Sociology (GCSE) -


Examination Board



Overview of the course

Sociology is the study of society, in particular how people learn how to behave in society. We focus on why there are so many inequalities in society based on social class, gender, age and ethnicity.

High crime rates in our inner cities, ‘binge drinking ladettes’, boys’ underachievement in school, the effects of divorce on children, racism and the police, the effects of the media on violent behaviour, these are among the great debates of today. They are the subject of countless views and opinions, many of which are ill-informed or prejudiced, most expressed simply from personal and often very limited experience.

This is where Sociology comes in – because these are all SOCIAL issues. The Sociologist sets off to try and understand our human world a little better. This task is often challenging and controversial, but to many it is also fascinating and rewarding.

By learning how society operates you will be learning how the world works, you will be able to understand your own behaviour and thoughts better and prepare yourself for what society may have in store for you. You will gain the knowledge,
analytical and debating  skills to add your voice to the great popular discussions of our time in areas such as the family, education, the police/judiciary, the media, religion and politics.

Sociology is exciting, interesting and relevant to students’ lives. It encourages students to take a questioning approach to evidence and issues and gets you thinking in an evaluative way.

The AQA Syllabus will allow you to:

·         think independently about the world around you

·         be more aware of your own and others actions

·         evaluate research

·         question how people behave

·         explain how society works        

Course Content

Paper 1: The sociology of families and education

The sociology of families

We look at what is going on in families nowadays and how the family has changed over time. We investigate who has power in the home and if we still have a traditional family and whether this is even a good thing.

The sociology of education

In this unit we investigate why some groups achieve better in education than others and if this is to do with the schools themselves or also to do with outside factors like family or social class issues.

Relevant areas of social theory and methodology

Students will be expected to draw on knowledge and understanding of the entire course of study to show a deeper understanding of these topics.

Unit 2: Crime and Deviance; Social Stratification

Crime and deviance

We look at who is most likely to be in prison and the reasons for this. We also focus on how the official crime statistics are created and whether they really tell us the truth.

Social inequality

In this unit we investigate who has power in society and why some social groups are treated differently to others. We look at the reasons for this and what could be done to change it.

How you will be assessed


Assessment and duration

Maximum marks

Percentage of overall result

Unit 1


1 hour 45 mins



Unit 2


1 hour 45 mins



This course is 100% examined in two written papers.  Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a GCSE graded on a nine point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

Post-16 Options

You can go on to study Sociology at A level, which is currently available in The Sandon Sixth Form. It is also a good grounding if you were interested in taking other Social Science A Level subjects such as Law, Psychology or BTEC Health and Social Care.

Sociology is a very well-valued subject by employers. Students wishing to gain employment in the areas of Social Work, Counselling, the Police, Education, the NHS or Politics would find this qualification particularly useful.