Sociology – GCSE

In general terms, sociology is the study of societies, how they shape human behaviour and vice versa.

Some Sociologists consider the way society controls the behaviour of individuals while some emphasis how the small scale interaction between each person creates society. Either way, Sociology provides students with the tools to understand the world they live in and, more importantly, their own actions.

This course is suitable for students who:

    • Students who are interested in how society works and how people behave.
    • Students who like to question society, for example: why are some people are richer than others; why do some people have more power than others and whether or not what we see and hear in the news is actually real or not?
    • Students who enjoy writing and expressing different arguments.
    • Students who enjoy keeping up with current affairs in the news.
    • Students who are interested in expressing their views in class and listening to the views of others.


Examination Board




All assessments (range of multiple choice, short and extended response questions) are through examinations at the end of Year 11, there is no coursework.


Course Units

Throughout Years 10 and 11, Sociology students study the following units and topics:

Component 1: Understanding Social Processes (50% of the GCSE)

  • Family: the first part is the study of families, how they work, what their function is and how they are changing. Some of the issues which students learn about here are: why there are so many different types of family: families in different cultures and sociological theories of families.
  • Education: Students learn about patterns of achievements, i.e. why some pupils do better than others in education, the role or purpose of education and how different pupils experience education.
  • Sociological Theory and Research Methods: This involves learning about the different research methods such as: questionnaires, interviews and observations. These are used in order to study human behaviour and different issues in society. Also exploring the origins of sociological theory such as Marxism and Feminism.

Component 2 : Understanding Social Structures (50% of the GCSE)

  • Crime and Deviance: Student’s learn about the sociological explanations of why people commit crime: who commits the most and the debate about how effective different types of punishments are.
  • Social Stratification: This involves covering the main themes such as class, age, gender and ethnicity.
    Students will also have the opportunity to carry out some of their own research on a topic that they have already studied.



Specific careers include:

    • Teaching and lecturing
    • Researching into issues in society
    • Working in government
    • Being a social worker

There are many other careers in which Sociology is useful. These include:

    • Working in the police force, prisons or courts
    • Lawyer
    • Management
    • Human resource management
    • Working in various medical professions
    • Working for an managing charities
    • Resource analyst
    • Journalist



Sociology Contact

Del Bains
Head of Social Sciences & Head of Sociology