Home Economics

Teaching Home Economics (HE) is all about setting young people up for healthy, successful lives. Covering a wide range of subjects, HE teachers are currently in high demand in Scotland.

What’s involved?

Home Economics tackles issues from family health and lifestyle to budgeting, childcare and parenting, nutrition and diet, food preparation and hygiene, fashion and textiles and consumer studies. As well as mandatory lessons for pupils in the early years of secondary school, exam courses are also taught throughout senior school.

Home Economics training options

To be a great HE teacher you will need bags of enthusiasm, ingenuity, and the drive to really make a difference. It’s a subject where young people learn the essential life skills to set them up for a good life.

Guide to becoming a Home Economics Teacher

If you would like more information about how to become an HE teacher, what your career roadmap might look like, or what you can expect from an average day teaching HE – simply register to download our guide to becoming an HE teacher.

Home Economics training options

There are several routes to becoming an HE teacher. It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to teaching, are a career changer, or at the start of your career journey. This quick guide covers basic qualifications, degree options, top-up study, and the HE Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

Basic qualifications

To be eligible for HE teacher training (PGDE) you will need:

  1. English at SCQF level 6 (e.g. Higher C)
  2. Maths at SCQF level 5 (e.g. Intermediate 2)
  3. A relevant undergraduate degree

Relevant undergraduate degrees

There are currently four undergraduate degrees at Scottish universities that meet the entry requirements for the HE Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE):

  • Abertay University: BSc Hons Food, Nutrition and Health(e.g. Higher C)
  • Abertay University: BSc Hons Food and Consumer Studies
  • Queen Margret University: BSc Hons Nutrition
  • Robert Gordon University: BSc Hons Nutrition

Alternative entry routes

There are other undergraduate degrees that would be eligible to apply for the HE PGDE if ‘top-up’ qualifications were gained. The ‘top up’ qualification is called the Certificated Evidence of Competence (CEoC) and will cover all the proficiencies and skills that you need to teach HE. You might study this over the course of a year at a local college, for example.

‘Top-up’ degree examples

Here’s an example of some undergraduate degrees that require ‘top up’ qualifications to be eligible for the HE PGDE:

  • Glasgow Caledonian University: BSc Hospitality Management and BSc Food Bioscience
  • University College Birmingham: BSc Applied Food and Nutrition
  • Sheffield Hallam University: BSc Food and Nutrition
  • College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (Northern Ireland): BSc Food Design and Nutrition

Home Economics PGDE

This is a one-year course that covers everything you need to know to become a successful teacher. You can expect a mixture of lectures, assignments, reading, and practical placements in a school. Usually you will be assigned a tutor who will work closely throughout the course.

Andy Williams – Home Economics Teacher at St Kentigern’s Academy

“As a Head Chef and a contract catering manager, I always enjoyed training and coaching my staff. But after getting married and starting a family I wanted to get away from anti-social hours. My interest in food, and enjoyment of coaching meant teaching felt like a perfect choice. I genuinely love being a teacher; I really feel I have found my vocation. It is immensely fulfilling to teach students life skills and skills that will assist them in gaining employment and to watch their progression.

“A number of my students have pursued careers in hospitality and this makes me incredibly proud. In teaching I feel I can really make a long-term difference. I have the opportunity and responsibility for helping shape my students to give them the best chance of a successful future.”

Lynn Robertson – Home Economics Teacher at Cults Academy

“I came to teaching after having worked in other jobs and this gave me many transferable skills I could bring to the classroom. I had always enjoyed imparting knowledge, training and counselling staff and knew I wanted to work with young people so teaching felt like the ideal career.

"Being a Home Economics teacher is very rewarding as you are teaching young people essential life skills, giving them the opportunity to learn to cook healthy meals from scratch and, most importantly, showing them the enjoyment this activity can bring.

"If you are considering a career in teaching I would say take some time to come into a school to see what it is really like and speak to teachers about the profession. It is a varied, fast paced job which allows you to work with and have an impact on a large number of young people."

Rachel O’Connor – Home Economics Teacher at St Kentigern’s Academy

“I chose teaching as I wanted to work with young people and make a difference. I always bring enthusiasm and passion for my subject which I pass to my pupils. I want them to learn, become independent and use the life skills I’ve taught them. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing pupils instinctively use the knowledge or skills you gave them.

"I had a brilliant experience of Home Economics at school and my teacher encouraged me to go into teaching. It’s a fun and fast paced subject which encourages you to be creative. For example, old recipes can be adapted and new ones invented. Lessons give pupils a sense of achievement as they have a final product at the end.

"If you’re thinking of becoming a teacher I’d say do it! If you're passionate about your subject, and you want to make a difference to young people’s lives then teaching is definitely for you."

Chelsea McDonald – Health and Food Technology Teacher at Notre Dame High School

“I originally graduated with an honours degree in Fashion Marketing and worked in retail management. Though I thoroughly enjoyed my years working in the fashion industry, I never felt I had the chance to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others. I therefore made the life-changing decision to become a teacher and I have never looked back.

"Being a teacher is an exciting career and brings me a real sense of fulfillment. In teaching Home Economics, you are providing valuable lifelong skills and promoting prospective success for all. It is important to me that every pupil I encounter feels valued. I aim to be a role model, encouraging, motivating and inspiring the pupils to become the best version of themselves. If I can make one small difference to their lives, whether that be academically, socially or personally, then that’s something to be celebrated."

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