and Health; and
Component 2: Consumer Awareness. 

In the exam, students must respond to short answer, structured and extended writing questions.  All questions are compulsory.

The exam is available in summer only.

Controlled Assessment

We award 60 percent of the marks for controlled assessment. Students must complete internal assessments which take the form of controlled tasks. The class teacher marks the tasks and we moderate them. The assessments take place in summer, at a date and time suited to individual centers.

There are three controlled tasks to choose from. Please note that we review and amend the tasks every two years.

Each task contains the following four compulsory components:

  • a research-based activity (3000 words maximum);
  • a planning activity (1000 words maximum);
  • a practical activity (taken under exam conditions); and
  • an evaluation activity (750 words maximum).

These tasks require students to:

  • analyse issues and problems;
  • identify, gather and record relevant information and evidence;
  • analyse and evaluate evidence; and
  • make reasoned justifications and present conclusions.

We expect students to complete their research-based assignment under conditions that combine both classroom and independent study activities.

Students should work independently when completing the task. The work of individual students may be informed by working with others, but all students must provide an individual response.

Teachers should guide and supervise students to:

  • outline questions/tasks;
  • monitor progress;
  • prevent plagiarism and repetition;
  • ensure that the contributions of individual students are recorded accurately; and
  • advise on methods of presentation.

The practical activities will be carried out under formal supervision. Teachers must not correct students’ work in detail and return it to them to write up a fair copy. Once a student has submitted the assignment and it has been awarded a mark, that mark is final. The student may not carry out further work.

Teachers must ensure that students complete all parts of the task.

GCE in Home Economics

Through studying this revised specification, students will be encouraged to develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • health and well-being;
  • how society impacts on health and well-being;
  • the management of human and non-human resources;
  • making informed decisions about nutrition and consumer issues; and
  • technological change.


In GCE Home Economics, students must complete three examinations: two at AS Level and one at A2 level. We set and mark all of the exams.

The table below offers more detail on each exam:



Students must complete one coursework assignment for unit A2 2, which the teacher assesses and we moderate. It accounts for 25 percent of the total marks available for the A2 award.

Students must research, design and produce a report of no more than 4,000 words, on a research based activity. The chosen research area must be based on the content of unit AS 1, AS 2 or A2 1.

In carrying out the research, students must:

  • Identify and discuss issues associated with the chosen research area;
  • Select and interpret appropriate and relevant information;
  • Analyse information and judge its relevance to the chosen research area;
  • Plan and conduct primary research;
  • Present and interpret findings from research undertaken;
  • Draw conclusions using reasoned arguments; and
  • Reflect on and evaluate the research process.

The coursework assignment also includes an element of synoptic assessment. Students must draw together the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in the different parts of the course.

By studying Home Economics at GCSE and A. Level provides the opportunity to enter into a number of careers.

Careers in Home Economics

Click link to view PowerPoint

(PowerPoint in folder called CEIAG PP)

Photo Gallery 

GCSE practical’s

practicals HE

Over 100 Yr 10 Home Economics pupils from St. Joseph’s Grammar school Donaghmore, enjoyed a presentation from Geoff Lamb an Ambassador for Tasty Careers NI. The pupils were given an insight into the potential opportunities within the Food and Agricultural Sector within Northern Ireland and the relevance of studying Home Economics at GCSE and A. Level.

Home Ec

Included in the picture are Ciara Wallace, Jude Cunningham, Mrs Deirdre Mc Goldrick (Head of HE Department), Geoff Lamb (Guest Speaker), Mrs Lisa Daly (HE Teacher), Cait Lyttle and Jack Donnelly.

Useful Home Economics Links

www.anred.com                                           www.bbc.co.uk/health

www.bhf.org.uk                                            www.citizensadvice.org.uk

www.coeliac.co.uk                                       www.consumerfocus.org.uk

www.consumerline.org                                www.dairycouncil.co.uk

www.diabetes.org.uk                                   www.eating-disorders.org.uk

www.foodafactoflife.org.uk                          www.food.gov.uk

www.gccni.org.uk                                        www.lmcni.com

www.nichsa.com                                         www.nicma.org

www.nos.org.uk                                           www.nspcc.org.uk

www.nutrition.org.uk                                    www.oft.gov.uk

www.pachelp.org                                         www.parentsadvicecentre.org

www.publichealth.hscni.net                         www.rospa.org.uk

www.salt.gov.uk                                           www.safefoodonline.com


Home Economics Department

Teaching Staff 

Mrs Deidre McGoldrick (HOD)

Mrs Annette Mc Gleenan

Dr Lisa Meneely

Links to Subject Specification 

GCSE Food and Nutrition Specification


AS/A2 Home Economics