Faculty: Humanities

'The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.’   Pierre Bourdieu

Sociology at GCSE and A-Level involves the scientific study of Modern Britain. It raises many interesting questions by focusing on society’s institutions and examining the effects they have on people’s lives. Many topical questions and issues are introduced. Students are encouraged to be critical and to test their ideas by using sociological evidence and methods. The course provides insight into the ways people live their lives in a multicultural society and the reasons for their choices. Students on the course enjoy discussing and debating topical issues, read widely around the subjects and enjoy essay writing to communicate the debate.

Key stage 4 content  

Students have 3 lessons a week

Exam board AQA   

Course outline

Unit 1: Studying Society; Education; Families Written Paper – 1 hour 30 mins 90 marks – 50%

Unit 2: Crime and Deviance; Mass Media; Power; Social Inequality Written Paper – 1 hour 30 mins

90 marks – 50%

Students develop a wide range of knowledge and understanding about society, and how sociologists study and understand its structures, processes and issues.  Sociology is exciting, interesting and relevant to students’ lives. This specification encourages students to take a questioning approach to evidence and issues, thus developing their critical, evaluative skills.






Year 10

Studying Society



Year 11

Crime and deviance

Mass Media

Social inequality


Key stage 5 content

Entry requirements: B in English Language or literature B in Humanities (B in Sociology if studied at GCSE) 

Students have 4/5 lessons a week

Exam board AQA   

From September, the Sociology Department shall be offering a brand new A-Level course in response to legislative changes to the curriculum. 

In the AS course, students study a wide variety of topics, from the functions of education, what social groups achieve higher results and why, to how recent government reforms have affected education.  Students also study the functions of the family and how the family structure has changed with contemporary society with immigration, changes of attitude, the decline in religion has led to greater family diversity. 

The A-level course involves Education, Family and Households, in addition to this they will be studying what is considered to be criminal in today’s society, what makes someone break the law, discussing whether the criminal justice system is effective, and so on.  Students will also study Beliefs in Society, where they will explore different purposes of religion, who is more religious and whether religion is still important in contemporary society. There is a research element to both years of the course.






Year 12

Paper 1: Education and research methods

Paper 2: Research methods and Families and Households 

Revision, start A-level. Paper 1: Theories and Methods

Year 13

Paper 3: Crime and deviance with Theories and Methods  


Paper 2 Families and households and Beliefs in Society


Paper 1 Education with Theories and Methods


 Outside the classroom  

Trips include the Church of Scientology and Hare Krishna temple, The Royal Courts of Justice (the Old Bailey) and University taster days. Each year students also attend sociology related summer schools in preparation for continuing sociology or related disciplines at university. 

Progression Pathways and careers  

Students are able to study GCSE, A-level and then move on to college or university to follow sociology or related courses. 

Many sociology graduates work in the public sector in a social or welfare role; others go into the public and private sector. Employers include local and central government, industry, commerce, the NHS, education, charitable, counselling and voluntary organisations. Careers include Law, Journalism, Social Work, Education, Government/Politics, Criminology/Police, Management and Economics.

Useful links 


Hannah Griffiths, Teacher of Social Science

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