Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Principles and Perspectives in Home Economics

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Health, Physical Education and Consumer Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit introduces Home Economics (HE) as a discipline outlining its origins, and basic mission, goals, values and theoretical paradigms. The link between HE quality of life, consumer citizenship, sustainable living, community development and entrepreneurship is explored also looking at related job, career and business opportunities. The discipline’s dynamic and expanding role in stimulating and facilitating positive societal change is also discussed.

Study-Unit Aims:

This unit aims at introducing students to various international, theoretical and application aspects of Home Economics as a discipline. It will prompt students to explore the role of Home Economics as an academic subject and research area, as well as its value for maintenance and promotion of societal wellbeing and as a tool for entrepreneurial ventures.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Outline the origins of Home Economics as a discipline and as a profession, looking at key protagonists in the field;
- Describe, after conducting online research, the International Federation for Home Economics, its structure and function;
- Analyse literature for past and present orientations of the mission, goals and values of Home Economics and its various areas of study;
- Discuss in groups the link between Home Economics and quality of life, focusing on resource management and the fostering of responsible consumption, citizenship, entrepreneurship and social development locally and on a global level;
- Identify potential job opportunities and career paths open to those with Home Economics qualifications at different levels keeping in mind current and emerging societal developments.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Apply through mini case studies the various theories relating to and influencing Home Economics;
- Investigate, through reflection, the influence of economic, technological, social and cultural change on Home Economics education now and in the future;
- Present specific arguments for the value of Home Economics as an academic, research, service-related and business-related discipline;
- Compile a basic set of role competencies required by Home Economists to fulfill their role as change-agents for positive societal change and family well-being;
- Develop simple communication tools to deliver Home Economics-related messages suitable for different audiences.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Piscopo, S. (2015) “Are Food Convenience and Sustainable Consumption Mutually Exclusive? Home Economics Literacy to the rescue” in Responsible Living: Concepts, Education and Future Perspectives, ed. RJ. Didham, D Doyle, J Klein, VW Thoresen. Switzerland: Springer, pp. 197-216.
- Piscopo, S. & Mugliett, K. (2012) “Capacity-Building in the Home Economics Profession: The Maltese Experience.” in Creating Home Economics Futures., ed. D. Pendergast, SLT McGregor, K.Turkki, Australian Academic Press, Queensland, Australia, pp. 228-240.

Supplementary Readings:

- Borg,T & Fenech, S. (2001). The impact of Home Economics on Maltese boys’ lifestyles and those of their families. Unpublished B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation, University of Malta.
- Casha, J. (2000). Home Economics and Home Economics-related careers: Perceptions of Maltese adults and adolescents. Unpublished B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation, University of Malta.
- Cassar, S. (2011). Boys' perception of child care topics: a study amongst secondary boys with a specialisation in Home Economics. Unpublished B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation, University of Malta.
- Formosa, E. (2004). The Impact Of Home Economics On Female Pupils & Their Families: Focus On Diet-Related And Social Health Issues. Unpublished B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation, University of Malta.
- Gauci, E. (2004). The Impact Of Home Economics On Female Pupils & Their Families: Focus On Environment And Consumer Issues. Unpublished B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation, University of Malta.
- Gerada, G. (2009). Definitions And Perceptions Of Home Economics In Malta: Focus On The Public And Academic Spheres. Unpublished B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation, University of Malta.
- Goldsmith, E. & Piscopo, S. (2013) “Advances in Consumer Education: European Initiatives”, International Journal of Consumer Studies. vol 38, issue 1, pp. 52-61 doi: 10.1111/ijcs.12063.
- Home Economists in Action (HEiA). [online] Available at
- International Federation of Home Economics (IFHE). [online] Available at
- Ministry for Education and Employment (Malta). (2015). Learning Outcomes Framework. Malta: Ministry of Education and Employment. [online] Available at
- Piscopo, S. (2014) “Home Economists in Action: implementing a Community Course on Sustainable Living”, in G. Hodelin, Family Socioeconomic and Cultural Issues: A continuing Home Economics Concern. Bonn, Germany: IFHEpp.111-121 Available at
- Piscopo, S & Mugliett, K. (2012) “Redefining and repackaging Home Economics: case of a Mediterranean island”, International Journal of Home Economics, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 264-278.
- Portelli, L. (1996). A curriculum history of Domestic Subjects in Malta. Unpublished M.Ed. dissertation, University of Malta.
- Spiteri, M.G. (1997). Home Economics and choice of career. Unpublished B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation, University of Malta.
- University of Malta. MATSEC syllabuses. [online] Available at
- Zahra, J. (1996). Boys and girls taking Home Economics option in Malta. Unpublished B.Ed. (Hons) dissertation, University of Malta.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (15 Minutes) SEM1 Yes 20%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Suzanne Piscopo

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
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It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.